Texas is a state in the South Central region of the United States. At 268,596 square miles, and with more than 29.1 million residents in 2020, it is the second-largest U.S. state by both area and population. It is also the home of Chip and Joanna Gaines, but I digress. Texas is an interesting state. I found these interesting facts, while checking around.
- Six nations have ruled over Texas
- Texas is larger than any European country
- It is the second most populous state in America
- There are 139 tornadoes on average a year
- Dr Pepper was invented here
In addition to those fun facts, like other states, Texas charges fuel tax. The motor fuel tax is a per-gallon excise tax levied on gasoline, diesel, and other special fuels, and is deposited into the Federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF). Motor fuel taxes provide the majority of the revenue used for Federal surface transportation funding.
The revenues from those taxes are credited to the Highway Trust Fund to pay for highway construction and maintenance as well as for investment in mass transit. (A portion of the fuel tax—0.1 cent per gallon—is credited to the Leaking Underground Storage Tank Trust Fund.) Those tax rates are not adjusted for inflation.
So, What is IFTA?
This is what the IFTA official website says:
Prior to IFTA each state had its own licensing and fuel use tax reporting system.
A carrier needed tax licenses for each jurisdiction in which it operated. Many jurisdictions required indicia (signs, indications or distinguishing marks, yes I had to look it up) be displayed in and on the commercial motor vehicles.
Industry maintained licenses and reported to as many as 58 jurisdictions
The “each jurisdiction” system was burdensome to both the industry and the jurisdictions.
The IFTA Articles of Agreement states the purpose of the Agreement: to promote and encourage the fullest and most efficient possible use of the highway system by making uniform the administration of motor fuels use taxation laws with respect to motor vehicles operated in multiple member jurisdictions.
In 1983 a group of people from Government and Industry collaborated to come up with a tax collection process based “loosely” on the IRP (International Registration Plan) idea of a base state agreement to collect and distribute fuel use taxes.
There was a lot of give and take from everyone to make this work.
The jurisdictions would work together to collect taxes from motor carriers based in their jurisdictions.
Each jurisdiction would be responsible for their own carriers for:
- The licensing
- Tax Reporting
- How would Government & Industry both benefit?
- One license
- One decal
- One audit
- One jurisdiction to handle it all!
Three states AZ, IA and WA were the initial jurisdictions to join.
Over the next 3 years, a working group modified the “Agreement”, which, in 1986, was adopted by the current membership as the IFTA.
Over the next 15 (or so) years, all of the lower 48 states and 10 Canadian provinces became members. (Some kicking & screaming)
Even though IFTA is an excellent program, it is still a work in progress.
It is important to remember why IFTA started in the first place.
- Cooperation among jurisdictions critical
- Keep lines of communication open
- Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction
- Jurisdiction to Industry
- Embrace technology
How Texas IFTA Reporting Works
If you are reading this, you are interested in how Texas IFTA reporting works. You are in the right place. This article will tell you a bit about what IFTA is, how to obtain a Texas fuel permit, how to get a Texas IFTA application and how to apply for IFTA in Texas! In addition, best of all, how TMS Digital IFTA Manager program can make your IFTA reporting a breeze!
Skip to the bottom of this article if you want the summarized version!
First, what is IFTA? Well, this is what the IFTA website offers in its downloadable Power Point Presentations.
- The International Fuel Tax Agreement
- A tax collection agreement by and among the 48 contiguous States and the 10 Canadian Provinces bordering the US
- Uniform administration of motor fuels use taxation laws with respect to qualified motor vehicles operated in more than one member jurisdiction
What is a Qualified Motor Vehicle?
- Motor vehicle used, designed or maintained for the transportation of persons or property and
- Gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight over 26,000 lbs. or 11,797 kgs.
- Three-axles regardless of weight
- Used in combination when the weight of the combination exceeds 26,000 lbs. or 11,797 kgs.
How to apply in Texas, per the Texas Comptroller Website that offers a downloadable pdf for International Fuel Tax Agreement for Texas.
IFTA License Application Procedures Texas is your base jurisdiction for IFTA licensing and reporting if you
- have qualified motor vehicles registered in Texas that travel on Texas highways;
- have an established place of business in Texas from which motor carrier operations are performed; and
- maintain operational control and records for qualified motor vehicles in Texas or can make those records available in Texas.
Ways to apply:
To apply you can
- download the Texas Application for International Fuel Tax Agreement License (Form AP-178) at comptroller.texas.gov/forms/ap-178.pdf,
- Contact us at 800-252-1383 to have us mail you an application form; or
- visit and request an application form in a local taxpayer services and collections field office. Then, you can submit your completed application by one of the following methods:
- Mail to:
Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
111 E 17th St
Austin TX 78774-0100
- Fax to: 512-936-0013
- Email to firstname.lastname@example.org • visit a local taxpayer services and collections field office.
Please note, the field office will not process your application, but will forward it by email to email@example.com for processing.
The fuel types and the code for each fuel type reported on the tax report supplement are
- Propane (LPG)
- Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)
- Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)
Wow, that is a lot! So, basically, in a nutshell, you need to apply for your IFTA license. You need to report how many miles you drive in each state. You need to keep track of how much fuel you purchase in each state. Then you need to calculate how much fuel tax you paid in the states you purchased fuel in and how much you owe to the states you did not purchase, or purchase enough fuel in! Wow, even more confusing.
Well for example, you may have purchased fuel in Oklahoma, right before you crossed the state line into Texas. Maybe you crossed on over to New Mexico before you had to refuel. You still need to pay fuel tax for the three hundred some miles you drove through Texas. No worries, you also may get a refund from the state you purchased your fuel in, but did not drive that many miles. You need to report this information to IFTA at the end of each quarter to determine what you need to pay in or if you may have a refund.
Sounds like a lot of paperwork and calculations, right? Does your head hurt yet? However, hey, there is an easier way! TMS Digital IFTA Manager can import your fuel purchases right from your Fuel Card provider, via an API or even from a fuel transaction report. In addition, it imports the states you have driven through, along with the mileage break down of each state from your truck’s ELD. It ‘marries’ that to the fuel purchases that match by date and truck number, to create a trip. It has a nifty menu option that lets you download the IFTA formulas right from the IFTA website. All you need to do is run the IFTA Manager Reports and it does all the calculations for you. You are ready to file!
In addition, IFTA Manager interfaces with many different ELDs and Fuel Card Companies. For example: Samsara, OmniTracs, Keep Truckin’, GeoTab and Verizon ELDs. And Comdata, EFS and many more fuel cards. If they do not have an API interface, we can even import from a report! Contact us today by clicking the Contact Us button at the top right of the page.