TAX NEWS - January 2009

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IFTA Tax FAQ - State of Georgia tax

Q. When do my IFTA license and decals expire?

A. IFTA decals expire on December 31 of each year. However, the IFTA Agreement does allow a two-month grace period to display the decals and place the new IFTA license in the cab of an IFTA-qualified vehicle. Failure to display new IFTA decals and carry a license by March 1 of each year will subject each vehicle to applicable penalties imposed by IFTA-member jurisdictions.

Q. Must I register my trucks for IFTA if they never leave the state?

A. No. You will be required to register for IFTA once any of your qualified IFTA vehicles operate interstate. (Exception: You may purchase temporary operating permits for infrequent travel in member jurisdictions in lieu of registering for IFTA and filing IFTA tax returns.)

Q. My IFTA registered vehicles travel what my company considers to be "non-IFTA" miles. Am I obligated to report those miles?

A. Yes. All miles traveled by your IFTA-registered vehicles are considered to be IFTA miles unless specifically exempt by the IFTA member jurisdiction where the business or individual that owns the vehicles is located. Please visit the IFTA web site at and click on Exemptions to determine if a jurisdiction exempts any miles from IFTA road use taxes.

Q. What constitutes a qualified IFTA vehicle?

A. A motor vehicle designed or maintained to transport people or property that:

- Has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms; or
- Has three or more axles, regardless of weight; or
- Is used in combination when such combination exceeds a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms;
- And operates in two or more jurisdictions.

Q. As a motor carrier, I operate both qualified and non-qualified motor vehicles in my fleet. Do I need to register all of my fleet vehicles for IFTA Tax?

A. No. You should only place IFTA decals and carry a license for qualified IFTA vehicles that operate interstate.

Q. Do I need to file an IFTA tax return if my qualified IFTA vehicles did not leave the state during the reporting quarter?

A. Yes. You must file an IFTA tax return for each quarter in which you hold a license.

Q. What will happen if I have failed to file and pay any taxes due on IFTA tax return(s) during any year(s) that I was IFTA tax registered?

A. You will receive a delinquency notice from the Georgia Department of Revenue. Failure to file and remit amounts due by the stated deadline will result in an estimated assessment notice being sent to you based on the best information available. Until all tax returns have been filed and liabilities paid, you will not be allowed to renew your IFTA registration for the subsequent year. Failure to pay all liabilities in full may result in further legal action.

Q. In anticipation of obtaining hauling contracts, I order and place IFTA decals on certain vehicles. If I place a decal on any qualified IFTA vehicle, but the vehicle doesn't leave the state, is there still a reporting obligation?

A. Yes. Once decals are placed on any qualified IFTA vehicle, you must report the miles and fuel for that vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle leaves the state.

Q. If I maintain a bulk diesel storage tank for fueling both IFTA and non-IFTA qualified vehicles, am I required to maintain records detailing the distribution of diesel fuel from the storage tank?

A. Yes. You must maintain detailed bulk storage tank distribution records when both non-IFTA and IFTA-qualified vehicles receive fuel from the same tank. Records must be maintained as specified in the IFTA Procedures Manual.

Q. Can I order additional decals in case I sell my vehicle or purchase a new vehicle during the year?

A. Yes. You may purchase as many decals as you need for your company. However, your company must account for all decals purchased as well as file returns and remit payment on all balance due amounts for qualified IFTA vehicles affixed with decals.

Q. If I sell my business and assets, does the new owner need to reapply for new IFTA decals?

A. Yes. The new owner will need to reapply for new IFTA decals. The new owner should call (404) 417-6712 to register the new business and vehicles. The company selling the business must file a final IFTA return notifying the Department of their desire to cancel the registration and remit any taxes owed.

Q. Is there a penalty for using red-dyed high sulfur diesel fuel in on-highway vehicles?

A. Yes. The minimum penalty is $1,000 and may be higher dependent upon the amount of red-dyed diesel fuel found in the propulsion tanks of each vehicle. The fine is higher for subsequent violations. For example, a second offense carries a minimum fine of $2,000. Also, if the vehicle was fueled from a red-dyed diesel fuel storage tank owned by the company or owner of the vehicle, the amount of red-dyed diesel fuel contained in the fuel storage tank at the time of inspection will be subject to a $10 per gallon penalty.

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