IFTA is an agreement among jurisdictions in Canada and the United States that simplifies the reporting by inter jurisdictional carriers of motor fuel use taxes for diesel, gasoline, gasohol, propane and natural gas.
The agreement allows registered interjurisdictional carriers to get one licence, issued by their home jurisdiction, to report and pay motor fuel taxes to a single jurisdiction.
Under IFTA, interjurisdictional carriers report the amount of fuel consumed and the distance travelled in each jurisdiction. Member jurisdictions work together to track, collect and share the taxes payable on motor fuels such as gasoline, diesel, propane, gasohol, methanol, ethanol, natural gas and biodiesel.
Vehicles registered under IFTA display identifying decals issued by their home jurisdiction.
Registering gives you the benefit of:
having one IFTA licence to allow travel in all member jurisdictions, and
dealing with one jurisdiction for the reporting and payment of motor fuel taxes.
IFTA credentials are valid for travel in the 10 provinces in Canada and 48 states in the U.S.
Six jurisdictions are not IFTA members and IFTA credentials are not valid for travel there:
United States: Alaska, Hawaii, District of Columbia
Who is required to register under IFTA?
Any person in a jurisdiction (province/state) who operates a qualified motor vehicle(s)* in two or more jurisdictions, for the purpose of transporting persons or property.
To register under IFTA, you must meet all of the following requirements:
your qualified motor vehicles are registered in your home jurisdiction
you have an established place of business in your home jurisdiction from which you maintain operational control of your qualified motor vehicles;
you keep records for your qualified motor vehicles in your home jurisdiction or will make your records available to IFTA officials for audit; and
your qualified motor vehicles travel in your home jurisdiction and at least one other IFTA jurisdiction.
What is a Qualified Motor Vehicle?
A qualified motor vehicle includes a motor vehicle that is used to transport persons or property, and:
has two axles and a registered gross vehicle weight of more than 11,797 kg (26,000 pounds); or
has three or more axles on the power unit regardless of weight; or
has a total registered gross vehicle weight of more than 11,797 kg when used in combination.
Recreational vehicles, irrespective of weight or axle configuration, when not used in connection with a business endeavour are not considered qualified motor vehicles. Recreational vehicles include motor homes, pickup trucks with attached campers, and buses when used exclusively for personal pleasure by an individual. Light trucks and vans with a registered gross vehicle weight (including trailer weight, if any) below 11,797 kg (26,000 pounds) are excluded, even if they are being used for commercial transportation of goods or passengers inside and outside of your home jurisdiction. Generally, these vehicles include delivery vans, service vehicles and pick up trucks used by local merchants, short-haul carriers, inter-city carriers, courier services and so on.
Transporting goods for someone else
When you transport goods for someone else, a contract may hold the carrier and not the vehicle owner responsible for interjurisdictional reporting and payment of fuel taxes. The contract needs to identify:
the start and end dates of the agreement
who is responsible, the carrier or the vehicle owner, for reporting and paying fuel tax
The responsible party should obtain the IFTA licence.