When we think about the process for putting together your IFTA quarterly reports, you not only need to have a good method in place to track your miles per state and fuel for each vehicle, but you also need to think of how to properly store this information.
How far back must you provide accurate documentation for a compliance audit?
All motor carriers or trucking companies that work in more than one jurisdiction need to worry about DOT audits, IFTA audits, and IRP audits.
Hours of Service are reviewed under DOT audits and you must maintain records for 6 months including relevant documentation such as ping locations or distances that back up your hours.
IFTA audits will bring into question your fuel and distance records and these can go back all the way to 4 years. 6 years in Quebec.
IRP (apportioned plates annual renewals) audits will examine your distance records going back to 6 years.
All your distance records should match or be the same for any compliance audit. So, this means your IFTA distance records or mileages must equal to your IRP mileages.
Did you know that audits are unavoidable?
A minimum of 3% of all North American motor carriers registered for IFTA are audited each quarter. This is one of the reasons why you must maintain proper compliance records. When you do, you are guaranteeing uninterrupted operations of your business and a successful audit in your favor.
The most popular ways you can backup your information are as follows:
- Printed paper copies and keeping these in filing cabinets.
- Saving electronic copies of your documents in your own computer(s) or server(s).
- Saving electronic copies to external hard drives or secondary computers/servers within your own office space.
- Working with a cloud service provider.
- Working with a program that already comes with cloud storage.
The easiest way to back up information is by using the cloud. If you do not have your own cloud servers, you can work with a cloud service provider. There are many individual solutions for cloud storage out there and you must do your due diligence to find one that makes sense to you.
However, the best way to go about backing up your data is by finding a program that provides cloud storage for your information. Especially if this storage is for the time you need for your audit needs and at no extra cost.
If you find a program with this benefit, then it is the right program to use. eTrucks IFTA lets you keep your fuel tax information for 6 years at no extra cost!