Fuel Tax Reporting
In this era of out-sourcing and attention to cost-savings, we have demonstrated to our customers where TCS can save them thousands of dollars by complete and thorough fuel tax processing and reporting. The experts in our tax department make it their business to know the answers to those complicated questions that can plague the timely and accurate reporting of your fuel taxes. All of us at TCS strive to do the very best for our customers that we possibly can and we accomplish that with continuing education and training, periodic upgrades in hardware and software, and the kind of attention to details that this service demands.
Fuel taxes are due quarterly (and in some cases monthly or annually). As you supply us with your monthly trip information, we prepare accurate and timely reports. Our fuel tax service customers receive a monthly newsletter from TCS to remind them of important dates and keep them informed of upcoming legislation and tax rate information. We have on-site storage facilities to retain your trip information and fuel tax reports for the length of time required by law. In the event of an audit by any fuel taxing agency for a time period in which we prepared your reports, your records are readily available to the agency and the audit can be done from our office rather than taking up your time and office space. We will also accept faxed or e-mailed trip information from our customers. If you choose to fax or e-mail your trip sheets and fuel receipts to us, you then become responsible for retaining the originals for a period of not less than five years. TCS is only responsible to report your fuel taxes based on the information we receive from you, the customer.
To further discuss the benefits of fuel tax reporting by TCS, please call us in the Phoenix Metropolitan area at 623-937-9869 and outside the area at 1-877-2-GET-TCS (1-877-243-8827) and talk to one of our fuel tax specialists.
INTRODUCTION TO THE TCS MILEAGE TAX PREPARATION SERVICE
Following are detailed instructions on how to properly complete a trip sheet or trip envelope. It is important to follow these instructions. These documents are used to compute tax liability and, in the event of a state audit, are proof of accuracy.
Once trip sheets have been turned in to TCS for the entire quarter, the tax liabilities are computed and the proper forms are completed. The forms will then be mailed to you if your monthly TCS fees are paid up to date. It is the taxpayer's responsibility to attach checks to the reports and mail them to the states. TCS will enclose a cover sheet which will give you all the information necessary for your tax payment. The cover sheet will provide the proper name to make out payments to, the individual state account numbers, the amount owed, and the date each report is due. Pre-addressed envelopes will be attached to each form to be used when making your payment. These reports must be sent in on time to avoid costly late fees and penalties, which can be assessed on each report. Even a one-day delay will result in substantial late fees, penalties, and interest.
The importance of the proper completion of trip sheets cannot be overstated. The trip sheet serves the purpose of detailing each trip taken. It should tell us, as well as an auditor in the future, exactly what was done on a particular date. If it is not clear, we may be giving incorrect information to the state, which results in an inaccurate tax liability. If it is not clear to an auditor, he/she could request the following documentation:
Vehicle purchase invoices, agreements, title applications, and/or statement of odometer readings at the time of sale.
Vehicle maintenance records including purchase invoices, billings for work performed, and any summary information maintained.
Bills of lading, weigh bills, load tickets, shipping invoices, weight or scale tickets, loading or delivery receipts, freight bills, etc.
General ledgers, general journals, accounts receivable and payable journals, income statements, federal tax returns, and bank statements.
A complete description of exact location of “off highway” operational routes. Odometer or hubometer readings on each trip record indicating the reading when entering the off highway roadway and the reading at the point of return to the highway.
Original approved Arizona Use Fuel Invoices properly completed reflecting your company name and Arizona account number.
Audits can be conducted up to five years after the date of the trip. If additional tax is determined to be due, interest will be added from the due date of the original report to the date of the audit. Five years of interest could be a considerable amount.
Trip sheets or envelopes should be completed on a daily basis, just as a logbook. If you are accurate in the completion of your paperwork for your business, an audit will not result in a large additional tax due. You will also be assured of paying the proper amount of taxes.
TRIP SHEETS / TRIP ENVELOPES
ALL TRIP SHEETS OR ENVELOPES MUST INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION:
1. COMPANY NAME
2. DRIVERS NAME
3. DATE TRIP STARTED
4. TRIP # - This number is for your reference only.
5. UNIT # - Unit number of the tractor making the trip.
6. STARTING POINT - Should be the same as the destination point of your previous trip. CITY & STATE
7. LOADING POINT – CITY & STATE
8. DESTINATION - Should be the same as the starting point of your next trip. CITY & STATE
9. MILEAGE BREAKDOWN & ROUTE/HIGHWAY #S
Miles need to be separated by state (no gaps - example: TX then AZ would be wrong because NM is between the two) and by loaded, empty, toll, and/or off-road miles* within each state. NOTE: Only New York needs to have toll miles separated and toll receipts must be attached to the trip sheets.
EXAMPLE: Total New York miles = 400
State Route # Loaded Empty Toll
This NY 90-88-17 258 100 42 = 400 Total
OR NY 90 400 = 400 Total
NOT NY 90 400 400 = 800 Total
* Off Road miles are roads posted not open to the public and must be described (gravel, pit, farm, construction site, etc.) An address must also be shown (off road miles can be listed under column titled “toll miles”). Local miles must also show routes and streets you traveled.
Days not running, days off, and “final trip sheet for this quarter” should be noted on the trip sheets.
If trip permits are purchased, include the miles on the trip sheet and attach a copy of the permit to the trip sheet.
10. FUEL RECEIPTS:
Fuel purchases should be listed and an original copy of the receipt or copies of invoice need to be attached (or enclosed in the trip envelope). Fuel receipts must include the date - your company name - unit # or plate # - gallon amount - price per gallon - amount paid - address of the station - whether or not state tax has been paid. If the fuel is reefer, the receipt must state so.
TRIP SHEET (OR ENVELOPE) DEADLINES:
Trip sheets should be sent to TCS on a monthly basis, preferably by the 5th of the following month. If there are no operations for a month or a quarter, a trip sheet should still be sent to us stating no operations for a specific time period. If we receive your trip sheets in a timely manner, we will be able to file your mileage tax reports on time, avoiding late fees and penalties. Even one day late will incur substantial late fees for a state’s report.
Most mileage taxes are due on a quarterly basis as follows:
Jan - Feb - Mar - - - - - Due on Apr 30
Apr - May - Jun - - - - - Due on Jul 31
Jul - Aug - Sep - - - - - Due on Oct 31
Oct - Nov - Dec - - - - - Due on Jan 31
Mileage tax reports are due for any and all states that you have a permit in, even if there is no operation in that state during the reporting period.
If you want to close a tax account with a state, or are going out of business, permits must be returned to the state or to TCS for us to close your accounts for you.
Any tax forms sent to your address instead of TCS should be sent to TCS as soon as possible.
When Odometer readings are used (which auditors prefer and may soon require), either border to border, loaded and empty or trip sheet to trip sheet - the ending odometer reading must match the next beginning odometer reading. There can be no breaks in the readings
If you have plated your truck in a state other than Arizona, we will need a copy of the registration card.
If you have received an IFTA account or a registration card from another state, we will need a copy for our records.
If you would like some sample completed trip sheets, please call our fuel tax department and they will mail, e-mail, or fax them to you. The following are links to our blank trip sheets:
Original Blank Trip Sheet PDF format Original Blank Trip Sheet Excel Spread Sheet
Odometer Blank Trip Sheet PDF format Odometer Blank Trip Sheet Excel Spread Sheet
Envelope Blank Trip Sheet PDF format Envelope Blank Trip Sheet Excel Spread Sheet
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