Simply stated, IFTA works as a “pay now or pay later” system. As commercial motor vehicles buy fuel, any fuel taxes paid are credited to that licensee’s account. At the end of the fiscal quarter, the licensee completes their fuel tax report, listing all miles traveled in all participating jurisdictions and lists all gallons purchased. Then the average fuel mileage is applied to the miles traveled to determine the tax liability to each jurisdiction.
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IFTA Taxes, International Fuel Tax Agreement