Distance and Fuel Accounting System

As an Iowa-based carrier engaged in interstate operations, you are responsible for compliance with provisions of the International Registration Plan (IRP) and the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). IRP and IFTA rules require that each jurisdiction audit the supporting records of carriers based in that jurisdiction. The Iowa Department of Transportation is responsible for conducting these audits for Iowa-based carriers.

The basic concept of both agreements is that carriers pay taxes and fees to the appropriate jurisdictions based on activity in those jurisdictions. Therefore, it is important that each carrier develop and maintain accurate distance and fuel accounting systems.

At a minimum, an acceptable distance system must include:

  1.    Individual vehicle mileage data for each trip.

  2.    Monthly vehicle distance summaries.

  3.    Monthly and quarterly fleet distance summaries.

The most important document in the system is the record that identifies each trip. This document must contain space to record trip information including origin, destination, routes of travel, total trip distance, and distance by jurisdiction. The carrier may use any of several methods to determine the distance to be reported; including, odometer readings, map miles, or computer distance software. It is important to note, however, that any distance determination must be made according to the actual route the vehicle traveled.

We have included sample trip reports and summary sheets that might be used as the basis for a distance accounting system. Sample 1, Sample 2, and Sample 3 are trip report forms used to record required daily trip information. These trips sheet totals could then be carried to an Individual Vehicle Distance Record, totaled for the month, and then posted to a Monthly Fleet Summary. A Annual Mileage Summary completed for the fleet for the July through June reporting period would provide mileages to be used on the yearly IRP application.

It is not the intent of the Iowa DOT to require any particular mileage accounting system, however, only to suggest that the attached documents could be used or modified to provide the basis for an acceptable system.

Fuel and mileage documentation required to support quarterly IFTA filings must be retained for a period of four (4) years; while mileage documentation supporting IRP applications must be retained for the current plus three (3) previous license years. All support records are to be made available during normal business hours, and it will considerably reduce audit time if your records are kept in an organized manner and easily retrievable.

If you have any questions, please contact Randy Barton at 515-239-1030.