Fuel tax holidays no break from IFTA obligations

| 9/7/2005

Georgia isn’t doing truckers any real favors by not collecting the motor fuel tax now through the end of September – especially since truckers will still have to report and pay for their International Fuel Tax Agreement miles in the state.

Friday, Sept. 2, Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue suspended the collection of the state motor fuel tax. The suspension will run through the end of September, according to a press release issued by the governor’s office.

The executive order does not relieve truckers from reporting or paying the taxes on miles run in Georgia.

Simply put: If truckers buy fuel in Georgia, they won’t be paying for the tax on the front end, but they will have to pay for it later through IFTA quarterly filings. And that goes for any state that doesn’t waive IFTA miles.

“Georgia cannot waive the requirements for any other jurisdiction,” said Lonette Turner, executive director of IFTA Inc.

For example, if truckers filing IFTA quarterly reports in Georgia have bought enough of the discounted fuel, but run too many miles on the tax-free fuel, they could wind up sending a payment in with the quarterly IFTA filing – because not enough tax was collected to cover IFTA obligations.

“As more states are looking closely at the possibility of fuel tax holidays, truckers need to be aware that the savings they may realize at the pump could be short-lived,” Todd Spencer, executive vice president of OOIDA said.

“Even though you don’t pay the tax on the front end, if you’re running through states that have not waived it, you could wind up owing a sizeable chunk on your quarterly reports.”

– By Jami Jones, staff editor