Image Courtesy of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

Image Courtesy of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

How much do you know about the January 1, 2024, electronic recordkeeping changes that happened under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and International Registration Plan (IRP)? If your answer is, “Not much,” keep reading to get up to speed.

Details Changed for Electronic Records

For distance tracking under IFTA and IRP, you can use either paper logs or electronic systems (electronic logging devices (ELDs) or global positioning systems (GPS)). If you use electronic systems, as of January 1, 2024, distance records (pings) must be created and maintained at least:

  • Every 10 minutes when the vehicle’s engine is on for IFTA, and
  • Every 15 minutes when the vehicle’s engine is on for IRP.

Those records must contain the following data elements:

  • The date and time of each system reading;
  • The latitude and longitude to include a minimum of four decimal places (0.0001) of each system reading;
  • The odometer reading from the engine control module (ECM) of each system reading. If no ECM odometer is available a beginning and ending dashboard odometer or hubodometer for the trip is acceptable; and
  • The vehicle identification number or vehicle unit number.

The data must be in an accessible electronic spreadsheet format (XLS, XLSX, CSV, or delimited text file).

No Changes to Records Retention

Paper Logs Still Allowed
Many carriers using ELDs for hours of service also use them to track mileage for IFTA and IRP. However, electronic systems are not required under these programs, and paper logs are still a valid way to create and maintain distance records.
If mileage records are captured on paper, they must include:
  • The beginning and ending dates of the trip to which the records pertain;
  • Trip origin and destination;
  • Route of travel;
  • Beginning and ending reading from the odometer, hubometer, engine control module, or similar device for the trip;
  • Total trip miles or kilometers;
  • Miles/kilometers by jurisdiction; and
  • Unit number or vehicle identification number

Neither IFTA nor IRP requires a specific type of storage system for the required records. Paper or electronic/digital records are acceptable. That said, it’s important to remember that retention requirements are different under each program.

Under IFTA, records used for the quarterly tax return must be retained for four years from the return due date or filing date, whichever is later, plus any time included as a result of waivers or jeopardy assessments.

IRP records that support apportioned registration must be retained for the current year, plus the three preceding mileage years. As a result, distance data may need to be kept for up to six and one-half years. For this reason, it’s a good practice to keep all distance and fuel data for six and one-half years.

Avoid This Common Mistake: If using ELD data to comply with IFTA and IRP, be sure to verify that records are kept for the required retention periods. Since hours-of-service data is only retained for six months, some ELD programs may not meet the longer record retention requirements of IFTA and IRP.

If you’re working with an outsourcing partner to manage IFTA and/or IRP compliance, be sure these recordkeeping changes are on their radar!