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IFTA (International Fuels Tax Agreement) Motor Carriers

General

            An IFTA motor carrier is any person who uses or operates an IFTA qualified motor vehicle for commercial or business purposes on Massachusetts highways and the highways of at least one other International Fuels Tax Agreement (IFTA) jurisdiction.  An IFTA qualified motor vehicle is a vehicle, other than a recreational vehicle, that is used, designated or maintained for the transportation of persons or property and that (i) has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered weight exceeding 26,000 pounds; or (ii) has three or more axles on the power unit, regardless of weight; or (iii) is used in combination and the combined gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeds 26,000 pounds.  IFTA motor carriers must register and file returns with their base-jurisdiction for activity in all IFTA jurisdictions.  All such qualified vehicles using Massachusetts highways must have (1) an IFTA license and (2) two IFTA decals.

            Application for License

            IFTA motor carriers based in Massachusetts and traveling in at least on other jurisdiction must file an International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Massachusetts License Application, IFTA-1, to participate in the IFTA Program. The Department of Revenue issues a license and two decals, by mail, for a calendar year.  One decal must be affixed to each side of the vehicle.  A Federal Identification Number or a Social Security Number may be used when completing the Form IFTA-1.      

            Filing Requirements

            IFTA motor carrier tax licensees are required to file the IFTA Quarterly Fuel Use Tax Return, IFTA-100, and the IFTA Quarterly Fuel Tax Schedule, IFTA-101, by the last day of the month following the close of the quarter, even if no tax is due.  If a licensee's status has changed and the licensee is no longer an IFTA qualified motor carrier, the IFTA license and both IFTA decals must be returned to the DOR (see address below) with a letter requesting cancellation, indicating the effective date.

            Payment:  Payment must accompany the tax return (IFTA-100).  Make the check or money order for the exact amount payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

            Rate of Tax: Current rates can be found under the heading Tax Rate Matrices at www.IFTACH.org.

            Exemptions:  Fuel used on any turnpike constructed by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority is exempt.  For travel on the Massachusetts Turnpike, IFTA licensees may take the Massachusetts Turnpike exemption for IFTA qualified vehicles only on the IFTA consolidated return.  Turnpike miles are included in total IFTA miles (Column H of IFTA-101) and are excluded from taxable miles on the IFTA return (Column I of IFTA-101) for travel in Massachusetts.  IFTA carriers may not make separate applications for Turnpike refunds using the Massachusetts Department of Revenue's Special Fuel and/or Gasoline Refund Application for IFTA qualified vehicle travel. 

            The Turnpike exemption is available only to licensees having 1) toll receipts or invoices issued by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and 2) original invoices or sales receipts of motor fuels showing the purchase of the fuel within three days of use on the Massachusetts Turnpike; or evidence that such motor fuel was transferred from bulk storage to the vehicle tank within three days of its use on the Massachusetts Turnpike.

            Motor fuel for which the Massachusetts Turnpike exemption is taken is subject to the 6.25% use tax imposed by G.L. c. 64I, § 2.  An IFTA licensee must file an annual Massachusetts Business Use Tax Return, Form ST-10, and remit the 6.25% use tax on the cost of the fuel for which the exemption was taken.  This return is due with the payment on or before April 15 for purchases made in the prior calendar year.

            Interest and Penalties:  If returns are not properly filed, interest and penalties may be assessed.  The penalty for failure to file a tax report when due is the greater of fifty dollars ($50.00) or ten percent (10%) of the net tax due to all member jurisdictions.  Interest is computed on all delinquent taxes due each jurisdiction at the rate of one percent (1%) per month, from the date the tax was due for each month, or fraction thereof, until paid. Effective July 1, 2013, interest will be calculated based on IRC § 6621(a) (2) plus 2%.  The rate will be subject to adjustment each January 1st for the entire calendar year.     

            See TIR 99-18 regarding the waiver of G.L. c. 62C, § 33(c) late‑pay penalties and suspension or involuntary collection activities under G.L. c. 62C, § 32(e) when the taxpayer administratively disputes the assessment (or any portion thereof) within DOR or at the Appellate Tax Board or Probate Court.

            Extensions of Time to File:  May not apply.

            Amended Returns:  No special form is required to amend a return.  Check the “Amended return” box at the top of the IFTA-100.

            Refunds:  A refund may be claimed on the IFTA tax report for any overpayment of tax in a reporting period.  Complete line #11 on the IFTA tax report to request a refund.  A refund will be issued after DOR determines tax liabilities, including any outstanding audit assessments, are satisfied.  A refund may be denied if the licensee is delinquent in filing any quarterly tax report(s).

            If a refund is not requested, the credit will be carried forward to the next period.  Earned credits will expire if not used after eight (8) quarters.

            Changing Information or Status:  Changes must be submitted in writing to the address given below.  New decals must be ordered by submitting a new application.

            For more information, contact:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
IFTA Unit
P.O. Box 7027
Boston, MA 02204
(617) 887-5080


REFERENCES:
G.L. c. 62C, §§ 32(e), 33(c)
G.L. c. 64F
G.L. c. 64I, § 2
TIR 99-18
Form ST-10, Business Use Tax Return
IFTA-1, International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) Massachusetts License Application
IFTA-100, IFTA Quarterly Fuel Use Tax Return
IFTA-101, IFTA Quarterly Fuel Tax Schedule