Tax and Revenue Administration - Frequently Asked Questions

International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) FAQs

Index


What is the purpose of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)?

IFTA is an agreement among American states and Canadian jurisdictions that enables uniform collection and distribution of fuel taxes paid by motor carriers traveling in several jurisdictions. It is a voluntary program.

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What benefits does IFTA membership offer?

Carriers that regularly travel in other provinces or states and purchase fuel in one jurisdiction, but use the fuel in another jurisdiction, will benefit. IFTA membership allows the carrier to significantly reduce the paperwork and compliance burden for fuel tax reporting. A carrier licensed under IFTA is required to submit only one quarterly fuel tax return to its base jurisdiction, where it is registered.

The single return covers the distance traveled in all IFTA jurisdictions, rather than the carrier being required to complete separate fuel tax returns for each jurisdiction. Each base jurisdiction then refunds or collects the net fuel tax for all member jurisdictions.

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Who can register for IFTA membership?

A carrier may be registered for IFTA in Alberta if it:

  • operates one or more qualified motor vehicles base-plated in Alberta or the Northwest Territories,
  • travels to at least one other IFTA jurisdiction,
  • allocates some income to Alberta for income tax purposes, and
  • does not have outstanding returns or owe any monies for a prior reporting period.

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How do I register for IFTA in Alberta?

Click here for a video which reviews the IFTA registration form and offers tips to help registrants avoid processing delays. More information on IFTA.

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What is a qualified motor vehicle?

A qualified motor vehicle is one used, designed, or maintained for the transportation of persons or property and meeting one of the following size and weight requirements:

  • two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 11,797 kilograms (26,000 lbs.);
  • three or more axles regardless of weight; or
  • if used in combination with a trailer, a combined weight that exceeds 11,797 kilograms (26,000 lbs.).

A recreational vehicle is not a qualified motor vehicle.

Special rules apply for farm-plated vehicles registered under IFTA. The requirements are found in Information Circular IFTA-2R8, Alberta IFTA Licensing and Reporting Requirements.

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What is the cost to register under IFTA?

As of January 1, 2007, the registration fees for each carrier are:

  • an annual registration fee of $15.00 for the Alberta IFTA Fuel Tax Licence, and
  • an annual decal fee of $10.00 per set of two decals per qualified motor vehicle.

The registration and decal fees must be submitted with the carrier's initial registration or annual renewal application.

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What are the requirements if I register under IFTA?

Filing returns: You must file an IFTA return for each calendar quarter. Each return is due at the end of the month following the quarter being reported. If the due date for the return falls on a weekend or government holiday, the due date for both filing and payment is the next business day.

Penalty: An IFTA return is considered filed on time if it is postmarked or received by TRA by other means on, or before, the due date. A late filing penalty of $50 or 10 per cent of the assessed unpaid taxes, whichever is greater, is assessed for failing to file a return or filing a late return.

Reporting: You are required to report:

  • ALL fuel put into qualified vehicles, including fuel provided by a third party, and
  • ALL kilometres travelled by qualified vehicles, including off-road travel, on the IFTA fuel type schedule.

Fuel: Your licensed vehicles with IFTA credentials, including those with farm plates, can use only clear fuel. Marked fuel is not permitted.

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Can I apply for annual renewals, view my IFTA account and file quarterly returns electronically?

Yes, you may apply for annual renewals, view your IFTA account, and file quarterly returns, using the Tax and Revenue Administration Client Self-service (TRACS). Depending on the access you have been assigned, more functions are also available. For more information or to register, visit TRACS.

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What if I am registered under IFTA and travel only in Alberta or have no travel during a calendar quarter?

An IFTA return must be filed for each calendar quarter even if the carrier traveled only in Alberta or the IFTA registered vehicles were not used during the calendar quarter. If travel was only in Alberta, report only the kilometers traveled and litres consumed in Alberta.

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To whom do I make my IFTA payment?

Make your IFTA payments to Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, Tax and Revenue Administration by mail, courier or personal delivery, at most Canadian financial institutions or through financial institutions' Internet payment services or through TelPay for Business. Make cheques and money orders payable to the Government of Alberta. Payments made at banks must be accompanied by an original Remittance Advice form. For additional information on payment options refer to Information Circular IFTA-2R6, Alberta IFTA Licensing and Reporting Requirements.

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Do I have to register under Alberta Transportation's Prorate before I can register for IFTA membership?

No, a carrier does not have to register under the Prorate program to register under IFTA. The programs are not related. You may register for one, both, or none of the programs. Click on the links below for more information about these programs:

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Where should the IFTA decals be placed?

Place the decals on each side of the vehicle near the bottom back of the cab or sleeper door.

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What if I have not received my IFTA credentials for the coming year before December 31?

For information about the status of your renewal, please contact TRA by email or telephone at (780) 427-3044 [Call 310-0000; then enter (780) 427-3044 for toll-free service in Alberta ] or fax at: (780) 427-0348.

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When do I use special permits?

If you are an Alberta carrier with qualified motor vehicles that are not registered for IFTA, your vehicles will not be able to travel in other IFTA jurisdictions unless you have purchased a trip permit for fuel tax purposes. If you are not a member of a licensing Prorate plan, you will have to purchase a trip permit for licensing purposes. Contact the relevant jurisdictions for information regarding the purchase of these trip permits.

For complete information about the IFTA program administered by TRA, see the IFTA series of information circulars.

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Page last updated:  June 24, 2015