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September 23, 2022


What Your New Drivers Need to Know When Reporting Trip and Fuel Tax

By Danny Siem, PacLease Fuel Tax Manager

As new truck drivers enter the industry, it is critical they understand what their responsibilities are before and after every trip they make. 

In addition to the pre-trip inspection, drivers must record their odometer at the beginning and the end of a trip, as well as any fuel they put into the vehicle. These data points should be recorded and eventually compiled to complete your company’s fuel taxation paperwork for all the states they drive in.

Here are some tips to consider if you are a new truck driver having to report on your trips and fuel:

Be Consistent

Each company is unique. Each driver is unique. However, recording trips and fuel to file individual state Fuel Taxes should be consistent. Understand your company’s methodology of recording mile and fuel, consider doing the following:

  • Take note of what needs to be recorded.
  • After your first few trips, confirm you are recording things correctly.
  • Keep backups of your receipts and trip logs.

Write Legibly

With newer trucks there is typically a telematics device already installed. But consider maintaining a manual trip log as a backup in case the device is disrupted and is not able to transmit data.

When recording in your trip logbook, ensure that you are writing legibly. Can you or someone else read what was written down? If the report or a receipt is turned in and it is not legible the following events take place:

  • Trips and receipts are returned to the original customer to validate details.
  • Trips are not consistently recorded, or they may not be recorded at all.

If your logbook is legible, it will ensure that you are supporting those needing to record the proper data.

Turn in Logs On Time

Since the filings are for individual states and each state has their own timeline, it is important that trip logs are turned in on time so that the proper filings can be processed. Similar to personal taxes, Fuel Taxes need to be turned in based on the state’s filing schedule. Also, similar to personal taxes, if you file your taxes and discover something else should be recorded you will be required to file an addendum, which creates more rework for those filing your Fuel Tax.

For new truck drivers, data entry clerks or individuals getting into the truck leasing industry, Fuel Tax is an area that tends to be overlooked. However, it is a very important section of your business when you travel over state lines. 

Learn how PacLease helps commercial fleets manage fuel tax compliance, with PacTax fuel tax reporting.  

More information about PacLease Customized Solutions.

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Tags: Analytics | Fleet Management | Insights

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