California IFTA Requirements

California IFTA State Tax Overview

- Updated September 10, 2020 - 8.00 AM - Admin, Trucklogics

The State of California is a member of the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA).

Read through this page to explore everything related to the State of California’s registration and renewal process of IFTA.

To offer a comprehensive understanding, we have listed the IFTA reporting requirements, the penalty imposed, and other
important resources.

1. Who is Required To Register for California IFTA?

If you own a qualified motor vehicle in California, you must register for IFTA filing in the state. A qualified motor vehicle is a motor vehicle used, designed, or maintained to transport persons or property having:

  • Two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms; or
  • Having three or more axles regardless of weight; or
  • It is used in combination when the weight of such combination exceeds 26,000 pounds or 11,797 kilograms gross vehicle or registered gross vehicle weight.

Qualified Motor Vehicles do not include recreational vehicles unless they are used in conjunction with any business endeavor. Recreational vehicles are vehicles such as motor homes, pickup trucks with attached campers, and buses used exclusively for personal pleasure by an individual.

2. How do I Apply for New California IFTA Fuel Tax Accounts?

You can apply online for your California IFTA license. You will receive temporary credentials immediately if the application is completed accurately. Incomplete applications will be returned, which will delay processing. There is a $10 annual fee + $2.00 for each set of decals. You will need one set per qualified vehicle. Credentials will be mailed within 24 hours, and you should receive them within 5-7 business days.

3. How do I Renewal my IFTA accounts

Renewals can be completed by mail.

4. When is the due date to file Quarterly California IFTA Returns?

A California quarterly IFTA return must be filed by the due date:

California Reporting Periods California IFTA Filing Deadlines
January - March April 30
April - June July 31
July - September October 31
October - December January 31

* If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, the next business day is considered the tax reporting filing due date.

Note: A California IFTA fuel tax report must be filed even if no fuel was used.

5. California IFTA Penalties

A late penalty of $50 or 10% of the net tax liability, whichever is greater, is assessed on returns received after the filing deadline. Interest is computed on all delinquent taxes due to each jurisdiction at a rate of
1% per month. Even if you have a net refund, interest still applies to each jurisdiction for any underpayment of fuels use tax due and is calculated beginning the day after the due date of the return for each month, or fraction of a month, until paid.

6. California IFTA Audits

IFTA California audits are used to verify compliance, and base jurisdictions must audit 3% of the IFTA accounts in their state per year. The licensee will be contacted in writing at least 30 days prior to the audit and must make the required records available at the time of the audit. IFTA Audits are never fun, but keeping detailed records that include all required information will take the stress out of the audit process.

Filing California IFTA fuel tax can be tedious and time-consuming. For more details, see or let us take the paperwork out of your way by using our California Quarterly IFTA Filing Services! Our quarterly filing packages start at $75. (Contact us for multiple vehicle pricing.)

7. Choose TruckLogics for generating IFTA Reports & managing your business efficiently

The efficient method to stay organized and maintain compliance is with the expertise of cloud-based trucking management software.

All aspects of your business, such as managing dispatches, expenses, invoices, and generating IFTA Reports, can all be handled in one place.

Access our resource center for more information about tax relief due to COVID-19. Visit Now


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