Intro (It's NOT About The Fuel Tax)
Welcome to this course!
Believe it or not, this course isn't about "Fuel Tax", well it is, BUT it's only about fuel tax, because that's what you need to understand in order to learn how to buy the least expensive fuel possible every time. I don't really care about fuel tax, and you don't need to either. Just like you don't NEED to know how to read a paper map to use a GPS. However, it's a really good idea to understand basic routing concepts before you trust the technology.
This course is designed to help you understand how the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) fuel tax system works. Before we go any further, I want you to understand why you need to understand this information. It's not so that you can fill out your own IFTA tax returns, although you will be able to do that. It's not about saving any money on fuel tax itself. You can't really do that anyway. It is about one thing, one really important thing. If you understand how the IFTA system works, you will then understand how to properly decide where to buy your fuel to get the lowest possible fuel price. You can save thousands of dollars a year in fuel cost if you understand how to determine the lowest fuel price on each trip.
I know, you're probably saying to yourself, "What is this guy talking about? I know how much I pay for fuel, it says it right on the sign. I can see from the highway and it's all over my receipts." That my friend is exactly why you need this course. The price you see on the sign and on your receipt is NOT how much you pay for the fuel. That price includes both fuel AND fuel tax, that's where the problem begins. Every state has a different fuel tax rate, so trying to compare fuel prices becomes very difficult.
Most owner-operators and even large fleets, are not taking the time to understand the system and buying fuel properly. That is a huge mistake, it only takes a couple of minutes each trip to plan your fuel purchases in order to get the very best fuel price every time.
I have been teaching this concept since the late 1980s when IFTA was adopted by all 48 states and the Canadian provinces. Alaska, Hawaii, and the Canadian territories do not participate in IFTA. Prior to 1986, you had to file a fuel tax report with every state you operated in. Now, you file one IFTA return and list miles driven and fuel purchases for all states on one return. It really cut down on paperwork, BUT it did much more than that. Under the old system if you overpaid fuel tax to a state it was next to impossible to get it back. That led smart owner-operators to buy just enough fuel in each state to cover their fuel tax without overbuying in any one state. This was a very inefficient system and also caused owner-operators to pay more for fuel than they needed to.
IFTA is a good thing, a really good thing, BUT, only if you understand how the system works. By the end of this course you will have a full understanding of how the system works and how to make it work for you.
I know it's been 30 years, but I still hear owner-operators say that you should buy enough fuel in each state to cover the tax. Let me be very clear, that is absolutely the WRONG way to buy fuel. You also don't want to base your decisions on the price you see at the pump AND you don't want to just randomly buy fuel wherever you happen to be when you need some.
So let's get to it! Here is my promise to you: If you work through this course, by the end you will say, "Duh, that's simple!" Yes it is, once you get it. But more importantly, by the end of the course you will know exactly how to save thousands of dollars in fuel cost every year.
At the end of the course I will show you technology that will "Press the Easy Button" on buying fuel and do all of the heavy lifting for you. DON'T skip ahead, you really need to understand the concepts first. Just like you should know how to read a map before using GPS. You should understand these concepts before I show you the awesome technology to do it for you!