Boaters who pay tax on fuel and use it in recreational boats are able to claim full or partial refund of ‘highway use tax’ according to the terms and regulations of the state from which they purchased the fuel.
About four million gallons of gasoline were consumed in 2001 for non-highway purposes, says a report of Federal Highway Administration. Of this amount, almost 25%, which makes for 993,837 gallons, was used by recreational boaters. Generally, the overall fuel cost also includes a tax for using highway, which totals between 7.5¢/gallon and 30¢/gallon in consonance with the terms structured by individual states.
In many states, fuel tax is charged from boaters for marine activities by the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. However, this money is not utilized for the improvement of marine community; instead, it goes the fund dedicated for highway improvement. Since boats are not responsible for any damage caused to highways, ferries and bridges that are repaired and improved from the highway improvement fund, the application of highway improvement levy on boaters is mostly considered unjust and unjustifiable.
In order to contain criticism on this problem, different states have structured procedures for the full or partial refund of the highway-use tax to boaters who submit the refund-claim while following the required procedure. In an attempt to encourage the members of ABA to claim the fuel tax refund, we have collected some information on how each state has structured its refund-claim procedure.
The state of Alaska charges 8¢/gallon on highway gasoline whereas the tax ration on marine gas is 5¢/gallon. So if you paid highway-tax on gasoline for use in marine activities, you are entitled to submit a claim for the refund of 3¢ difference within a year following the date you purchased the fuel.
The most convenient way to claiming your refund is simply get a form titled “Claim for Refund” downloaded from the website of Alaska Department of Revenue, which is www.tax.state.ak.us/Forms/index.htm. Choose “Motor Fuel Tax” from the drop-down menu and click the template “Claim for Refund”, which is available in both PDF and Excel formats.
Once duly filled, attached the required invoices, and send the file to:
Department of Revenue
PO Box 110420
Juneau AK 99811-0420
In case you need further help, the Department of Revenue can be accessed by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. or by phone at (907) 465-4661
Have you paid the tax on diesel fuel and used it on non-taxable activities? You may get the refund by using the form BOE-770-DU, Diesel Fuel Claim for Refund on Nontaxable Uses and mailing the documents to:
The State Board of Equalization, Fuel Taxes Division
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0030
Phone: (916) 322-9669
You are entitled to filing a refund-claim for taxed-fuel that was used other than highway purposes, provided that you have not obtained a Supplier’s License from the office of State Controller. Use the form Gasoline Tax Refund Claim SCGR-1. Once duly filled, send it to:
State Controller’s Office
Bureau of Tax Administration
P.O. Box 942850
Sacramento, CA 94250-5880
Phone: (916) 322-9695
Connecticut levies a tax on motor fuel. However, if you have purchased 200 or more gallons of diesel fuel or gasoline for recreational boating programs during the last year, you may claim a refund for the tax latest by May 31st 2013.
Download the form from the website of Department of Revenue Services: http://www.ct.gov/drs/lib/drs/forms/2008forms/excise/motorvehiclefuels/au-724.pdf
Fill in the form with required information, enclose either original or a copy of each sale receipt, and send the documents to:
State of Connecticut
Department of Revenue Services
Excise/Public Services Taxes Subdivision
25 Sigourney St
Hartford CT 06106-5032
For further information, you can access the DRS by phone at (860) 541-322 , or Connecticut calls (this facility is only for those who are outside the Greater Hartford area) toll-free at (800) 382-9463.
The Transportation Secretary shall refund you the tax you paid on gasoline out of the state’s General Fund only on the presentation of written authorization receipt issued by the Department of Transportation. Remember the written authority letter shall be issued in line with the given conditions
The refundable gasoline-tax has to be purchased for stationary gas engines, motorboats, tractors, aircrafts, or for other such uses. This excludes motor vehicles that are licensed to be operated on public highways.
You can file a refund claim in Massachusetts if you purchased highway-taxed fuel for use in recreational marine activities. It may be noted that the refund will factor in a 5% use tax. In case of gasoline, you can submit refund papers within six months following the date of purcahse, and for diesel fuel you can do the same within the period of two years starting from the date of purchase.
Download tax forms from the website of Massachusetts Department of Revenue. There you will find two forms:
- Gasoline: Gasoline Tax Refund Application-Watercraft Use; GT-9M
- Diesel: Special Fuels Refund Application; SFT-9
Select the one according to your need, fill in the required information, enclose original invoices, and send the complete file to:
Massachusetts Department of Revenue
PO Box 7012
Boston MA 02204
For more information, the DOR can be reached by phone at (617) 887-6367
Missouri is one of few states that fully refund the fuel tax at the rate of 17¢/gallon, given that you abide by the required guidelines. First of all, get the Motor Fuel Refund Application Form 4924 and submit it with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Remember this application form must be updated regularly every two years, and it has to be filed before the approval of claim request.
Secondly, follow the procedure for filing the refund-claim. For this, get two forms, namely “Motor Fuel Refund Claim” 4923 and “Schedule A-Marine Fuel Purchases by County” 4925. Completely fill in the form and attach all original invoices and sale slips. Submit your application latest by 15th April following the year of purchase date, and you can do the same within a year following the purchase date, but not later than that.
Following are the two methods of obtaining the required refund forms:
- Get it downloaded from the website: http://dor.mo.gov/tax/business/fuel/forms/
- Contact the DOR by phone at (800) 877-6881, and request him to send you the form.
Once duly filled and properly attached with required invoices, mail the documents to:
Missouri Department of Revenue
Division of Taxation and Collection
PO Box 800
Jefferson City MO 65105-0800
Anyone who has purchased taxed fuel can submit a refund request with the Motor Fuels Division of Nebraska Department of Revenue within the period of three years since the date of purchase. The minimum refund amount must not be less than $2. You can file only one refund application each month.
Use the Nebraska Motor Fuels Tax Refund Claim- Form 84. The form is available at: http://www.revenue.ne.gov/fuels/mfforms.html. Read the form carefully and completely as it consists of detailed information on how to calculate the total refundable amount, depending on the tax you paid when purchasing the fuel.
Send the documents to:
Motor Fuels Division
PO Box 98904
Lincoln NE 68509-8904
For further information, contact the Nebraska Motor Fuels Division at (800) 554-3835.
The state Department of Revenue releases a partial refund of the fuel tax paid by recreational boaters. For this, use the form “Claim for Refund-Tax-paid Motor Fuel Used Off-Highway” GAS 1201. You can submit a refund claim only once in a year, and can claim for those taxes paid within the last three years.
You can get this form from the website of NC Department of Revenue: http://www.dor.state.nc.us/downloads/motor.html. Bear in mind 1201 form is year-specific so you must file only the relevant form. You can also download a separate file containing instructions on how to fill in the form and how to file the refund claim.
Mail the completed form along with original receipts to:
North Carolina Department of Revenue
Motor Fuels Tax Division
PO Box 25000
Raleigh NC 27640-0950
For more information, contact the NC Department of Revenue at (919) 733-3409, or use a fax No. (919) 733-8654.
You can file a refund claim of the highway tax you paid on fuel but used it in activities other than highway. However, this claim must be filed within a year, which commences right from the first month of the calendar date following the date of purchase. In Texas, the levy on gasoline and diesel fuel is 20¢, and the refund will deduct (factor in) 2% in the name of distributor’s tax.
Use the form “Texas Claim for Refund of Gasoline or Diesel Fuel Taxes”06-106. This form is available at the Texas Comptroller site: http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/06-forms.html.
Texas does not require you to mail your invoices too along with the claim; however, you must keep original invoices with you for not less than four years so that they can be shown in case an audit is performed.
Send the form to:
Comptroller of Public Accounts
111 E 17th Street
Austin TX 78774-0100
Got some questions? Call the Texas Comptroller’s office at (800) 252-1383 or (512) 463-4600.
The Department of Motor Vehicles issues a full refund of 16¢/gallon for diesel and 17.5¢/gallon for gasoline bought in the state of Virginia but used off the highway in recreational boats or ships. The minimum refundable amount of fuel is five gallons. Also keep in mind that the refund-claim must be submitted within a year from the purchase date.
Use the form Fuels Tax Refund Application, For Fuels Used in Boats and Watercraft – TS21. It is available at the DMV site http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/forms/index.asp, or you can also obtain it by contacting at (804) 497-7100.
Send completed documents to:
Department of Motor Vehicles
Tax Services Refund Section
PO Box 27422
Richmond VA 23269-7422
The Washington State Department of Licensing’s Fuel Tax Section Refunds Unit issues a partial refund of fuel taxes paid by recreational boaters given that the minimum amount of paid tax is $20. For convenience, the state allows the claimers to file their applications annually, quarterly or monthly.
You must get your registration number (WN number), or your refund-claim may not be entertained. Also contact the Refunds Unit at (360) 664-1838, and obtain your Fuel Tax Refund Permit Number. Within a couple of days, you will receive a Form FT-442-073- Claim Form for Refunds of Fuel Tax”. For more information, visit the following link: http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/ftrefunds.html.
Post the duly filled refund-claim application with required invoices to:
Department of Licensing
Fuel Tax Section
PO Box 9228
Olympia WA 98507-9228
The state of Wyoming allows boaters to file a refund-claim of 13¢ of the 14¢ state fuel tax against any fuel used off the highway for boating programs. The minimum refund amount is $15, so if your amount totals less than this, submit your file annually. In case your refundable amount is greater than $15, you can request the refund quarterly.
Download the form from the website of Department of Transportation: http://www.dot.state.wy.us/wydot/business_with_wydot/fuel_tax/off_road_refund. The form is available in both Word and PDF formats; select the one you prefer.
Mail your file along with the required invoices to:
Wyoming Department of Transportation
Fuel Tax Administration
5300 Bishop Blvd
Cheyenne, WY 82009-3340
You can also access the DOT of Wyoming at (307) 777-4826; or send him a fax at (307) 777-4769, or email at email@example.com.