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Fuel Tax Refund Information Program

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Recreational boaters who purchase taxed fuel for use in their boats may be able to get a refund of all or part of that 'highway use tax' depending on the state in which the fuel was purchased.

According to the Federal Highway Administration, almost 4 million gallons of gasoline were used for non-highway purposes in 2001. Of this, almost 25% (993,837 gallons) was used in marine activities. The cost of this fuel generally includes a highway use tax of anywhere from 7.5¢/gallon to close to 30¢/gallon depending on the state.

Many states apply the tax on marine fuel towards boating programs through the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. But in other states the money does not get funneled into the marine community, and instead is put into the highway improvement fund. Since boats don't cause wear and tear on the highways, bridges, and ferries that benefit from that fund, applying marine fuel tax towards the highway improvement fund is widely viewed as unfair.

To deal with the problem, several states have instituted procedures to refund at least part of the tax to recreational boaters who take the time to fill out the required paperwork and provide receipts as needed. To encourage ABA members to get the refund to which they are entitled, we've compiled basic information on the procedures for each participating state. Most of the state forms include detailed instructions; be sure to read them carefully.

Alaska

Highway gasoline is taxed at a rate of 8¢/gallon in Alaska. Marine gas is taxed at 5¢/gallon. If you use taxed highway gasoline for marine purposes, you can claim a refund for the 3¢ difference for gas purchased within the past year.

The easiest way to claim a refund is by downloading a "Claim for Refund" from the Alaska Department of Revenue web site at www.tax.alaska.gov/programs/forms.aspx. In the pull down menu, select "Motor Fuel Tax". Then select the "Claim for Refund Template" (in either PDF or Excel format).

Fill in the required information, attaching the appropriate schedules and original invoices. Mail the documents to:

Department of Revenue
Tax Division
PO Box 110420
Juneau AK 99811-0420

If you need help, contact the Department of Revenue by phone at (907) 465-4661 or by e-mail at motorfuel@revenue.state.ak.us.

California

If you pay tax on diesel fuel and use it in a nontaxable way, you may file a claim for refund using form BOE-770-DU, Diesel Fuel Claim for Refund on Nontaxable Uses and mail it to:

The State Board of Equalization, Fuel Taxes Division
P.O. Box 942879
Sacramento, CA 94279-0030
Phone (916) 322-9669

You may claim a refund for tax-paid fuel which you use off the highway if you are not a licensed Supplier with the State Controller’s Office. Information (including Gasoline Tax Refund Claim form can be found at www.sco.ca.gov/ardtax_gas_tax.html. Send your completed forms to:

State Controller’s Office
Bureau of Tax Administration
P.O. Box 942850
Sacramento, CA 94250-5880
Phone: (916) 322-9695

Connecticut

Connecticut applies a tax to motor fuel.  If you used more than 200 gallons of gasoline or diesel fuel during last year for recreational boating, you may apply for a partial refund of that tax before May 31st of this year.

Print the form (AU-724) at the Department of Revenue Services' website at http://www.ct.gov/drs/cwp/view.asp?a=1509&q=449724#mvftr.

Once completed, attach either a copy or the original of each invoice and mail the forms to:

State of Connecticut
Department of Revenue Services
Excise/Public Services Taxes Subdivision
25 Sigourney St
Hartford CT 06106-5032

If you have questions, call the DRS at (860) 541-3224, or Connecticut calls (outside the Greater Hartford calling area only) toll-free at (800) 382-9463.

Delaware

Delaware Gasoline Refund Law, Obtained From Title 30 Delaware Code

§ 5120. Refunds of motor fuel taxes.

(a) The Secretary of Transportation shall refund out of the General Fund of this State the tax paid on gasoline upon receipt of written authorization from the Department of Transportation so to do, which written authorization shall be given under the following conditions:

(1) Gasoline used by any person for the purpose of operating stationary gas engines, tractors, motorboats, airplanes or aircrafts, or any other purpose except in motor vehicles licensed, or subject to being licensed, for operation upon any of the public highways of the State.

Click here to link to the application for the motor fuel refund.

Massachusetts

If you purchase highway fuel in Massachusetts for use in your boat, you can claim a refund on the gas tax. The refund will factor in a 5% use tax. You must file the claim within 6 months after the purchase date of gasoline, or within two years of the purchase date of diesel fuel.

Go to the Massachusetts Department of Revenue website page for tax forms. Select the form you want to use:

  • Gasoline: GT-9M (Gasoline Tax Refund Application-Watercraft Use)
  • Diesel: SFT-9 (Special Fuels Refund Application).

Attach original purchase invoices to the completed form and mail the documents to:

Massachusetts Department of Revenue
PO Box 7012
Boston MA 02204

If you have questions, call the DOR at (617) 887-6367, or toll-free from within Massachusetts at (800) 392-6089.

Missouri

Missouri will refund the fuel tax if you follow the correct procedures. First, file the Motor Fuel Refund Application Form 4924 with the Missouri Department of Revenue. This application needs to be updated every two years, and must be on file before a claim will be honored.

To apply for a refund, send in completed form 4923 ("Motor Fuel Refund Claim"), and 4925 ("Schedule A-Marine Fuel Purchases by County") along with all the original invoices or sales slips. You must apply within one year from the date of purchase, or April 15th following the year of purchase, whichever is later.

You can get the required forms through any of these methods:

Mail the documents to:

Missouri Department of Revenue
Division of Taxation and Collection
PO Box 800
Jefferson City MO 65105-0800

Nebraska

Any person requesting a refund of taxes paid can file a claim with the Nebraska Department of Revenue's Motor Fuels Division within three years of the payment of the tax. The refund must be for at least $25 per fuel type, per year.

File a claim using Form 84-Nebraska Motor Fuels Tax Refund Claim. You can print out this form from the Nebraska revenue web site http://www.revenue.ne.gov/fuels/mfforms.html. Instructions on the form help you calculate the amount of the refund based on the tax at the time of the sale.

Mail the form and invoice documentation to:

Motor Fuels Division
PO Box 98904
Lincoln NE 68509-8904

If you have questions, call the Nebraska Motor Fuels Division at (800) 554-3835.

North Carolina

North Carolina's Department of Revenue will refund a portion of the tax paid to those recreational boaters who apply using form GAS 1201 ("Claim for Refund-Tax-paid Motor Fuel Used Off-Highway"). You should file a claim annually providing original receipts. You may file for purchases made three years back.

The forms are available on the NC Department of Revenue site http://www.dor.state.nc.us/downloads/motor.html. Form 1201 is year-specific, so be sure to download the appropriate form. The instructions are included in a separate document that you should print out and read carefully.

Mail the claim form and original invoices to:

North Carolina Department of Revenue
Motor Fuels Tax Division
PO Box 25000
Raleigh NC 27640-0950

If you have questions, call the NC Department of Revenue at (919) 733-3409, or send a fax to (919) 733-8654.

Texas

You can request a refund for taxes paid on gasoline used solely for off-highway purposes. See http://window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/refunds/refunds_fuels.html for further information.

To request a refund use Comptroller form 06-106 "Texas Claim for Refund of Gasoline or Diesel Fuel Taxes" from the Texas Comptroller web site  http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/06-forms.html.

Invoices should not be mailed in with the claim form, but should be kept for four years in case an audit is performed.

Mail the form to:

Comptroller of Public Accounts
111 E 17th Street
Austin TX 78774-0100

If you have questions, contact the Texas Comptroller's office at (800) 252-1383 or (512) 463-4600.

Virginia

Virginia's Department of Motor Vehicles will provide a refund of the tax paid for gasoline and/or diesel purchased in Virginia and used in a recreational or pleasure boat or ship. Each receipt must be for at least five gallons, and the claim must be filed within 12 months from the date the fuel was purchased.

To apply, complete Form TS217 - Fuels Tax Refund Application, For Fuels Used in Boats and Watercraft. The form can be downloaded from the DMV site http://www.dmv.state.va.us/webdoc/forms/index.asp, or can be obtained by calling (804) 497-7100.

Mail documentation to:

Department of Motor Vehicles
Tax Services Refund Section
PO Box 27422
Richmond VA 23269-7422

Washington

Boaters who bought at least 54 gallons of Washington tax-paid fuel taxes in the past 13 months can request a partial refund of those taxes if they file with the Washington State Department of Licensing's Fuel Tax Section Refunds Unit.  The claim may be filed monthly, quarterly, or annually.

To file a claim, have your current registration number (WN number) on hand and call the Refunds Unit at (360) 664-1838 to request a Fuel Tax Refund Permit Number. You will be mailed a "Claim Form for Refunds of Fuel Tax" (Form FT-442-073) along with an ID card. See http://www.dol.wa.gov/vehicleregistration/ftrefunds.html for further information.

Mail the completed claim form along with the original of each invoice to:

Department of Licensing
Fuel Tax Section
Refunds Unit
PO Box 9228
Olympia WA 98507-9228

ABA members can click here to find marinas offering discounts on fuel and other products and services through the Marina Alliance Program.

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ABA neither assumes any responsibility for the accuracy of the above information, nor any liability arising out of reliance upon it. It is strongly advised that you contact your state to confirm the above information in the event of any updates or changes before proceeding.

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