Fuels Tax Refunds
If you buy fuel that includes tax, but use it in a nontaxable way, you might qualify for a fuels tax refund.
Filing for a refund
- Check your receipts to confirm you paid fuels tax. You must keep complete records to support your refund requests.
- Check that you used the fuel in a nontaxable way. (See "Nontaxable uses of gasoline".)
- File the Form 75 that applies (see below). Your refund claim must cover at least one month, but no longer than 12 months.
- Check to see if you should pay use tax. (See "You might owe use tax," below.)
Bulk storage tank
You can choose one of two ways to calculate your refund claim:
Calculate Idaho tax-paid and nontaxable gallons from your withdrawal records. You can use them for fuel you withdraw from a bulk storage tank or buy from a retail station, cardlock, or bulk plant. Use Form 75-BST, Idaho Fuels Tax Refund Worksheet – Idaho Consumers with Single or Multiple Bulk Storage Tanks.
The records must list:
- The date of each withdrawal
- The number of gallons withdrawn from the single bulk storage tank and placed into a main supply tank
- The equipment or vehicle the withdrawn fuel was put into
Use a predetermined percentage to calculate the nontaxable gallons for your refund claim.
- Apply by filling out and sending in the Request for Authorized Exempt Fuel Percentage form.
- Wait for approval from the Tax Commission.
- Use the percentage when completing Form 75, Idaho Fuels Use Report.
The percentage is valid for three years, as long as there's no change to your operations.
You can't use an authorized percentage if:
- You're licensed under IFTA (International Fuels Tax Agreement), or
- You have non-IFTA motor vehicles and use Form 75-IMV to claim tax refunds for nontaxable use of those vehicles, or
- You have separate storage tanks for undyed and dyed diesel.
Vehicles driven only in Idaho
Use Form 75-IMV, Idaho Fuels Tax Refund Worksheet – Intrastate Motor Vehicles, if:
- You drove your vehicles only in Idaho, and
Use Form 75-IC, Idaho Fuels Tax Refund Worksheet – IFTA Licensees, if:
- You have an International Fuels Tax Agreement (IFTA) license, and
- You used special fuels from the motor vehicle's supply tank to run the vehicle's power take-off equipment or
- You used gasoline or special fuels from the vehicle's supply tank to run an auxiliary engine.
All other requests for refund
Use Form 75, Idaho Fuels Use Report, for any other motor fuel refund requests.
You might owe use tax
When fuel isn't subject to motor fuels tax, it's subject to sales/use tax – unless a sales tax exemption applies. Use tax is a tax on the use or storage of goods in Idaho, including fuels. The use tax rate is the same as the sales tax rate. You can calculate any required use tax on the Form 75, Idaho Fuels Use Report. You can also report use tax on your sales/use tax return if you have a sales permit or on your individual income tax return.
You could owe sales tax if no sales tax exemption applies, and:
- You buy fuel that's sold without fuels tax or
- You buy fuel with fuels tax included and claim a fuels tax refund
To calculate the use tax due:
- Take the total purchase price for fuel times the use tax rate* (*same as the sales tax rate).
- Subtract the Idaho fuels tax rate.
- Subtract the federal fuels tax rate if you're eligible to receive a refund of the federal fuels tax.
Examples of when you might owe use tax:
- Using fuel in unregistered equipment on golf courses, for construction, in landscaping, for well-drilling
- Using leaded high-octane racing fuel
- Receiving a refund on fuel used for power take-off equipment or refrigeration unit
- Receiving a refund on fuel used in a commercial motor boat
- Receiving a refund for diesel used in registered vehicles off-road
When a sales tax exemption might apply
If valid, you don't have to pay use tax for:
- Fuel used in unregistered equipment while working in exempt logging activities
- Fuel used off-highway in a registered logging truck (if fuel is undyed diesel)
- Fuel used in unregistered equipment while working in exempt farming activities
- Fuel used in tax-exempt equipment
- Fuel used in the production process
Heating and cooking
- Fuel used to heat a home, building, or recreational vehicle (no ST-101 required)
- Fuel used for cooking (no ST-101 required)
- If you buy 15 gallons or less at a time (no ST-101 required)
Before I fill out the refund form, is it worth it?
Fuel with the fuels tax included in the price is exempt from sales/use tax. If you claim a refund of the fuels tax, that exemption no longer exists: Use tax is due unless another exemption applies.
You might want to file to claim a refund because this moves the money from fuels tax (funding roads) to sales tax (the general fund, funding schools, etc.).
But you might not want to take the time to file for a refund unless a refund is actually due to you. The chart below shows the net break-even point. That's when the fuels tax refund equals the sales/use tax due.
If no other exemption applies, you'll get a refund if the average price/gallon is less than $5.90 when the fuels tax is $0.32/gallon and the sales tax is 6%.
|Form 75, Section VI||Gasoline||Diesel|
|1) Number of gallons||1||1|
|2) Ave Price/gallon||$5.90||$5.90|
|3) State tax||0.32||0.32|
|4) Fed tax||0.184||0.244|
|5) Base cost/gallon||$5.40||$5.34|
|6) Total subject to use tax||$5.40||$5.34|
|7) Use tax due||$0.32||$0.32|
|Difference between fuels tax refund and use tax due||$0.00||$0.00|