Government Fleet Top News

Fuel Excise Tax Uncertainties Continue

December 29, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Uncertainty continues as a result of recent Congressional action that threatens the ability of government and educational fleets to use fleet credit card companies to recover the gasoline excise tax, according to the National Association of Fleet Administrators (NAFA).On December 20, NAFA representatives met with oil companies and credit card companies to discuss long-term solutions and stop-gap measures. The oil companies advise that beginning January 1, they will no longer process refund claims on behalf of tax-exempt fleets. This is because guidance that is expected to be issued any day by the Internal Revenue Service will allow current dealers presently registered as diesel fuel "ultimate vendors" to be grandfathered in as gasoline ultimate vendors. According to the oil companies, they cannot know by January 1 which dealers are registered and which are not. Therefore, they will have to charge tax on gasoline sales to tax exempts. This very same uncertainty could limit the ability of a tax-exempt fleet to file for a refund directly.At a meeting with Treasury Department officials, NAFA, along with others, requested that the draft guidance be pulled. In lieu of that guidance, stakeholders urged Treasury to issue guidance that will enable current practices and commercial arrangements to continue. NAFA's tax-exempt members will be notified by a special e-mail alert just as soon as the Treasury Department acts.

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