What are the definitions of "general aviation", "person", and "licensee"?
General aviation fuel - Products placed in the fuel supply tank of an aircraft suitable for generating power to propel the aircraft. Examples of aviation fuel are products commonly or commercially known as aviation gasoline (avgas), jet turbine fuel (kerosene), and unleaded gasoline (mogas) [sec. 78.55(3), Wis. Stats.].
Person - Includes any individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation, or association. A single-owner entity that is disregarded as a separate entity under ch. 71 is disregarded as a separate entity for purposes of this subchapter. [sec. 78.55(5p), Wis. Stats.].
Licensee - A person who holds a general aviation fuel tax license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
What is the tax rate on general aviation fuel?
The excise tax on general aviation fuel is 6¢ per gallon [sec. 78.555, Wis. Stats.].
Inventory tax - Currently there is no statutory authority to impose an inventory tax on general aviation fuel if the tax rate were to change.
Tax on unleaded automobile gas placed in small planes - Small planes are often powered by the same unleaded gasoline that is placed in the family car.
Section 78.01(2)(f), Wis. Stats., allows a general aviation fuel dealer to purchase gasoline from a motor vehicle fuel supplier in amounts of 100 gallons or more without paying the 30.9¢ per gallon motor vehicle fuel tax. The licensed general aviation fuel dealer bills customers the 6¢ per gallon general aviation fuel tax on the unleaded gas placed in small planes and then remits the tax to the Department of Revenue.
Who must obtain a general aviation fuel tax license?
You must obtain a general aviation fuel tax license if you deliver aviation fuel into either the supply tank of an aircraft or the bulk storage tank of someone who will put the aviation fuel into the supply tank of an aircraft [sec. 78.56, Wis. Stats.].
To obtain a fuel license you must hold a Business Tax Registration (BTR) Certificate [sec. 73.03(50), Wis. Stats.]. The BTR certificate and general aviation fuel license are issued by the Excise Tax Unit in Madison, (608) 266-6701.
There is no charge for the fuel license. However, there is a one-time $20 charge for the BTR certificate, with a $10 renewal fee every two years. The BTR certificate and general aviation fuel license are valid until canceled by the licensee or revoked by the department [sec. 78.57, Wis. Stats.]. A person need only obtain one BTR certificate regardless of the number of licenses or permits held with the Department.
Security required - The department may require persons who are responsible for paying the general aviation fuel tax to have security (e.g., cash, bond) on file. The amount of security cannot exceed three times a licensee's average monthly liability for general aviation tax [sec. 78.57(9), Wis. Stats.].
Revocation of fuel licenses - It is very important that licensees file their reports timely and pay any amount owing. Licensees with poor filing and/or payment records may have their licenses revoked by the department.
Who pays the general aviation fuel tax?
The Wisconsin general aviation fuel tax is imposed on all aviation fuel sold, used, or distributed in Wisconsin, with the
exceptions noted below. The general aviation fuel tax is payable by the following persons who must be licensed by the department (and any non-licensed person who uses nontaxed general aviation fuel in a taxable manner) [secs. 78.55 and
78.56, Wis. Stats.]:
- Fuel "dealers" who make bulk deliveries of aviation fuel to persons who are not licensed as general aviation fuel dealers with the department.
- Fuel "dealers" who place aviation fuel into the supply tanks of aircraft owned by others.
- Fuel "dealers" who place aviation fuel into aircraft owned by others as well as their own aircraft.
- Fuel "users" who place aviation fuel into supply tanks of their own aircraft. Generally fuel users do not need a general aviation fuel license because they pay the aviation fuel tax to their suppliers. However, users who want to purchase automobile gasoline tax-exempt from fuel suppliers must obtain a general aviation fuel license, and are then responsible for remitting the aviation fuel tax to the department. Only dealers
not "users" can fuel aircraft owned or operated by others.
The term "aircraft" means any contrivance, except those owned by an air carrier company, used or designed for navigation or flight in air.
An "air carrier company" is any person, association, company, or corporation that engages in the business of transporting persons and/or property on regularly scheduled flights [sec. 76.02(1), Wis. Stats.].
When is the general aviation fuel tax paid?
The general aviation fuel tax is paid with a monthly report, Form MF-011 [sec. 78.58, Wis. Stats.]. Persons with a tax liability of less than $500 per quarter can receive approval from the department to file and pay the aviation tax on a quarterly basis.
EFT tax payments - Taxes can be paid to the department by electronic funds transfer (EFT). Information about paying by EFT can be obtained from the
Electronic Funds Transfer page or by calling (608) 264-9918.
How are the general aviation fuel tax reports filed?
All general aviation fuel tax reports are required to be filed electronically on
My Tax Account.
The Secretary of Revenue may waive the requirement to file electronically if the Secretary determines that the requirement causes an undue hardship. To request a waiver a person does all of the following:
- Requests the waiver in writing. Written requests should be addressed to Excise Tax Unit, Mandate Waiver Request, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, PO Box 8900, Madison, WI 53708-8900.
- Clearly indicates why the requirement causes an undue hardship. In determining whether the requirement to file electronically causes an undue hardship, the Secretary of Revenue may consider the following factors:
- Unusual circumstances that may prevent the person from filing electronically.
Example: The person does not have access to a computer that is connected to the Internet.
- Any other factor that the Secretary determines is pertinent.
If you have questions regarding this matter, contact DOR at (608) 266-6701 or email
When are the general aviation fuel tax reports due?
All reports are due no later than the 20th day of the month following the period (month or quarter) covered by the report [sec. 78.58, Wis. Stats.]. For example, a report for October is due November 20.
Late-filed reports are subject to the following charges:
There are no extensions of time granted if you are unable to file a general aviation fuel tax report and pay any amount owing by the due date.
Are any fuel sales exempt from the general aviation fuel tax?
The general aviation fuel tax is not imposed upon the following [secs. 78.55(4) and (5), Wis. Stats.]:
- Aviation fuel sold to the United States government or its agencies (e.g., Armed Forces, U.S. Postal Service).
- Aviation fuel used by air carrier companies. (Air carrier companies are exempt from the Wisconsin general aviation fuel tax because they are taxed as public utilities under Chapter 76 of the Wisconsin Statutes.) Air carriers must provide dealers with a Certificate of Exemption (Form MF-208) in order to purchase aviation fuel tax-exempt.
- Liquefied propane gas (LPG) used to heat the air in a hot air balloon. The wind, not the LP gas, propels the balloon and, therefore, the LP gas is not subject to the Wisconsin fuel tax.
Who may receive a refund of general aviation fuel tax paid?
Unlike many other Wisconsin excise and occupational taxes, there are no refund or credit provisions in the general aviation fuel tax law.
How do I correct a general aviation fuel tax report that I previously filed?
All general aviation fuel tax reports and returns, including amended returns, are required to be filed electronically with the department (see question #6). If you are filing an amended return, you must file a true, corrected and complete return, including all previously reported unchanged transactions. Do not file a return that only reports the changes.
Am I subject to interest or penalties if I file an incorrect general aviation fuel tax report?
Yes, the following interest and discretionary penalties may be applied when you file incorrect general aviation fuel tax reports:
- Unpaid taxes bear interest at the rate of 12% per year [sec. 78.68(1), Wis. Stats.].
- Refunded taxes bear interest at the rate of 3% per year [sec. 78.68(1), Wis. Stats.].
- Negligence penalty of 25% of the tax is imposed if there was negligence in filing a report [sec. 78.68(3), Wis. Stats.].
- Fraud penalty of 50% of the tax is imposed if there was intent to defeat or evade the general aviation fuel tax [sec. 78.68(5), Wis. Stats.].
Should I notify the Department of Revenue if the business has a change to its name, address, or ownership or if the business ceases operating in Wisconsin?
You must notify the Department of Revenue when your business has any change to its name, address, or ownership or when you cease operating in Wisconsin. You can notify the department by letter or attach a note to your report. If your name or ownership changes and you receive a different federal employer identification number (FEIN), you must file a new application with the department and update your security. When you cease operations, you must be sure to file a report for the last month (or quarter) of operations even if you were in business only a few days during that period. Contact us at (608) 266-6701 or email
DORExciseTaxpayerAssistance@wisconsin.gov if you have any questions about your general aviation fuel tax license.
What records should I keep for Wisconsin tax purposes, and how long should I keep them?
Keep a complete copy of your general aviation fuel tax reports and all records pertaining to your business for at least 4 years so the department can determine how you computed your tax liabilities [secs. 78.66 and
78.70(7), Wis. Stats.]. The required records include, but are not limited to, purchases and sales receipts (whether taxable or exempt), inventories, distribution, and consumption of products. Your records must be kept in a place and manner easily accessible for review by department representatives. When records are not maintained, the department presumes that all products you purchase or receive are subject to tax without benefit of any deductions.
This document provides statements or interpretations of the following laws and regulations enacted as of October 20, 2020: Sections 73.03, 76.02, 78.005, 78.01, 78.55, 78.555, 78.56, 78.57, 78.58, 78.65, 78.66, 78.68 and 78.70, Wis. Stats., and secs. Tax 4.001, 4.54 and 4.55, Wis. Adm. Code.
Laws enacted and in effect after October 20, 2020, new administrative rules, and court decisions may change the interpretations in this document. Guidance issued prior to October 20, 2020, that is contrary to the information in this document is superseded by this document, pursuant to sec. 73.16(2)(a), Wis. Stats.
Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Excise Tax Unit
PO Box 8900
Madison, WI 53708-8900
Phone: (608) 266-6701
Fax: (608) 261-7049