- What are the definitions of "petroleum inspection fee", "petroleum products", "person", "licensee" and "motor vehicle fuel supplier"?
The petroleum inspection fee is due on all petroleum products. This inspection fee is collected to assist in petroleum products cleanup. The fee is 2¢ per gallon on most petroleum products. There is a separate summary that discusses the petroleum inspection law.
- Petroleum products - Gasoline, gasoline-alcohol fuel blends, kerosene, fuel oil, burner oil, and diesel fuel oil [sec. 168.01(3), Wis. Stats.]. The definition does not include compressed natural gas (CNG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) or liquefied propane gas (LPG) and, therefore, the fee is not imposed on these fuels.
- 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. 139.30(8p), Wis. Stats.].
- Licensee - A person who holds a petroleum products shipper license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue.
- Motor vehicle fuel supplier - A person who holds a motor vehicle fuel tax license issued by the Wisconsin Department of Revenue. A separate summary discusses Wisconsin's motor vehicle fuel tax law.
- What is the inspection fee on petroleum products?
The inspection fee is 2¢ per gallon [sec. 168.12(1), Wis. Stats.].
- Who must obtain a petroleum products shipper license?
You must obtain a petroleum products shipper license if you act as a supplier of petroleum products in Wisconsin unless:
- You are already licensed as a motor vehicle fuel supplier, or
- You are not required to be licensed as a motor vehicle fuel supplier and pay the petroleum inspection fee to your supplier. [Section 168.12(7), Wis. Stats.]
Persons who want a petroleum products shipper license must hold a Business Tax Registration (BTR) Certificate [sec. 73.03(50), Wis. Stats.]. The BTR certificate and shipper license are issued by the Excise Tax Unit in Madison, (608) 266-6701. There is no charge for the petroleum products shipper license. However, there is a $20 registration fee for the BTR certificate. The certificate is renewable every two years for $10. The BTR certificate and shipper license are valid until canceled by the licensee or revoked by the department [sec. 78.10, 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 petroleum inspection fee to have security (e.g., cash, bond) on file. The amount of security cannot exceed three times a licensee's average monthly inspection fee liability [sec. 168.12(8), Wis. Stats.].
- Who pays the petroleum inspection fee?
The licensed motor vehicle fuel supplier and licensed petroleum products shipper pay the fee to the department based on terminal receipts (withdrawals from a Wisconsin pipeline terminal when metered out at the terminal rack) or imports into Wisconsin [secs. 168.12(1) and 78.07, Wis. Stats.]. The fee is also payable by anyone who uses or possesses petroleum products in Wisconsin subject to the fee but on which the fee has not been paid [secs. 168.125 and 78.12(3), Wis. Stats.].
- How is the petroleum inspection fee paid?
The inspection fee must be paid by electronic funds transfer (EFT) to the department's depository bank [secs. 168.125 and 78.12(5)(b), Wis. Stats.]. The fee and any fuel tax owing should be combined and only one payment made by EFT. Information about paying by EFT can be obtained from the Electronic Funds Transfer page or by calling (608) 264-9918.
- When is the petroleum inspection fee due?
The petroleum inspection fee is due 15 days after the close of the month [secs. 168.125 and 78.12(5)(a), Wis. Stats.]. For example, fees owing for October are due November 15; however, the monthly report is not due until November 30 (see the question When are the monthly fuel supplier's reports due? below).
- How are the monthly fuel supplier's reports filed?
All motor fuel tax reports are required to be filed electronically.
Form MF-002, Wisconsin Combined Monthly Fuel Summary Report, can be filed either on My Tax Account or by an approved xml schema. Get more information on our Using My Tax Account - Business Users. Information on xml schema can be found at Motor Fuel Tax e-File (XML).
- When are the monthly fuel supplier's reports due?
All reports are due on the last day of the month following the month covered by the report [secs. 168.125 and 78.12(2) and (3), Wis. Stats.]. For example, a report for October is due November 30. However, the petroleum inspection fee is due November 15 (see the question When is the petroleum inspection fee due? above).
Late-filed reports are subject to the following charges:
- Are any petroleum products exempt from the petroleum inspection fee?
The petroleum inspection fee is not imposed upon the following:
- Petroleum products sold to the United States government or its agencies (e.g., Armed Forces, Red Cross).
- Petroleum products transferred to and between tax-free terminal storage [sec. 168.12(1g), Wis. Stats.].
- Petroleum products exported from Wisconsin [sec. 168.12(1r), Wis. Stats.].
- The first 1,000 gallons of renewable fuel produced or converted from another purpose each year by an individual and used by that individual in his or her personal motor vehicle provided the individual does not sell any such renewable fuel during that year. [sec. 168.12 (2), Wis. Stats.].
- Who may receive a refund of the petroleum inspection fee paid?
- Fuel Vendors
A petroleum products shipper who is licensed with the department may claim a deduction for exempt sales on the monthly fuel supplier's reports required to be filed with the department. However, fuel vendors who are not required to be licensed with the department either as a motor vehicle fuel supplier or a petroleum products shipper occasionally sell petroleum products exempt from the petroleum inspection fee (for example, aviation fuel sold to the National Guard, an agency of the United States government). These vendors should register with the department (Form MF-112) and then file refund claims (Form MF-012) for the inspection fee they pay suppliers on fuel which the vendors subsequently sell exempt from the fee. Vendors must keep records documenting exempt sales. Refund claims must be filed within four years from the date fuel is purchased. Contact DOR at (608) 266-6701 for additional information.
- General Aviation Fuel Allowance [sec. 168.12(6), Wis. Stats.]
Persons who purchase more than 1 million gallons of aviation fuel in Wisconsin during a month can apply for a petroleum inspection fee refund of 2¢ for each gallon purchased in excess of 1 million gallons during the month. The allowance may not be claimed by persons who purchase aviation fuel for resale. Contact DOR at (608) 266-6701 for additional information.
- How do I correct a fuel supplier's report that I previously filed?
All motor vehicle fuel tax reports and returns, including amended returns, are required to be filed electronically with the department (see question #7).
Form MF-002 - file an amended report to reflect the adjustments to a previously filed report. Pay any additional amount owing by EFT.
- Am I subject to interest or penalties if I file an incorrect fuel supplier's report?
The following interest and discretionary penalties may be applied when you file incorrect monthly reports:
- Unpaid fees bear interest at the rate of 12% per year [secs. 168.12(9) and 78.68(1), Wis. Stats.].
- Refunded fees bear interest at the rate of 3% per year [secs. 168.12(9) and 78.68(1), Wis. Stats.].
- Negligence penalty of 25% of the fee is imposed if there is negligence in filing a report [secs. 168.12(9) and 78.68(3), Wis. Stats.].
- Fraud penalty of 50% of the fee is imposed if there was intent to defeat or evade the petroleum inspection fee [secs. 168.12(9) and 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?
Yes, you must notify the department 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 change, or you receive a new Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), you must file a new application with the department and update your security. When you cease operations, you must file a report for the last month of operation even if you were in business only a few days during that period. Call (608) 266-6701 if you have any questions about your petroleum products shipper license.
- What records should I keep for Wisconsin tax purposes, and how long should I keep them?
You must keep a complete copy of your motor vehicle fuel tax reports and all records pertaining to your business for at least four years so the department can verify your petroleum inspection fee liabilities [secs. 168.13, 78.66, and 78.70(7), Wis. Stats.]. The required records include, but are not limited to, your 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 purchased or received are subject to the petroleum inspection fee without benefit of any deductions.
- How can I obtain additional information or forms relating to the petroleum inspection fee?
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
Excise Tax Unit
WISCONSIN DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE
PO Box 8900
Madison, WI 53708-8900
Phone: (608) 266-6701
Fax: (608) 261-7049
Email additional questions to DORExciseTaxpayerAssistance@wisconsin.gov