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Motor Fuel Tax
2015 Annual Report


Motor Fuel Tax Reports
End Year



AS 43.40

Description

Alaska levies a motor fuel tax on motor fuel sold, transferred, or used within Alaska. The Department of Revenue’s Tax Division collects motor fuel taxes primarily from wholesalers and distributors that hold “qualified dealer” licenses issued by the division.

Rates

Fuel TypeRate/Gallon
Highway$0.08
Marine$0.05
Aviation Gasoline$0.047
Jet Fuel$0.032

Returns

Taxpayers file returns and make payments monthly. There are four separate returns: diesel, gasoline, aviation, and gasohol. The due date is the last day of the month following the month of sale or taxable use. Taxpayers may deduct 1% of the tax due, limited to a maximum of $100 per return, as a credit for timely filing to cover the expense of accounting and filing the monthly return.

Refunds

Consumers may claim a refund for the full tax rate if the consumer paid the full tax rate at the time of purchase and then used the fuel for exempt purposes. Consumers may also claim a partial refund of the tax if a higher rate was paid at the time of purchase or if the consumer used the fuel for partially exempt purposes.

Resellers, usually retailers, may claim a refund for the full tax if the reseller paid the tax, and then sold the fuel for exempt use and did not collect the tax.

Exemptions

In addition to sales between qualified dealers, the following sales and uses are exempt from motor fuel tax: heating, federal, state, and local government agencies, foreign flights (jet fuel), exports, charitable institutions, bunker fuel (residual fuel oil or #6 fuel oil).

Disposition of Revenue

The division deposits revenue derived from motor fuel taxes into the General Fund. Revenue from each category of fuel is accounted for separately in the division’s tax accounting system. For example, proceeds from tax on motor fuel used in boats and watercraft are deposited in a special watercraft fuel tax account and proceeds from tax on motor fuel used in highway vehicles are deposited in a special highway fuel tax account within the General Fund.

The division shares with the respective municipalities 60% of taxes attributable to aviation fuel sales at municipally owned or operated airports. All other proceeds of the taxes on aviation fuel are deposited into a special aviation fuel tax account.

History

The motor fuel tax dates back to 1945 when the Territorial Legislature imposed a tax of $0.01 per gallon on all motor fuel. Over time, the Alaska Legislature enacted separate tax rates for each of the fuel types as they exist today. The Legislature has also changed tax rates through the years.

1994 – The Legislature enacted a tax decrease for bunker fuel. The tax rate decreases from $0.05 to $0.01 per gallon on bunker fuel sales exceeding 4.1 million gallons. The tax decrease expired on June 30, 1998.

1997 – The Legislature repealed the gasohol exemption. The Legislature enacted a provision that reduces the tax on gasohol from $0.08 to $0.02 per gallon in areas and at times when the use of gasohol is required. However, gasohol has not been required since the winter of 2002-2003 and gasohol is currently taxed at the full tax rate of $0.08 per gallon.

Legislation was also passed that fully exempted gasohol blended with at least 10% alcohol derived from wood or seafood waste. The legislation expired on June 30, 2004.

The Legislature expanded the foreign flight exemption to include flights originating from foreign countries in addition to the existing exemption for flights with a foreign destination. The legislation included a permanent exemption for bunker fuel (residual fuel oil known as #6 fuel oil), which nullified the 1994 bunker fuel tax rate reduction.

1998 – The Legislature authorized taxpayers to take a “bad debt” credit for sales deemed to be worthless and for sales to persons who filed bankruptcy. The provision expired July 1, 2008.

2003 – The Legislature enacted legislation that made it easier for the state to issue motor fuel excise tax refunds for credit card purchases made by federal, state, and local government agencies.

2004 – The provision that exempted gasohol blended with at least 10% alcohol derived from wood or seafood waste from the motor fuel tax expired on June 30, 2004. Currently all gasohol is taxed at the rate of $0.08 per gallon.

2008 – In special session, the Legislature suspended the motor fuel tax on all fuel types effective Sept. 1, 2008, through Aug. 31, 2009.

2009 – Motor fuel distributors were required to file monthly reports of all fuel sales during the period of suspension. The motor fuel tax was reinstated effective Sept. 1, 2009.



Note:
For the Motor Fuel tax type, the gallons noted may not compute if calculated as gallons x tax rate = tax collected. Gallons are reported here if they were included on a tax return for a period that falls within the reported fiscal year. Tax collections, however, are based on the net amount received within the fiscal year and may include payments or refunds for tax periods prior to the reported fiscal year.



Click here for data with additional years.

  Gallons

Fiscal Year

2015 2014 2013 2012

   Highway Fuel

374,209,493 379,572,822 378,672,128 367,035,083

   Marine Fuel

107,101,975 102,770,420 112,801,467 107,911,855

   Jet Fuel

127,544,195 130,031,397 129,292,793 122,194,835

   Aviation Gasoline

10,195,669 9,973,348 10,026,550 11,358,555


  Collections Summary

Fiscal Year

2015 2014 2013 2012

   Highway Fuel

$31,958,656 $32,997,249 $31,816,999 $30,640,300

   Marine Fuel

5,076,030 4,833,280 5,560,885 5,864,080

   Jet Fuel

4,371,630 3,732,799 4,161,673 3,893,422

   Aviation Gasoline

496,319 448,979 480,195 534,871

   Penalties and Interest

116,949 73,545 37,080 47,673

   Total Receipts

42,019,584 42,085,852 42,056,832 40,980,346

   Aviation Tax Shared

(141,801) (155,296) (162,346) (145,658)

   Total Tax

$41,877,783

$41,930,556

$41,894,486

$40,834,688

  Filing Information

Fiscal Year

2015 2014 2013 2012

   Number of Returns

3,253 3,339 3,414 3,418

   Number of Taxpayers

119 243 247 254




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