Petroleum Inspection Fee

  1. What are the definitions of "petroleum inspection fee", "petroleum products", "person", "licensee" and "motor vehicle fuel supplier"?
  2. What is the inspection fee on petroleum products?
  3. Who must obtain a petroleum products shipper license?
  4. Who pays the petroleum inspection fee?
  5. How is the petroleum inspection fee paid?
  6. When is the petroleum inspection fee due?
  7. How are the monthly fuel supplier's reports filed?
  8. When are the monthly fuel supplier's reports due?
  9. Are any petroleum products exempt from the petroleum inspection fee?
  10. Who may receive a refund of the petroleum inspection fee paid?
  11. How do I correct a fuel supplier's report that I previously filed?
  12. Am I subject to interest or penalties if I file an incorrect fuel supplier's report?
  13. 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?
  14. What records should I keep for Wisconsin tax purposes, and how long should I keep them?
  15. How can I obtain additional information or forms relating to the petroleum inspection fee?

  1. 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 2ยข 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. 168.03, 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 - The term "person" includes a natural person, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), corporation, association, the State of Wisconsin or any political subdivision, but not the United States or any of its agencies.
    • 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.
  2. What is the inspection fee on petroleum products?

    Effective April 1, 2006, the inspection fee is 2¢ per gallon [sec. 168.12(1), Wis. Stats.].

  3. 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 one-time $20 charge 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.].

  4. 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.].

    Delayed fee payments by a wholesale distributor/customer to licensee: Payments of the petroleum inspection fee to a licensee made by a customer who is a wholesale distributor can be delayed until the 15th day of the month after the month fuel is received, providing the fee is paid by electronic funds transfer (EFT). The department must be notified of wholesale distributors who make delayed payments. [Sections 168.125 and 78.12(5)(a), Wis. Stats.]

  5. 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.

  6. 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 When are the monthly fuel supplier's reports due? section below).

    Revocation of fuel licenses - It is very important that licensees timely pay any amount owing. Licensees with poor payment history may have their licenses revoked by the department.

  7. 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 (MTA) or by an approved xml schema. Information on MTA can be found at tap.revenue.wi.gov. Information on xml schema can be found at revenue.wi.gov/eserv/motorfuel/index.html.

    Revocation of fuel licenses - It is very important that licensees file their reports timely. Licensees with poor filing history may have their licenses revoked by the department.

    The Secretary of Revenue may waive the requirement to file electronically when the Secretary determines that the requirement causes an undue hardship, if a person does all of the following:

    1. Requests the waiver in writing. Written requests should be addressed to Mandate Waiver Request, Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Mail Stop 5-77, PO Box 8949, Madison, WI 53708-8949.
    2. 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:
      1. 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.
      2. Any other factor that the Secretary determines is pertinent.

    If you have questions regarding this matter, contact us at (608) 266-6701.

  8. 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 When is the petroleum inspection fee due? question above).

    Late-filed reports are subject to the following charges:

  9. 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) [Department of Revenue legal opinion].
    • 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.].
  10. 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 4 years from the date fuel is purchased. Contact us 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. This allowance first applies to aviation fuel purchased in Wisconsin on and after October 14, 1997. The allowance may not be claimed by persons who purchase aviation fuel for resale. Contact us at (608) 266-6701 for additional information.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.].
  13. 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.

  14. 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 4 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.

  15. 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: DORExciseTaxpayerAssistance@revenue.wi.gov

Page last updated January 6, 2014