Fuel tax refunds

Important information

  • Vehicle and vessel licensing offices can’t perform transactions on Saturday, December 10.
  • Some vehicle and vessel online services, like tab renewal, won’t be available December 7-12 while we update our system.
  • On December 12, 2016, we’ll begin using a new vehicle and vessel computer system.
  • In the days following the launch of our new system, you may experience longer than usual wait times.

Learn more: DOL vehicle licensing system will be down on December 10 for system replacement (licensingexpress.wordpress.com).

Things to know

June 30, 2016 – All current fuel tax licenses expired. You’ll need to apply for a new fuel tax license to continue operations in Washington. Please register your account through the Taxpayer Access Point (TAP). TAP gives you an easier and faster way to manage your fuel tax accounts.

TAP is now available for Fuel Tax customers and Fuel Tax Refund Permit accounts. We may experience some delays with the implementation of the new system. Please be patient with our staff.

Who may request a refund?

You may be eligible for a refund of the Washington State fuel tax if you’re:

  • An individual or company who bought at least 41 gallons of Washington tax–paid fuel in the past 13 months
  • and
  • you used it for activities like boating, construction, farming, logging, or landscape/lawn maintenance

Keep the following records on file for at least 5 years from date you bought the fuel:

  • All fuel receipts.
  • Documentation of the refundable and nonrefundable fuel used (in gallons) in each piece of equipment. 
    • You'll also need to document the type of equipment used if you bought fuel in small containers (10 gallons or less) for non-highway use. Examples of the type of equipment include boats, tractors, power saws, etc.
  • Fuel inventory readings in bulk storage.
  • Detailed fuel records for all withdrawals from bulk storage.
  • On–highway and off–highway mileage records for each licensed vehicle.

How to get a fuel tax refund

Licensed fuel supplier, distributor, or blender:

  • Refunds for exempt sales get processed through your tax return.

Fuel user, exempt entities or governments:

  1. Get a fuel tax refund permit
    • Online through TAP – PRFT Taxpayer Access Point.
    • or
    • By mail send the completed application to the address or number on the form. Please don’t send fuel invoices with your refund application.
  2. File a refund claim
    1. After we receive your permit application, we’ll set up a refund permit account. If you apply online through TAP you can file your refunds online as well. If you apply by mail we will send you a Fuel Tax Refund Claim form with instructions.
    2. When you submit your claim, online or by mail, you must submit copies of your fuel invoices to verify your off–road usage. You have 13 months from the date you bought the fuel to submit your claim for a refund.
    3. After we process your claim, the State Treasurer’s Office will mail your refund check. If you file by mail, we’ll send you a new claim form.

Refund amount

Unless exempted by law, we'll deduct use (sales) tax from your fuel tax refund amount. Refunds for marine use may also be subject to Coastal Protection Fund fee.

You have 2 options to determine your refund:

  • Calculate the actual sales tax deduction. Submit a completed Actual Cost Computation Schedule with your claim.
  • Have us calculate the deduction for you. We’ll use the average fuel cost per gallon and average sales tax rate. Since these averages change in January and July of each year, you must submit a separate claim for each period with a different rate.
Rates (per gallon): July 1 – December 31, 2016
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $2.27 $2.27 $2.27
State fuel tax $.494 $.494 $.11
Net use (sales) tax
(based on average state rate of 8.2%)
$.13 $.13 $.13
Federal fuel tax $.184 $.244 Jet fuel: $.219
Aviation gas: $.194
Coastal Protection Fund fee $.01 N/A N/A
Rates (per gallon): January 1 – June 30, 2016
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $2.83 $2.83 $2.83
State fuel tax $.445 $.445 $.11
Net use (sales) tax
(based on average state rate of 8.2%)
$.18 $.18 $.18
Federal fuel tax $.184 $.244 Jet fuel: $.219
Aviation gas: $.194
Coastal Protection Fund fee $.01 N/A N/A
Rates (per gallon): August 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $2.64 $2.64 $2.64
State fuel tax $0.445 $0.445 $0.11
Net use (sales) tax
(based on average state rate of 8.2%)
$0.16 $0.16 $0.16
Federal fuel tax $0.184 $0.244 Jet fuel: $.219
Aviation gas: $.194
Coastal Protection Fund fee $0.01 N/A N/A
Rates (per gallon): July 1–31, 2015
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $2.64 $2.64 $2.64
State fuel tax $0.375 $0.375 $0.11
Net use (sales) tax
(based on average state rate of 8.2%)
$0.17 $0.17 $0.17
Federal fuel tax $0.184 $0.244 Jet fuel: $.219
Aviation gas: $.194
Coastal Protection Fund fee $0.01 N/A N/A
Rates (per gallon): January 1, 2015 – June 30, 2015
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $3.73 $3.73 $3.73
State fuel tax $.375 $.375 $.11
Net use (sales) tax
(based on average state rate of 8.2%)
$.26 $.26 $.26
Federal fuel tax $.184 $.244 Jet fuel: $.219
Aviation gas: $.194
Coastal Protection Fund fee $.01 N/A N/A

Related laws and rules

Questions? Need help?

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