Fuel tax refunds

Things to know

The Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) online system is now available. It's an easier and faster way to manage your fuel tax accounts. Register your account through TAP.

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 off road activities like:
    • boating
    • construction
    • farming
    • logging
    • landscape/lawn maintenance
    • export
    • auxiliary equipment such as the dumping mechanism on a dump truck, or the boom on a boom truck

A fuel tax refund permit

Filing refund claims online

Access your account through TAP and complete the claim form for the correct period. The average fuel tax rate is updated in January and July of each year. You must submit a separate claim for each period with a different rate.

To avoid entering each invoice separately in TAP, you may complete and import the appropriate template below. When claiming a refund for Power Take Off (PTO) use, complete the appropriate PTO tab on the template.

Filing a refund claim by mail

  • Complete the Refund claim form mailed to you within 13 months of purchase date. The average fuel tax rate is updated in January and July of each year. You must submit a separate claim for each period with a different rate.
  • Include supporting documents and copies of fuel invoices to verify purchases.

Once your refund is processed, we will mail you another refund claim form and the State Treasurer's office will mail your refund check.

How refund amounts are calculated

Unless exempted by law, we'll deduct use (sales) tax from your fuel tax refund amount and remit it to the Department of Revenue on your behalf. Refunds for marine use are also subject to Coastal Protection Fund fee.

You have 2 options to determine your refund:

  • Have us calculate the deduction for you. We'll use the average fuel cost per gallon and average sales tax rate.
  • Calculate the actual sales tax deduction. Submit a completed Actual Cost Computation Schedule with your claim. Contact us to receive this form.

Example of a refund claim amount calculated by the Department of Licensing:
Customer purchased 100 gallons of motor fuel at a total cost of $309 on July 15, 2018. They used this fuel off-road in their lawnmower and chainsaws.

  1. Calculate the state tax, 100 gallons x $ .494 (state tax rate) = $49.40
  2. Calculate the federal tax 100 gallons x. $ .184 = $18.40
  3. Deduct the federal and state tax from the cost of the fuel to avoid double taxation. $309 - $49.40 (state tax) and $18.40 (federal tax) = $241.20
  4. Apply the average sales tax, $241.20 x 8.5% = $20.50
  5. Deduct the average sales tax from the state fuel tax, $49.40 - $20.50 = $28.90. This is the total refund due to the customer.

The following rates are averages and tax rates used for refunds. These rates usually change in January and July of the current year.

Rates (per gallon): July 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $3.09 $3.27 $3.09
State fuel tax $0.494 $0.494 $0.11
Net use (sales) tax $0.21 $0.22 $0.21
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 - June 30, 2018
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $2.82 $2.99 $2.82
State fuel tax $.494 $.494 $.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
January 1 - June 30, 2017
Rates (per gallon): January 1 - June 30, 2017
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $2.58 $2.64 $2.58
State fuel tax $.494 $.494 $.11
Net use (sales) tax
(based on average state rate of 8.2%)
$.16 $.16 $.16
Federal fuel tax $.184 $.244 Jet fuel: $.219
Aviation gas: $.194
Coastal Protection Fund fee $.01 N/A N/A
July 1 - December 31, 2017
Rates (per gallon): July 1 - December 31, 2017
Tax type Motor fuel Special fuel Aircraft fuel
DOL average cost of fuel purchases $2.70 $2.76 $2.70
State fuel tax $.494 $.494 $.11
Net use (sales) tax
(based on average state rate of 8.2%)
$.17 $.17 $.17
Federal fuel tax $.184 $.244 Jet fuel: $.219
Aviation gas: $.194
Coastal Protection Fund fee $.01 N/A N/A

For amending previously submitted claims, see prior tax rates:

July – December 2016
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
January – June 2016
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

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

  • All fuel receipts
  • Documentation of all refundable and nonrefundable gallons of fuel used.
  • Documentation of the type of equipment used for refundable fuel. Examples 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.

Related laws and rules

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