Learn how we collect fuel taxes, register for online services, or see if you're eligible for a refund.
What is the Prorate and Fuel Tax (PRFT) program?
The Prorate and Fuel Tax (PRFT) program provides services related to fuel tax and commercial motor carriers, including:
- Washington fuel tax collection from suppliers, blenders, and distributors
- Fuel tax refunds
- Investigation of illegal fuel imports and dyed diesel violations
- Licensing for the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
- Registration with the International Registration Plan (IRP)
Types of fuel taxes
|Motor vehicle fuel or special fuel tax||Motor Vehicle Fund||Highway programs, including:
|Aircraft fuel tax||Aeronautics Fund||Aeronautics Commission and public airports|
|Heating oil insurance fee||Pollution Liability Insurance Agency (PLIA)||We collect the fee on behalf of PLIA. Contact PLIA with any questions about this fee.|
How we collect fuel taxes
We receive tax return information on fuel taxes from licensed or registered:
- Aircraft fuel distributors
- Terminal operators
These businesses distribute, sell, and blend different types of fuels within Washington. We collect and distribute the tax to fund Washington State Department of Transportation projects.
The public pays the fuel tax with the purchase of each gallon of fuel. The state legislature sets fuel tax rates, which apply when you use fuel in a motor vehicle on highways as defined in law. You can find fuel tax rates on the fuel tax refunds page in the “Rates (per gallon)” tables.
Fuel tax refunds
If you paid taxes on at least 41 gallons of fuel in the last 13 months, you might be eligible for a refund if you used the fuel for:
- Landscape or lawn maintenance
- Auxiliary equipment (such as the dumping mechanism on a dump truck or the boom on a boom truck)
Visit the fuel tax refunds page to see if you qualify.
Note: You can't claim a refund if you didn't pay Washington fuel tax.
Fuel tax exemptions
Some government agencies may be exempt from paying fuel tax. Examples include:
- Local city and county municipalities using fuel for road construction and maintenance
- Firefighting equipment using special fuel
- U.S. government and armed forces using special fuel or motor fuel for export
- Special transportation needs
Fuel tax consolidation changes
On July 1, 2016, changes approved in Substitute House Bill 1883 – Fuel Tax Administration went into effect. The new law:
- Simplified, streamlined, and updated Washington fuel tax laws
- Reduced 13 license types to 4 types
- Created 2 new registration types: terminal operators and fuel carriers
- Required fuel terminals in Washington to report their fuel inventory, receipts, and disbursements
- Required all licensees to apply for new licenses and bonds
- Removed the application requirements for fingerprint cards, background checks, and financial statements
- Standardized penalty rates
- Aircraft distributor (combined aviation gas and jet fuel)
- Motor fuel (MF) license types became suppliers, distributors, and blenders
- Special fuel (SF) license types became suppliers, distributors, and blenders
- Aircraft fuel (Air) license types became aircraft distributors
New registration types
The new law also introduced the option to register as a terminal operator or fuel carrier.
IRS terminal operators must:
- Register as a terminal operator, and
- File monthly reports, including:
- Fuel receipts
- Beginning and ending inventory balances
Reporting requirement: Reports are due on or before the 25th of each month following the related reporting period. If you operate more than one terminal, you must file a separate monthly report for each one. You can file reports through TAP.
Bonding requirement: Terminal operators don't need a bond.
Fuel carriers transporting fuel via rail must:
- Register as a fuel carrier, and
- File monthly reports of transported fuel
If you're transporting fuel via truck, you don't need to register as a fuel tax carrier.
Bonding requirement: Fuel carriers don't need a bond.
- Fuel tax refunds
- Reports and data: Fuel tax lists (active and canceled fuel tax licenses)
- Fuel licenses (for dispensing fuel as a business)
- IFTA (fuel taxes by motor carriers, IFTA decals)
- IRP (registration of motor carriers, IRP plates and cab cards)