If you use propane to power forklifts in your operations, or other alternative fuels in your fleet, there may be an opportunity to file a Federal excise tax claim for a credit or refund related to the fuel used during 2017.
Throughout the year, Sokolis Group must update its records for all of the changes made to fuel taxes. It’s a tedious task to sift through the information scattered across the internet for each state. Even though there are web sites that consolidate fuel tax rates in one place, identifying potential exemptions takes more research than just glancing at summarized data. That usually means a visit to a state’s site and digging into their tax regulations.
Traditionally, state governments have funded road construction through taxes on fuel. As vehicles become more efficient, though, the income from fuel tax is affected, with long-term concerns that it might eventually become insufficient. An increase in electric cars – and the introduction of electric trucks (Tesla recently unveiled an electric semi-truck) is starting to cause revenues to drop. With more than 90 percent of federal Highway Trust Fund receipts being collected at the pump, this is a very real concern.
Many fleet managers, controllers, and CFOs might be surprised if they discovered they were overpaying fuel invoices because they included line items disguised as government taxes and fees. At Sokolis Group, we‘re not surprised because we see this happen frequently. Prior to becoming a Sokolis Group client, these companies typically just signed off on fuel invoices that contained “special” taxes or environmental fees. These bogus fees are nothing more than an additional revenue stream for the fuel supplier. However, in some other cases, we’ve also discovered legitimate taxes were not charged when the company was actually liable for the tax.
Our roads and highways are our major means of transporting goods, providing service, and keeping our fleets moving and our business operating. Our highways need to be maintained and safe for drivers. The funds, which pay for roads, bridges, and transportation projects, come from the Federal Transportation Trust Fund.