Aircraft Jet Fuel – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

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About the Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax

The aircraft jet fuel tax is owed by the person who owns the aircraft jet fuel when a taxable event occurs (the tax is assessed). Aircraft jet fuel dealers collect the aircraft jet fuel tax for each gallon of aircraft jet fuel sold to an aircraft jet fuel user, delivered into the fuel tank of an aircraft, or into a storage facility from which the fuel is withdrawn for use in an aircraft.

The aircraft jet fuel tax is assessed upon each gallon of fuel sold to an aircraft jet fuel user or used by the dealer as an aircraft jet fuel user.

The revenue from the aircraft jet fuel tax is deposited into the State Transportation Fund and is then transferred to the aeronautics account. The purpose of the fund is to reserve monies derived from taxes on aircraft fuel for airport and aviation purposes.

Registration

If you sell aircraft jet fuel to an aircraft jet fuel user; deliver aircraft jet fuel into aircraft fuel tanks in this state; or deliver aircraft jet fuel into storage from which the fuel is withdrawn for use in an aircraft, you must register with CDTFA as an Aircraft Jet Fuel Dealer.

You may register for a permit, license, account, or other tax/fee program using the CDTFA's online registration system. Online registration is a convenient, fast, and free way to register and is available 24 hours a day. Select "New Registration" to get started. The CDTFA website has more information to help you complete an application.

You may also register in person at one of our office locations. If you have questions, please contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Pacific time, excluding state holidays.

An aircraft jet fuel dealer may also need to obtain a Seller's Permit from CDTFA. You will be able to register for both permits using CDTFA's online registration system.

The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) offers extensive information on state, local, and federal permit requirements. For a listing of its assistance centers, visit the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development website.

Visit CalGold for help with permit and licensing requirements for other state, federal, and local authorities (for example, you may need to be registered with the Franchise Tax Board or the Employment Development Department).

Also, see California's Tax Service Center. You may also want to consult a tax professional for assistance on other agencies' requirements.

If your business activities include sales of aircraft jet fuel to an aircraft jet fuel user in California, delivery of aircraft jet fuel into the fuel tank of an aircraft in California, or delivery of aircraft jet fuel into a storage facility located in California from which the fuel is withdrawn for use in an aircraft, you must register as an aircraft jet fuel dealer.

Taxpayers should notify CDTFA of any change of address, phone or fax number to ensure that returns, and information from CDTFA are received timely. Use form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, Property and Special Taxes to notify CDTFA of changes.

If you have questions contact the CDTFA Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (TTY: 711) Monday through Friday (except state holidays) 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), and select the option for "Special Taxes and Fees" or email your question to Email Your Tax Questions.

Collecting the Tax

The current and historical aircraft jet fuel excise tax, sales tax, and prepayment of sales tax rates are available on CDTFA's website under Sales Tax Rates for Fuels.

Yes. The aircraft jet fuel tax amount is included in the calculation of the sales and use tax amount.

In general, the sales of aircraft jet fuel for propulsion of aircraft are subject to tax except sales, to the following:

  • An air common carrier engaged in the business of transporting persons or property for hire or compensation under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued pursuant to the authority of the laws of this state, of the United States or of any foreign government.
  • A person engaged in the business of constructing or reconstructing by manufacture or assembly of completed aircraft or modifying, overhauling, repairing, maintaining or servicing of aircraft.
  • The armed forces of the United States.

Exempt sales to common carriers and aircraft manufacturers must be supported by an exemption certificate as prescribed in Revenue and Taxation Code sections 7385 – 7398 and Regulation 1137.

Note that a sale of jet fuel to private jets is subject to tax since private jets are not considered a common carrier.

In addition to the exemptions noted above, jet fuel sold to other aircraft jet fuel dealers is not taxable and should be claimed on the proper exemption schedule on their Aircraft Jet Fuel Dealer Tax Return. See the Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax Annotations for more information.

If you believe you have overpaid your tax liability, there are special rules for filing aircraft jet fuel tax claims for refund. Visit Aircraft Jet Fuel – Tax – Filing Claims for Refunds

No. State and local government sales are not exempt. Since state and local governmental agencies are included in the definition of "person" under the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Law, state and local governmental agencies are "aircraft jet fuel users". Therefore, an aircraft jet fuel dealer is liable for the tax on sales of aircraft jet fuel to state and local governmental agencies.

United States government sales generally are not exempt. Although sales of aircraft jet fuel to the armed forces of the United States are exempt from the aircraft jet fuel tax, an aircraft jet fuel dealer is liable for the tax on sales of aircraft jet fuel to other departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States.

For more information, refer to the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax annotations to Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax Regulation 1137

Filing and Making a Payment

The return and any payment are due on the last day of the month following the close of the reporting period (example: October 31 for the period of September for a monthly filer).

Motor fuels tax forms are required to be filed electronically with CDTFA's Motor Fuels Online Filing Program. An exemption from the Motor Fuels Online Filing can be requested by submitting an Efiling Exemption Request form. The form can be requested by email. For more information on filing electronically visit Motor Fuels Online Filing Program.

There are several options for paying any tax amount due. You can easily and conveniently make your payment online. Select the "Make a Payment" tab on our website. You can also pay by credit card or electronic funds transfer (EFT) at "Make a Payment", or by calling 1-855-292-8931 (for credit card payments). Please note that a service fee of 2.3% of the transaction amount will be charged by the credit card processing vendor. This service fee is retained by the vendor and is not revenue to CDTFA. The minimum fee is $1.00.

Motor Fuels Online Filing Program participants are required to make online payments for any amounts due. In addition to paying the aircraft jet fuel tax online by the due date, you must also electronically file the return by the due date. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely.

If no tax is owed, a return must still be submitted timely. A delinquent return, failure to pay by EFT, or a late transfer will result in penalty charges.

Motor Fuels Online Filing Program participants are required to make online payments for any amounts due.

If your estimated average monthly tax payment will be $20,000 or more, you will be required to pay the tax by Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). If you are not required to make tax payments through EFT, you can do so on a voluntary basis. You must submit an Authorization Agreement for Electronic Funds Transfer form CDTFA-555-ST to enroll in EFT.

In addition to paying the aircraft jet fuel tax by EFT by the due date, you must also file the return by the due date. If no amount is owed, a return must be submitted timely. A delinquent return, failure to pay by EFT, or a late transfer will result in penalty charges. For more information on the EFT program, visit the CDTFA website and click on the "Make a Payment" tab then select Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Information.

Records required to be retained must be preserved for a period of not less than four years from the time the tax is due unless CDTFA authorizes in writing their destruction sooner.

No, however, for transactions involving sales of jet fuel placed into an aircraft, transactions may be reported as summarized daily totals by airport location. Detailed reporting instructions are provided in form CDTFA-810-FTE, Instructions for Preparing Motor Fuels Schedules.

Generally, you would enter the BOL number which is issued at the terminal when product is removed over the rack. In the case of bulk plant removals or tax-paid schedules, it may be a sales/purchase invoice number. All parties to the transaction must report the same document number to CDTFA on the pertinent schedules of their returns. In the case of a sale or purchase, if you are unable to obtain this information from the other party, you may report document ID "XXSALEMMDDYY" where XX is the last two (2) digits of your account number and MMDDYY is the date of the transaction in the month/month, day/day, year/year format; (e.g. August 31, 2010 is 083110). For example, account 12345678 reporting an August 13, 2010 transaction, would report document ID "78SALE081310."

There are special rules for filing aircraft jet fuel tax claims for refund, and they are listed on the CDTFA's website. Some claims must be filed with the State Controller's Office.

If you are a licensed jet fuel dealer, you may take a credit for certain types of transactions on your Aircraft Jet Fuel Dealer Tax Return in lieu of filing a claim for refund with the State Controller's Office; however, you may only take a credit up to the amount of tax you owe on the return.

Refund statutes and time frames are available on the CDTFA website.