Aircraft Jet Fuel – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)Open All Close All
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aircraft jet fuel user, delivered into the fuel tank of an aircraft, or into a storage facility from which the fuel is withdrawn for use in an aircraft.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 imposed 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.
The following are required to register with the CDTFA as an Aircraft Jet Fuel Dealer:
- Persons who sell to an aircraft jet fuel user, aircraft jet fuel delivered in this state into the fuel tanks of aircraft
- Persons who sell to an aircraft jet fuel user, aircraft jet fuel delivered into a storage facility from which the fuel is withdrawn for use in an aircraft
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.
In addition to an aircraft jet fuel dealer permit, you may also be required to obtain a seller's permit from the CDTFA. You can register for both permits using the CDTFA's online registration system.
The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) offers extensive information on local, state, 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 local, state, and federal 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.
Go to the CDTFA website, login with your username and password to update your account information, including, but not limited to, selling your business, changing your mailing address, email address, or telephone number, or closing your business. If you prefer, you may use form CDTFA-345-SP, Notice of Business Change, Special Taxes and Fees Accounts to notify CDTFA of changes. It is important to notify us so we can update our records to ensure you receive information, email reminders to electronically file, and other updates timely.
You may also contact CDTFA Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS: 711) and select the option for Special Taxes and Fees or send a message through the CDTFA website at 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 the 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 unless it is sold to:
- An aircraft common carrier engaged in the business of transporting persons or property for hire or compensation under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued according to 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.
Note that a sale of aircraft jet fuel to private jets is subject to tax since private jets are not considered common carriers.
In addition to the exemptions noted above, aircraft jet fuel sold to other aircraft jet fuel dealers is not taxable and should be claimed on the proper exemption schedule on the Aircraft Jet Fuel Dealer Tax Return. See the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax annotations to Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax Regulation 1137 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
I make sales of aircraft jet fuel to the California National Guard and the California Department of Forestry. Can I claim these sales as exempt sales to the United States Armed Forces?
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 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). If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday or state holiday, returns/payments postmarked or received by the next business day will be considered timely. A delinquent return, failure to pay by EFT, or a late EFT will result in penalty charges. If no tax is owed, a return must still be submitted timely.
No, but we encourage you to file online as the CDTFA offers convenient online filing services. For more information on filing online, visit our Motor Fuels Online Filing page.
There are several options for paying your tax amount due. You can easily and conveniently make your payment online. Select the Make a Payment icon 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: 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.
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.
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. A delinquent return, failure to pay by EFT, or a late transfer will result in penalty charges. Even if no amount is owed, a return must be submitted timely. 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 the 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.
I lost my bill of lading (BOL)/receipt number. How can I report this transaction on the schedules without it?
Generally, you would enter the BOL number which is issued at the terminal when product is removed from 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 the 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; (for example, August 31, 2019 is 083119). For example, account 12345678 reporting an August 13, 2019 transaction, would report document ID 78SALE081319.
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.