Resources for Fuel Tax & Fee Guides
Register with us online for licenses, permits, or accounts applicable to your type of business.
Registering with other Agencies
You are responsible for contacting your city and county government offices for information on local licenses you may be required to obtain.
For a listing of assistance centers, visit:
- The Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development website for extensive information on local, state, and federal permit requirements.
- CalGold for help with permit and licensing requirements for other local, state, and federal authorities.
- California's Tax Service Center for a listing of agencies that have partnered together.
You may want to consult a tax professional for assistance on other agencies' requirements.
Tax and Fee Returns, Reports, and Schedule Filings
All applicable tax and fee returns, reports, and schedules must be filed even if no transactions were made during the reporting period. If no tax or fee is owed, a return must still be submitted timely.
Tax and fee returns, reports, and schedules must be filed on or before the last day of the month following the reporting period (except returns for the oil spill prevention and administration fee and the underground storage tank maintenance fee, which are due on the 25th day of the calendar month following the reporting period). File your return/report using our online services webpage.
Schedules are required for the completion of most tax and fee returns. You must file your schedules at the same time as when you file your return. We use the information on the schedules to verify that amounts are reported timely and accurately and to verify that information about transactions between companies is properly reported.
For online filing information relating to filing via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and Flat File (FLT), see our Motor Fuels Online Filing webpage.
You can file and pay your tax return in one transaction or make a separate online payment. If you are required to make prepayments, you may also pay online.
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). For more information, visit our EFT webpage.
You must submit your payment by the due date of the return for it to be considered timely. We also consider your payment timely if it is received on the next business day when the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or state holiday. Visit our Make a Payment webpage to learn about our various payment options.
Penalty and Interest
The penalty for filing a late tax or fee return or payment is ten percent of the amount of tax due.
Late filers must include payment for the penalty and interest with their tax return.
We will not process payments submitted with incorrect routing and account information. We will bill you for penalties and interest if you make a late payment. If you are required to make payments through EFT and you use another means (check, cash, money order, credit card, etc.), you will be subject to a penalty.
Tax and Fee Rates
Visit the Tax Rates — Special Taxes and Fees webpage to view current and historical fuel tax and fee rates.
The current and historical motor vehicle fuel, diesel fuel, and aircraft jet fuel excise tax, sales tax, and prepayment of sales tax rates are available on our webpage under Sales Tax Rates for Fuels.
Federal Fuel Excise Tax Rates
Generally, the price of motor fuel sold in California includes federal motor fuel excise taxes, which are paid to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are used to support the Federal Highway Administration.
See the Excise Tax webpage on the IRS website for up-to-date information on Federal tax rates and imposition of Federal taxes.
Updating Your Business Information
Log in with your username and password to update your account information including your:
- Mailing address
- Email address
- Telephone number
You may also close your account while logged in.
It is important to notify us so we can update our records to ensure you receive information, email reminders, and other updates timely.
You must retain records for at least four years from the time the tax or fee is due, unless we give you written authorization to destroy them sooner. For additional information regarding record retention, please see Regulations 3501 and 4901.
Submit a Refund Claim—General
If you have overpaid a tax or fee directly to us, you may file your refund claim through our online services webpage.
Log in using your username and password and select the account for which you want to claim a refund. Select the More link under the I Want To section. Then select the Submit a Claim for Refund link and follow the prompts.
See the Refunds page under the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax and Diesel Fuel Tax Guide, for more detailed information on diesel fuel tax refund claims.
For more information on filing refund claims, see publication 117, Filing a Claim for Refund.
Deadline for Filing a Claim for Refund
Your deadline to file a timely claim for refund is whichever of the following dates occurs last:
- Three years from the due date of the return on which you overpaid the tax.
- Six months from the date you overpaid.
- Six months from the date a determination (billing) became final.
- Three years from the date we collected an involuntary payment, such as from a levy or lien.
Be sure to file your refund claim by the applicable deadline. If you do not file on time, we cannot consider your claim, even if you overpaid the tax.
See the Refunds page in the Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax and Diesel Fuel Tax Guide for more detailed information on diesel fuel tax refund claims.
If you have questions about your deadline to file a refund claim, please contact us.
Reporting Suspected Tax Fraud Activity
We have an investigations team who identify tax evasion and new fraud schemes, and investigate and assist in the prosecution of crimes.
Visit our Report Suspected Tax Fraud Activity webpage for more information and examples of fuel tax evasion.
You can report a Tax Evasion Complaint online, by mail or by calling 1-888-334-3300.
Business Tax Law Guides, Regulations, Publications, and Forms
Business Tax Law Guides
- Diesel Fuel Tax Law
- Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Law (includes aircraft jet fuel tax at Chapter 2.5)
- Oil Spill Response, Prevention, and Administration Fees Tax Law
- Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee Law
- Use Fuel Tax Law
- Diesel Fuel Tax Regulations
- Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax Regulations (includes aircraft jet fuel tax regulations)
- Oil Spill Response, Prevention, and Administration Fees Regulations
- Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee Regulations
- Use Fuel Tax Regulations
- Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1533.2, Diesel Fuel Used in Farming Activities or Food Processing
- Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1598, Motor Vehicle and Aircraft Fuels (explains how the sales tax is calculated for motor fuel)
- Sales and Use Tax Regulation 1598.1, Diesel Fuel Prepayment Exemption
Diesel Fuel Tax, IFTA, and Interstate User Diesel Fuel Tax
- publication 50, Guide to the International Fuel Tax Agreement
- publication 50-s, Guia Del Acuerdo Internacional Del Impuesto Sobre El Combustible
- publication 50A, Introduction to the International Fuel Agreement
- publication 50A-s, Introducción al Acuerdo Internacional del Impuesto sobre el Combustible
- publication 84, Do You Need a California Fuel Permit or License?
- publication 96, Biodiesel and California Tax
Use Fuel Tax
- publication 12, California Use Fuel Tax: A Guide for Vendors and Users
- publication 84, Do You Need a California Fuel Permit or License?
Sales Tax on Fuels Sales
- publication 82, Prepaid Sales Tax and Sales of Fuel
- publication 25, Auto Repair Garages and Service Stations
Diesel Fuel Tax
Use Fuel Tax
- CDTFA–120, Notice of Credit for Bad Debt Losses
- CDTFA-329, Request for Certificate of Excise Tax Clearance
Underground Storage Tank Maintenance Fee
- CDTFA-5-TK2, Statement of Underground Storage Tank Owner
- CDTFA-5-TK3, Statement of Underground Storage Tank Operator
The following exemption certificates may be submitted online by logging into our online services. Once you've logged in, select the applicable account, and under the I Want To section, select More. On the next screen, select Submit Exemption Certificate. (This option will appear differently depending on the type of account you selected.)
Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax and Diesel Fuel Tax
- CDTFA-231-DB, Certificate of Exempt Bus Operation
- CDTFA-231-PT, Fuel Tax Exemption Certificate for Diesel Fuel and Motor Vehicle Fuel Train Operator
- CDTFA-608, Certificate of Farming Use
- CDTFA-231-PM, Fuel Tax Exemption Certificate for Motor Vehicle Fuel Gasoline Blendstock
Use Fuel Tax
Aircraft Jet Fuel Tax
Motor Vehicle Fuel and Diesel Fuel Tax
- Tax Rates for Motor Vehicle and Diesel Fuels in Effect from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024
- Retail Purchases of Untaxed Motor Fuel for Use on California Highways — Tax is Due
- Schedule 1A Available for the Tax Returns of Licensed Fuel Suppliers
IFTA, and Interstate User Diesel Fuel Tax
- Rate Change for International Fuel Tax Agreement and Interstate User Diesel Fuel Tax Licensees Effective July 1, 2023
- New Records Review Program Beginning January 1, 2023
Use Fuel Tax
- Reduced Tax Rate for Dimethyl Ether and Dimethyl Ether–Liquified Petroleum Gas Blends Effective July 1, 2021
Sales and Use Tax Resources
Other Helpful Resources
- Motor Fuels Glossary — A compilation of motor fuels, internet, and online filing terms.
- Contact Us — A listing of CDTFA contacts for your questions and concerns.
- Sign Up for CDTFA Updates — Subscribe to our email lists and receive the latest news, newsletters, tax and fee updates, public meeting agendas, and other announcements.
- Videos and How–To Guides — These resources will help you avoid common mistakes, file your tax returns online, and more.
- City and County Sales and Use Tax Rates — A listing of current and historical sales and use tax rates.
- Find a Sales and Use Tax Rate — Enter an address and find the sales and use tax rate for that location.
- Online Services — Learn about the online services CDTFA offers.
- Verify a Permit or License — You can use this application to verify a seller's permit, cigarette and tobacco products license, eWaste account, underground storage tank maintenance fee account, diesel fuel and motor vehicle fuel supplier licenses, and aircraft jet fuel dealer permit.
- Offices Locations and Addresses — A comprehensive listing of all CDTFA offices and contact information.
- Get It In Writing! — Tax and Fee Laws can be complex, and you are encouraged to put your tax questions in writing. You may also send your request in a letter to: Special Taxes and Fees, MIC:31, California Department of Tax and Fee Administration, P.O. Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-0031.
- Taxpayers' Rights Advocate (TRA) — The TRA Office helps taxpayers when they are unable to resolve a matter through normal channels, when they want information regarding procedures, or when there are apparent rights violations.
If You Need Help
For assistance with topics included in this guide or other related questions, please contact us by email or by calling our Customer Service Center at 1-800-400-7115 (CRS:711) and following the prompts for Special Taxes and Fees. Customer service representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays. Additional contact information and hours of operation are available on our How to Contact Us webpage.