The demands of operating a trucking company can sometimes be overwhelming. Navigating the various laws and compliance rules can be onerous and time consuming, in addition to the fact that many trucking company owners are not well-versed in the tax laws surrounding the transportation industry. In conversations I’ve had with owners of small to medium size fleets, one thing that has stood out as a blind spot to these businesses is their ability to file for a refund on the diesel fuel purchased for use in their refrigerated units. Additionally, any fuel that you purchase for the vehicle that is not used to propel said vehicle is eligible for this tax refund, such as fuel for an off-road vehicle or other auxiliary engine.
Many owners operating in the food industry with their reefer trucks have either neglected to file or simply not aware that they are able to file for a refund for diesel fuel used in their refrigerated units. In 2018, these companies would be eligible to make a claim for 24.4 cents per gallon on diesel fuel, using IRS Form 4136. In the event of an audit, be sure to have all receipts or a report from your fuel card company that has reefer fuel listed separately.
Each individual state has rules for applying for reimbursement. It is important to look for your home state’s page regarding this information. For example, in Pennsylvania you are eligible for a state level reimbursement in addition to the federal level. You can find the form here along with instructions on filling out the form.
If you have a fuel card that does not provide the information regarding reefer fuel in a clear concise form please do not hesitate to contact our fleet card sales department at firstname.lastname@example.org.