Diesel User Claim for Refund Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Filing Claims for Refund

  1. Licensing and Forms
    1. Do I need to have an account number with the BOE to file a claim for refund of tax paid on diesel fuel used for nontaxable purposes?
    2. How do I obtain an account number?
    3. What form do I use to file a claim for refund of tax paid on diesel fuel used for nontaxable purposes?
  2. Documentation
    1. What records or documents do I need to provide to support my claim for refund?
    2. Do I have to submit copies of purchase invoices with every claim?
    3. I have a bulk tank that I use to fuel my vehicles and equipment. Do I need to provide an inventory reconciliation worksheet with my claims?
  3. Types of Claims
    1. Is an exemption certificate required to buy dyed diesel fuel?
    2. May I file a claim for refund of tax paid on diesel fuel used in my refrigeration (reefer) units?
    3. I lease diesel-powered vehicles for periods greater than 30 days from owner-operators. Why can't I include the owner-operator tax-paid off-highway and PTO gallons in my DU claim for refund when I can include these gallons in my International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) return?
    4. How will the California's Commercial Vehicle Idling Regulations "five-minute idle" rule affect my DU claims for off-road idling?
    5. Can I claim a refund for stolen fuel?
    6. I own a rental yard and charge my customers a daily rental plus a charge to refill the equipment fuel tank when the equipment is returned. May I claim a refund for the tax on fuel used in this off-road equipment?
  4. Testing
    1. Does California have standard percentages for nontaxable use?
    2. I need to conduct a fuel test to support my nontaxable usage. What steps do I have to take before I can begin testing?
    3. How do I submit a test proposal for nontaxable use?

  1. Do I need to have an account number with the BOE to file a claim for refund of tax paid on diesel fuel used for nontaxable purposes?

    Yes. You must apply for a diesel user (DU) account number before you can file a claim for refund. In addition, first-time DU filers will be asked to submit a completed form BOE-32, Diesel Fuel Tax Claim for Refund Questionnaire. Diesel fuel suppliers and ultimate vendors may also claim a credit/refund on Schedule SO3A that is filed with form BOE-501-DD:, Supplier of Diesel Fuel Tax Return, and form BOE-770-DV:, Diesel Fuel Ultimate Vendor Report/Claim for Refund, respectively.

  2. How do I obtain an account number?

    You can register for a DU account using the BOE online registration system. However, online registration is not available to entities (for example, corporations, limited liability companies, and limited partnerships) that are not registered with the California Secretary of State. To obtain a paper application, please call the Appeals and Data Analysis Branch at 1-916-445-2988, weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

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  3. What form do I use to file a claim for refund of tax paid on diesel fuel used for nontaxable purposes?

    You must use form BOE-770-DU, Diesel Fuel Claim for Refund on Nontaxable Uses. Use the version of this form revised 04/03 to file claims for tax paid on fuel purchased in periods prior to and through June 30, 2011. To file claims for tax paid on fuel purchased in periods beginning July 1, 2011, and after, use the version revised 9/12.

  4. What records or documents do I need to provide to support my claim for refund?

    What records you are required to provide depends on the reason for the claim. Generally, you must be able to show that you paid tax on the diesel fuel and used the fuel in a nontaxable manner. Examples of acceptable documentation include inventory records, fuel logs, purchase receipts or invoices, tank or meter readings, and worksheets showing the calculations or formulas used to determine claimed nontaxable usage. We may request additional information when we review your claim for refund.

  5. Do I have to submit copies of purchase invoices with every claim?

    No. However, please submit copies of purchase invoices with the first claim you file. After that, we generally ask for copies as needed. In order to receive a refund, you must provide invoices upon request.

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  6. I have a bulk tank that I use to fuel my vehicles and equipment. Do I need to provide an inventory reconciliation worksheet with my claims?

    Yes, you will need to submit a diesel fuel inventory reconciliation worksheet. You must provide the beginning inventory measurement as of the beginning of the claim period, the gallons placed into the tank during the claim period, the gallons dispensed from the tank during the claim period, the book ending inventory, and the actual ending inventory measurement. You may use your own format for presenting the information. Make sure to include the date and time that the inventory measurements were taken.

  7. Is an exemption certificate required to buy dyed diesel fuel?

    No. You do not pay the diesel fuel tax when purchasing dyed diesel fuel. However, dyed diesel fuel may only be used to operate vehicles or equipment off-highway. You will owe tax on the dyed diesel gallons and may be subject to a dyed diesel fuel penalty if you operate a motor vehicle on a highway in California with dyed diesel fuel in the fuel tank.

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  8. May I file a claim for refund of tax paid on diesel fuel used in my refrigeration (reefer) units?

    Yes. The consumption of diesel fuel to operate reefer units is a nontaxable use. However, you must provide detailed documentation of the fuel placed in a reefer unit that has a separate fuel tank and records of hour meter readings for a reefer unit that shares a fuel tank with the vehicle.

  9. I lease diesel-powered vehicles for periods greater than 30 days from owner-operators. Why canít I include the owner-operator tax-paid off-highway and PTO gallons in my DU claim for refund when I can include these gallons in my International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) return?

    Diesel fuel tax can be refunded only to the person or entity that purchased and used the fuel. If your owner-operators pay for their own diesel fuel, either directly or by way of settlement, you are not eligible to claim a refund of the tax. Since owner-operator gallons are paid for and used by the owner-operators themselves, these operators must file a claim for refund for their nontaxable uses. Payment of the IFTA taxes is governed by the IFTA Articles of Agreement section R530.200, which provides that, under long-term leases, the lessor and the lessee may designate which party will report and pay the tax. The IFTA agreement does not extend to DU claims for refund.

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  10. How will the California's Commercial Vehicle Idling Regulations "five-minute idle" rule affect my DU claims for off-road idling?

    Off-highway idle claims will be limited to five minutes per event unless the event is documented as waiting in line to load/unload. Additional information on the "five-minute idle" rule is available at http://www.arb.ca.gov/msprog/truck-idling/factsheet.pdf.

  11. Can I claim a refund for stolen fuel?

    No. However, we will refund the tax paid on diesel fuel that is lost in the course of handling, transportation, or storage under certain circumstances. See Regulation 1433 Refund of Tax on Diesel Fuel Lost in the Course of Handling, Transportation, or Storage.

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  12. I own a rental yard and charge my customers a daily rental plus a charge to refill the equipment fuel tank when the equipment is returned. May I claim a refund for the tax on fuel used in this off-road equipment?

    No. You may not claim a refund for the tax, but your customers can. The refund is due to the person that paid for the fuel and used the fuel off-highway.

  13. Does California have standard percentages for nontaxable use?

    No. There are no authorized standard percentages that can be used to compute your diesel fuel tax refund. If your claim for refund is based on a percentage or formula, you must provide documentation to support the percentage or formula used to arrive at the claimed nontaxable gallons. If you cannot provide support, you may conduct a fuel test to determine the nontaxable portion of your fuel usage.

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  14. I need to conduct a fuel test to support my nontaxable usage. What steps do I have to take before I can begin testing?

    We recommend that you submit a written test proposal for our review and approval before you begin testing. We advise that you do not conduct your test until you receive our approval.

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  15. How do I submit a test proposal for nontaxable use?

    You may send your test proposal to: Board of Equalization, Appeals & Data Analysis Branch, MIC: 33, P.O. Box 942879, Sacramento, CA 94279-0033.

    Test proposals should be very detailed and include, but not be limited to, the following: (a) description of the nontaxable use or activity to be tested; (b) test methodology; (c) list of vehicles to be tested and explanation as to why the selected vehicles are representative of the company's fleet; (d) test duration; (e) seasonal fluctuations that may affect the test periods, if applicable; (f) list of routes to be tested and description of route density variations, if applicable; (g) fueling method and list of locations where vehicles will be fueled; (h) explanation as to why the proposed tests are representative of the companyís business operations; (i) sample of daily test log that will be used to record test data; and (j) description of how the test results will be applied in the calculation of nontaxable percentages.

    If you have any questions regarding the information you need to include in your test proposal, please call the Appeals & Data Analysis Branch at 1-916-445-2988, weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Pacific time), except state holidays.

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