1997 Legislative Changes Affecting the Exemption of
Aviation Fuel From Motor Vehicle Fuels Tax
PURPOSE: The purpose of this Special Notice is to describe the legislative changes made during the 1997 session of the Connecticut General Assembly affecting the exemption of aviation fuel from the motor vehicle fuels tax.
STATUTORY AUTHORITY: Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-458, as amended by 1997 Conn. Pub. Acts 243, §34 and Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462, as amended by 1997 Conn. Pub. Acts 243, §36.
EFFECTIVE DATE: For sales of aviation fuel by distributors and licensed aviation fuel dealers occurring on or after January 1, 1998.
EXEMPTION FROM THE MOTOR VEHICLE FUELS TAX: 1997 Conn. Pub. Acts 243, §34 amended Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-458(a)(3) by adding two exemptions from the motor vehicle fuels tax for sales of aviation fuel.
The first exemption allows a distributor to sell fuel exempt to:
the owner or operator of an aircraft, as defined in Section 15-34, exclusively for aviation purposes, provided (i) for purposes of this subdivision, aviation purposes means for the purpose of powering an aircraft or an aircraft engine [and] (ii) such fuel is delivered, upon such sale, to a tank in which fuel is kept exclusively for aviation purposes. . . .
Thus, motor vehicle fuel distributors may now sell exempt aviation fuel directly to owners or operators of aircraft. 1997 Conn. Pub. Acts 243, §34 also requires the owner or operator of an aircraft for which such fuel is being purchased to provide the distributor of such fuel with an affidavit affirming that the fuel will be used exclusively for aviation purposes. See Form AU-477, Aircraft Owner/Operator Affidavit.
Conn. Gen. Stat. §15-34 defines "aircraft" to mean:
any contrivance used or designed for navigation of or flight in air, including (a) airplanes, meaning power-driven fixed-wing aircraft . . . (b) gliders, meaning heavier than air aircraft, the free flight of which does not depend principally upon a power-generating unit, and (c) rotorcraft, meaning power-driven aircraft . . . supported during flight by one or more rotors.
The use of the term aircraft in Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-458(a)(3), and in §12-462 (see below), clarifies that fuel used in helicopters falls within the scope of the exemption. The use of the term aircraft engine in Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-458(a)(3), and in §12-462 (see below), provides that fuel used in the testing of aircraft engines will likewise fall within the scope of the exemption of aviation fuel from the motor vehicle fuels tax.
The second exemption added to Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-458(a)(3) states:
Said tax shall not be payable on such fuel that may have been . . . sold to a dealer who is licensed under Section 12-462, as amended by Section 36 of this act, and whose place of business is located upon an established airport within this State.
The exemption for sales of fuel by distributors to licensed aviation fuel dealers was previously part of Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462. The requirements for licensed dealers authorized to sell aviation fuel at airports in Connecticut remain in Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462. See Requirements for Licensed Dealers of Aviation Fuel.
FORM AU-477, AIRCRAFT OWNER/OPERATOR AFFIDAVIT: Pursuant to 1997 Conn. Pub. Act 243, §34, the Department has developed Form AU-477, Aircraft Owner/Operator Affidavit, which must be submitted to a distributor of fuel by the owner or operator of an aircraft or aircraft engine for which such fuel is being purchased. When properly completed, Form AU-477 will affirm that such fuel will be used exclusively for aviation purposes and that such fuel will be delivered to a tank in which fuel is kept exclusively for aviation purposes. Form AU-477 also requires the following information: the date on which the fuel was purchased, the number of gallons of fuel purchased, the make, model and registration number of the aircraft (or a description of the aircraft engine) for which the fuel is being purchased, and the name of the owner or operator of the aircraft or aircraft engine.
REQUIREMENTS FOR LICENSED DEALERS OF AVIATION FUEL: Previously, Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462 provided an exemption from the motor vehicle fuels tax for fuel "used exclusively for aviation purposes, provided such fuel is sold by the distributor to a licensed dealer whose place of business is located upon an established airport in this state." This provision was removed from Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462 by 1997 Conn. Pub. Acts 243, §36, and a similar exemption was added to Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-458(a)(3) by 1997 Conn. Pub. Acts 243, §34. While Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462 no longer provides the exemption for aviation fuel, it does contain other requirements for dealers authorized to sell aviation fuel at airports in Connecticut.
According to Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462, as amended, dealers licensed by the Commissioner of Revenue Services may purchase fuel exempt from tax and "sell such nontaxable fuel, provided they can control such sale, through meters or by full tank wagon compartment delivery, directly into the fuel tank of any aircraft or aircraft engine." 1997 Conn. Pub. Acts 243, §36 replaced the word airplane previously used in Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462 with the phrase "aircraft or aircraft engine." See Exemption from the Motor Vehicle Fuels Tax.
Further, Conn. Gen. Stat. §12-462 requires licensed dealers to:
keep and maintain proper accounting records of all purchases from the distributor and sales invoices to the purchaser, showing the signature of the purchaser and the license number of the aircraft served, and the inventory on hand on the first day of each month.
The statute provides that licensed dealers must maintain such records for at least three years. The statute also provides that the Commissioner of Revenue Services will, at regular intervals, audit such records and if any discrepancies are found for which a satisfactory explanation does not exist, the licensed dealer will be held liable for the tax.
NOTE: Persons wishing to become licensed dealers of aviation fuel should contact the Excise/Public Services Subdivision of the Audit Division of the Department of Revenue Services at 860-541-3225, weekdays during business hours.
EFFECT OF THIS DOCUMENT: A Special Notice (SN) is a document that, in response to newly enacted or amended Connecticut or federal laws or in response to newly released judicial decisions, announces a new Department position, policy or practice affecting the tax liability of taxpayers.
EFFECT ON OTHER DOCUMENTS: None affected.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: If you have questions about Connecticut taxes, please call the Department of Revenue Services during business hours, Monday through Friday:
- 860-297-5962 (Hartford calling area or from out-of-state); or
- 1-800-382-9463 (toll-free from within Connecticut).
Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD/TT) users ONLY call 860-297-4911 during business hours.
FORMS AND PUBLICATIONS: You may obtain forms and publications at any hour, seven days a week:
Motor Vehicle Fuels Tax