IRS announces waiver of dyed fuel penalty in Florida due to Hurricane Dorian

IR-2019-148, August 30, 2019

WASHINGTON – To minimize or prevent disruptions to the supply of fuel for diesel-powered highway vehicles because of Hurricane Dorian, the Internal Revenue Service announced today it will not impose a penalty when dyed diesel fuel is sold for use or used on the highway in the State of Florida.

This relief is effective immediately. Consistent with the Environmental Protection Agency waiver for Florida allowing the sale, distribution, and use of red dyed Non-Road Diesel Locomotive and Marine fuel in the State of Florida for use in highway diesel vehicles, this relief will remain in effect through Sept. 15, 2019.  

This penalty relief is available to any person that sells or uses dyed fuel for highway use. In the case of the operator of the vehicle in which the dyed fuel is used, the relief is available only if the operator or the person selling the fuel pays the tax of 24.4 cents per gallon that is normally applied to diesel fuel for highway use. The IRS will not impose penalties for failure to make semimonthly deposits of this tax. IRS Publication 510, Excise Taxes, has information on the proper method for reporting and paying the tax.

Ordinarily, dyed diesel fuel is not taxed, because it is sold for uses exempt from excise tax, such as to farmers for farming purposes, for home heating use and to local governments for buses.

Also, consistent with the EPA waiver, this waiver does not apply to the Internal Revenue Code penalty for using adulterated fuels that do not comply with applicable EPA regulations.  Consequently, diesel fuel with sulfur content higher than 15 parts-per-million may not be used in highway vehicles.

The IRS is closely monitoring the situation and will provide additional relief as needed.