Motor Fuel Tax

This section contains all of the information, resources and tools business taxpayers will need relating to Motor Fuel Tax. Follow the links below and at the bottom of this page for details.

Important Announcements

  • The Maryland IFTA system, known as the Explorer system, uses the latest encryption and security technologies to provide for full electronic filing of returns and payments through common web browsers to the State of Maryland. Anyone with Internet access and proper authorization will be able to file an IFTA return electronically though our new IFTA system
  • The Comptroller of Maryland will not automatically renew Licenses and Decals. Instead Carriers will have the option to renew online or by paper renewal forms. For more information on the renewal process see Important Information for IFTA Licensees under International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)below.

Tax Information

The Motor Fuel Tax Unit of the Revenue Administration Division is responsible for monitoring the distribution and use of motor fuels in Maryland. The office registers petroleum transporters, such as tanker trucks, trains, pipelines and waterborne vessels, operating in and through Maryland that transport more than 1,749 gallons of motor fuel. The Unit registers service stations and other facilities that sell or store motor fuels in bulk in order to regulate the quality of motor fuel sold in Maryland. It is also responsible for issuing decals and licenses to Maryland-based motor carriers that participate in the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), as well as helping to ensure that untaxed home heating oil is not used in highway vehicles as diesel fuel.

Maryland began collecting fuel taxes in 1922 when the state created the Gasoline Tax Bureau to collect a tax on gasoline at the rate of 1 cent per gallon. Today, the Comptroller of Maryland's Motor Fuel Tax Unit administers state laws and regulations pertaining to all motor fuels through the Revenue Administration Division.

To simplify the reporting of fuel used by interstate and inter-jurisdictional motor carriers, Maryland participates in the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA). IFTA is an agreement among 48 participating states and 10 Canadian provinces which allows qualified commercial vehicles to travel throughout those jurisdictions and pay the required motor carrier taxes. Vehicles displaying valid licenses and decals issued by a base jurisdiction may travel in any other jurisdiction.

The Comptroller of Maryland was proud to be responsible for legislation which repealed the motor carrier decal fee beginning in 2001. The Motor Fuel Tax office added another high-tech convenience in 2002, which allowed motor carriers to submit their applications for IFTA decals over the Internet. Today, taxpayers can also file their quarterly IFTA motor carrier returns electronically and use a host of other online services.

The Revenue Administration Division has provided various video modules to help IFTA users better understand the new Explore IPC IFTA Processing system. For more information about IFTA qualifications or additional registration requirements under the Maryland Department of Transportation, see the links below or the MDOT Motor Carrier Program.

All Maryland Returns should be mailed to our address in Maryland:

IFTA Returns Processing
PO Box 2171
Annapolis, MD 21404

The new Maryland IFTA system, known as the Explore system, will use the latest encryption and security technologies to provide for full electronic filing of returns and payments through common web browsers to the State of Maryland. Anyone with Internet access and proper authorization can file an IFTA return electronically through our new IFTA system.

There are several benefits to e-filing your IFTA returns:

  • Saves time. IFTA e-filing is the fastest way to file your return.
  • Electronic filings are processed immediately, even if you wait until the due date to file.
  • Does not require special software or hardware.
  • Electronic filing is FREE!
  • Saves money, by eliminating postage and other mailing costs.
  • Reduces errors, by performing necessary computations for you.
  • Reduces mail delays.
  • You receive immediate confirmation that we received your IFTA report.
  • You can print a copy of your electronic IFTA report for your records.

We urge all taxpayers to take advantage of electronic filing as the most convenient way to file your IFTA quarterly tax returns. To register for online filing:

On-Line registration:

  • Go to the Sign-On page
  • Click on third link on left: Click here to request internet access to your account or agency
  • To sign up as an Online user you will need: Account number, Taxpayer ID number, Physical address Zip code and a valid email address.
  • Follow the online instructions to obtain a User Name and Password for Online Access.
  • When your access has been approved, you will receive an email notification with a temporary password.

If you have any questions, please contact Taxpayer Services at (410)-260-7980, or via email: IFTA_Carriers@marylandtaxes.gov

The Comptroller of Maryland will attempt to automatically renew your IFTA license and issue decals.

  • If you have delinquent IFTA returns or any Maryland State agency liabilities, you will not be eligible for automatic renewal. These liabilities must first be resolved, and then an online or paper IFTA application must be submitted and approved before we will issue your IFTA license and decals.
  • Other possible situations associated with your current IFTA license may cause your IFTA license to not automatically renew, including being licensed under a USDOT that is registered to another company, or if your current IFTA returns indicate that you do not travel outside of Maryland. These situations will require you to submit an online or paper application for approval before we will issue your IFTA license and decals.
  • If you do not travel outside of the State of Maryland, you do not need to register for IFTA.

If you receive a renewal form in the mail, your account was not included in the automatic renewal and you are required to complete a renewal application to receive your IFTA license and decals. The deadline for IFTA license renewals is December 31.

The most efficient way to obtain your IFTA license and decals is to renew online. Online renewal will be available as of December 1. If you are currently registered to file online returns, you do not have to re-register to renew online. If you choose not to take advantage of the online renewal option, you can renew by using the paper renewal form. When your renewal has been received and approved, we will send your IFTA license and decals to you through the mail. It is your responsibility to renew your IFTA license and decals before they expire.

If you are aware of any problems that may prevent your renewal, we strongly suggest you resolve them now. If your IFTA license is not renewed and decals are not assigned to you by December 31, you cannot legally operate in any other jurisdiction without a valid trip permit.

Please call us at (410)260-7215 or Maryland toll free at 1-888-784-0142 if you have any questions.

Download a print-friendly version of the IFTA Compliance Manual. You must have version 6.0 or higher of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program to view and print the IFTA Compliance Manual. Adobe Reader is available for free online. Due to the relatively large file size and varying downloading speeds among computers, the manual may take a couple of minutes to fully download. Please be patient.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: Definitions

Chapter 3: IFTA Credentials

  • A. IFTA License Application Procedures
  • B. Annual License Fee
  • C. Account Identification
  • D. Bonding
  • E. IFTA License
  • F. IFTA Decals
  • G. Displaying IFTA Credentials (grace periods)

Chapter 4: Annual Renewal Procedures

Chapter 5: Reporting Requirements

  • A. Quarterly Tax Returns
  • B. IFTA E-file Process
  • C. Revocation, Penalty and Interest Provisions
  • D. All Intrastate Maryland Miles or NO Carrier Miles
  • E. Measurement Conversion Table
  • F. Tax Exempt Miles
    G. Signature

Chapter 6: Refunds - Credits

Chapter 7: Assessments for Failure to Report

Chapter 8: Lease Agreements

  • A. Lease Term of Less than 30 Days (short-term lease)
  • B. Lease Term of More than 30 Days or More (long-term lease)
  • C. Intermittent Leases

Chapter 9: License Cancellation, Revocation, and Reinstatement

  • A. License Cancellation
  • B. License Revocation
  • C. License Reinstatement

Chapter 10: Record Keeping Requirements

  • A. Mileage Records
  • B. Fuel Receipts
  • C. Bulk Fuel Storage
  • D. Record Retention
  • E. Penalty for Failure to Maintain Records
  • F. Location of Records

Chapter 11: Audits

  • A. Audit Selection
  • B. Notification of Audit Date
  • C. Audit Conferences
  • D. Audit Results

Chapter 12: Tax Assessment Appeal Procedures

  • A. Tax Assessment
  • B. Application for Revision or Refund
  • C. Correction of Erroneous Assessment
  • D. Appeal to Maryland Tax Court

Chapter 13: International Registration Plan (IRP)

Chapter 14: US Department of Transportation (USDOT) Number

Chapter 15: Member Jurisdiction Information

  • A. Maryland IFTA Taxpayer Assistance
  • B. Member Jurisdiction Information Chart

Chapter 16: Sample Forms - these are for instructional purposes only; they are not to be used for filing.

Motor Fuel Tax Rates by Gallon, Effective July 1, 2019

To review the most current motor fuel tax rates, see IFTA Motor Fuel Tax Rates on the IFTA Web site.

Note: These rates are provided only for your information and are not to be used to complete your quarterly tax return. The rates do not include the necessary jurisdiction codes needed to complete your return.

When filing your quarterly motor fuel tax return you must use the rate schedule that was provided with your return. Jurisdiction codes will be provided online in the near future.

The resources posted in this section include legislative updates, administrative releases, bulletins, and notices that highlight important changes in laws, regulations and procedures regarding motor fuel taxes.

Biodiesel, a fuel made fully or partially from vegetable oils or animal fats, is subject to Maryland's motor fuel tax and sales and use tax.

The motor fuel tax applies to biodiesel as a special fuel that is useable as a fuel in an internal combustion engine. Biodiesel is typically produced by combining a vegetable oil or animal fat with an alcohol, in the presence of a chemical catalyst. In Maryland, straight vegetable oil (SVO) would be subject to the same motor fuel requirements as biodiesel when used as a motor fuel.

The state special fuel tax rate is $.2425 per gallon of motor fuel used.

Registration

In general, you must register with the Motor-fuel, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Unit if you do any of the following in Maryland:

  • Manufacture or produce biodiesel, even for your own use.
  • Sell biodiesel that has not been taxed as diesel fuel.
  • Use biodiesel that has not been taxed as diesel fuel to power a vehicle driven on roads or highways.
  • Import biodiesel from another state.

If you make your own biodiesel and use it in a vehicle that will be driven on roads or highways, the tax is due when you put the biodiesel into the vehicle's fuel tank. If you are required to register, you must apply for a motor fuel tax license.  You will be issued a Special Fuel User or Seller License.  There is no fee for the license.

Bonds

As a user of biodiesel, you are not required to post a bond, unless you use more than 4,000 gallons per year.  Sellers of diesel fuel, however, are required to post a bond.

Filing requirements

After we issue your license, you will be required to file motor fuel tax returns. You will receive a motor fuel tax return approximately three weeks before the due date. You must file a return even if you do not have any activity for the reporting period.

Diesel fuel users have the option of filing and paying the motor fuel tax annually or monthly, until the usage rate exceeds 4, 000 gallons per year.

There are no state tax credits available for biodiesel fuel.

Additional information

For more information about biodiesel fuel, contact the following government agencies:

Maryland Department of Environment

1800 Washington Blvd.

Baltimore, MD 21230

Phone: 410-537-3000.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: 202-272-0167

Internal Revenue Service 

500 N. Capitol St. NW
Washington, DC 20221

Phone: Toll-free 1-800-829-4933 (businesses)

Looking for cheap gas?

Check out one of these Web sites below to compare local gas prices:

Looking for ways to conserve gas?

Take public transportation, join a carpool and use hiker and biker trails whenever possible.

Need help pumping gas?

Visit Maryland Department of Transportation Access to Gas Pumpsto find a local gas station that offers assistance to consumers with disabilities.

Think you purchased bad fuel?

Tell us. Field inspectors for the Comptroller of Maryland are responsible for monitoring the transportation and storage of motor fuel, and verifying that retail locations are complying with regulations governing pricing, labeling and registration. Inspectors collect fuel samples and they are tested at the Motor Fuel Testing Laboratory in Jessup to ensure quality standards including octane levels. Any sub-standard or inaccurately labeled product is removed from the marketplace until the problem is corrected. E-mail fed@marylandtaxes.gov to report fuel price disparities or fuel problems.

Unsure about pump accuracy?

If you feel a particular gas pump may not be giving you all the gas you are paying for, report it to the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA). While the Comptroller's Office inspects fuel, the MDA is charged with making sure gas pumps and meters are accurate. If you think the amount of fuel you received falls short of the amount you purchased, contact the MDA's Weights and Measures Division at 410-841-5790.

Need to report a fuel spill?

If you need to report a fuel spill or leak, contact the Maryland Department of the Environment's Oil Control Program at 410-537-3442.

What makes up the price of a gallon of gasoline?

Crude oil costs: 68% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline directly reflects the cost that refiners pay to obtain the crude oil.
Refining costs: 8% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline reflects the costs to refine the crude oil, making it useful to consumers.
Federal and state taxes: 13% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is made up of federal and state taxes, but does not include county or local taxes.
Distribution and marketing: 11% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is made up of distribution, marketing and retail dealer costs.

Most gasoline is shipped by pipeline to consuming areas and then loaded into trucks for delivery at individual gas stations. The price reflects the retailer's purchase cost and operating costs associated with the service station. Additionally, the price can reflect the desirability of the station's location or the station owner's marketing strategies.
Note: This breakdown of the cost of a gallon of regular gasoline is based on the December 2012 average retail price of $3.31/gallon.

Why do gasoline prices fluctuate?

Gasoline prices can fluctuate for a variety of reasons including a change in seasons, natural disasters, local retail station competition, disruptions in the crude oil supply triggered by world events and/or refinery or pipeline outages.

Source: Energy Information Administration.

Filing Information

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Tax Forms Containing 2-D Barcodes

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International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)

*IFTA-related forms may be requested at MFT@marylandtaxes.gov, or by calling Taxpayer Service at 410-260-7980, or 1-800-638-2937.

Form Description
IFTA 100* IFTA Quarterly Fuel Use Tax Return (Sample)
IFTA 100V* IFTA Payment Voucher and Instructions
IFTA 101* IFTA Quarterly Fuel Use Tax Schedule (Sample)
IFTA 101-I* Instructions for Form IFTA 101
COM/MFT 104 IFTA License Application
IFTA 105* IFTA Final Fuel Use Tax Rate
COM/MFT 110* IFTA Tax Assessment Statement of Account
Individual Vehicle Mileage Report - IFTA Vehicles Only
Report Mailing Instructions

Motor Fuel Tax

Form Description
775 Petroleum Transporter Report - Movement of Petroleum Products
776 Annual Special Fuel User Worksheet
776-1 Special Fuel User Worksheet
776-2 Dealer/Seller Worksheet
779 CPI/SUTE Inventory - Tax Adjustment
779 Archive Inventory- Tax Adjustment Form Archives
771 (replaces MFT-015) Special Fuel User Schedule of Receipts
772 (replaces MFT-016) Special Fuel User Schedule of Disbursements
MFT-023 Application for Motor Fuel Inspection Registration
MFT-044 Application for Petroleum Transporter Registration
MFT-046 Application for Motor Fuel License
MFT-047 Application for Special Fuel Tax Exemption Certificate
768A (replaces MFT-048) Aviation Gas/Jet Fuel Schedule of Receipts
768D (replaces MFT-048) Dealer Gasoline Schedule of Receipts
768S (replaces MFT-048) Seller Special Fuel Schedule of Receipts
769A (replaces MFT-049) Aviation Gas/Jet Fuel Schedule of Disbursements
769D (replaces MFT-049) Dealer Gasoline Schedule of Disbursements
769S (replaces MFT-049) Seller Special Fuel Schedule of Disbursements
MFT-105 Application for Wholesale Purchaser/Consumer Motor Fuel Inspection and Testing
FED-305 Application for Registration of Terminal Agreement and Additives
FED-306 Application for Registration of Exchange Agreement, Specifications and Additives
FED-402 Below Cost Selling of Motor Fuel Complaint Form
GTD-1 Dealer State Codes for MFT Form GTD-1

Motor carrier returns

Motor carriers registered with Maryland under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) must file quarterly IFTA fuel use tax reports by the following due dates noted in this chart:

 IFTA Reporting Period

Due Date

1st Quarter
January 1-March 31

April 30

2nd Quarter
April 1-June 30

July 31

3rd Quarter
July 1-September 30

October 31

4th Quarter
October 1-December 31

January 31

The IFTA quarterly reports should be mailed to:

Comptroller of Maryland
IFTA
P.O. Box 2171.
Annapolis, MD. 21404-2171

Motor fuel reports

Dealers, distributors, special fuel sellers, special fuel users, and turbine fuel sellers, must file a report for each month in which they sell or use motor fuel in the state of Maryland.
For months when there is no activity, a report must be filed stating "No Activity." Please note that six or more consecutive months of "No Activity" may be grounds for license cancellation. This report must be filed on or before the last day of the following month. If mailed, the report must be postmarked at least two days prior to the last day of the month.

The motor fuel monthly reports should be mailed to:

Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Division
P.O. Box 2191
Annapolis, MD 21404-2191

 

Refund Information

The Comptroller of Maryland allows claims for refunds of motor fuel taxes paid under authority of Tax-General Article Section 2-103, Annotated Code of Maryland.

Only fuel that was purchased in Maryland at the current fuel tax rates may be refundable and the fuel must be used before a refund can be paid.

Generally, motor fuel used in gasoline- or special fuel-powered vehicles that are registered to operate on a public highway is taxable and nonrefundable - unless the vehicles are equipped with in-line flow meters or bypass meters to measure eligible fuel that is used for a refundable purpose.

Motor fuel tax licensees due a refund may file a claim within one year from the date of the invoice showing the amount of tax paid.

The following links provide more information on the types of refunds, eligibility, procedures for claims, invoice requirements and the appropriate forms and instructions.

Invoice Requirements

Only invoices that are issued at the time of each purchase can be accepted to support a claim. A separate invoice for each purchase must be sent with each claim for refund.

All refund claims must be supported by original invoices. If you submit copies of the original invoices, you must also include a statement that the originals are available for audit purposes. Carbon copies must also meet certain requirements, as discussed below and set forth in COMAR 03.03.02.02 (See COMAR Online).

To speed up the processing of your refund, add up all receipts for each vehicle and/or equipment, type of fuel, and month and make sure the totals match up with the information reported on your Refund Claim Form 706 (formerly GTD-106).

Carbon copies

Carbon copies of invoices will be accepted only if the copies were used in meter imprinters to print the number of gallons metered, or the copies are multi-part forms that meet the following conditions:

  • The original (top part) is used as a shipping/delivery ticket.
  • The form has been approved by the Comptroller.
  • The part used as an invoice is preprinted with the notation "Original Invoice" or other language approved by the Comptroller.

Unacceptable documents

The following documents are not acceptable for refund purposes:

  • Accounts receivable invoices.
  • Buyback invoices, statements and assignments.
  • Invoices that are stamped with the word "statement."

Invoices generated under the following circumstances will also be disallowed:

  • Purchase invoices prepared by a claimant when the claimant operates the fuel dispenser (pump).
  • Claims filed in absence of satisfactory records for auditing purposes whenever the seller does not prepare an actual invoice at the time of sale.

Credit card invoices

Credit card invoices must meet all the requirements of retail invoicing.
Supporting documentation must be sent to confirm that the account number belongs to the refund claimant.  You can send a bill or statement showing the account number with your name.

Service station invoices

The following information must be reported on fuel invoices from service stations and other retail dispensers:

  • Actual date of purchase.
  • Name, address/location of seller.
  • Name of purchaser. (Purchaser's signature shall be accepted on electronically generated invoices.)
  • Number of gallons purchased.
  • Type of fuel and total cost of fuel.
  • Serial or sequential numbers. (Time-referenced electronically generated invoices shall be accepted as serialized.)
  • Run calculator tapes on retail invoices.

Prepaid invoices showing a dollar amount without the actual gallons dispensed will not be accepted as valid tax-paid invoices.

Bulk invoices

The following information must be reported on invoices submitted by a claimant for fuel delivered into the claimant's bulk storage tank:

  • Actual date of delivery.
  • Name and address of seller preprinted on the invoice.
  • Name and address of purchaser.
  • Amount of motor fuel tax charged. (If tax is not charged, enter the statement: "Maryland motor fuel tax is not included.")
  • Number of metered gallons purchased.
  • Type of fuel and total cost.
  • Serial or sequential invoice numbers.
  • Run calculator tapes on invoices by fuel type per month.

Detailed records, such as fueling tickets, logs or other accounting records prepared at the time any vehicles are fueled from bulk storage tanks, must also be retained for audit purposes.

Electronically generated invoices

Electronically generated documents must meet the requirements of COMAR 03.03.02 and must be approved for use by the Comptroller of Maryland.

The following information is pre-printed on the electronically generated documents:

  • A breakdown of fuel purchases by vehicle.
  • Total pages showing total gallons and fuel type.
  • Site locations listed by number instead of address.
  • List of location addresses.

All out-of-state purchases must be deducted from the totals that are to be reported on the claim form.

Readable microfiche copies

Invoices may also be supported by readable microfiche copies.

Bonded licensed special fuel users

Bonded licensed special fuel users seeking a refund claim for a power-take-off vehicle must submit copies of their user/seller receipts and disbursement schedules in lieu of the original invoices. For more information, see Power-Take-Off Refund - Class 50, 51, 52, 53 and 54.

Altered invoices

Any claims accompanied by altered invoices will be investigated thoroughly.  If the investigation proves that an invoice has been altered in any respect, the altered invoice may not be honored.

Power-Take-Off (PTO) - Maryland statute provides a percentage refund for five types of vehicles which have pumping or other equipment mechanically or hydraulically driven by the engine that propels the vehicle. The vehicle types and percentages of the total fuel used that is deemed refundable are: concrete mixing vehicles (35 percent), fuel delivery vehicles (10 percent), solid waste compacting vehicles (15 percent), well-drilling vehicles (80 percent), and bulk spreading agricultural highway vehicles (55 percent).

No additional categories of PTO vehicles have been introduced through legislation, nor do additional PTO categories qualify for any percentage refund when fueled directly from the tank that powers the vehicle engine.  Without separate flow meters the refundable gallons cannot be accurately measured. If you have a separate tank dedicated solely for the pony engine on the rear of your trucks, this would be fully refundable.

Nonrefundable gallons - Fuel used on-highway or for taxable purposes.

Refundable gallons - Fuel used off-road in equipment and machines; fuel used for any nontaxable purpose.

Worksheet - Record of gallonage totals of motor fuel used for taxable and non-taxable purposes. 

Questionnaire ‐ Form used to list equipment, type of fuel used, bulk storage tanks (quantity, size and location), and type of refund classification.

Claim form ‐ Form shows total of fuel purchases, nonrefundable and refundable gallons, amount of refund being requested, and signature of claimant.

Claimant - The individual or company applying for the refund for fuel used by them.

Retail service station - Gasoline station or filling station.

Bulk invoices - Invoices from sellers for bulk purchases that are put in bulk storage tanks of the refund claimant.

Bulk storage tanks - Tanks used to store bulk purchases of fuel.

Electronically generated invoices - Electronically generated invoices created by the retail seller of fuel from keycard purchases made by the refund claimant.

Metered gallons - Gallons that are preprinted on invoices by the meters on fuel delivery trucks, showing the total gallons of the fuel pumped into bulk storage tanks.

Reefers - Refrigerated trailers that are fueled directly into a separate tank on trailer.

Site location numbers - Some electronically generated invoices only show a site location number and not an address. A listing of site location addresses must also be submitted to verify that the fuel is purchased in Maryland.

Period of claim - The period during which the fuel was purchased. 

E-mail

You can e-mail your motor fuel tax refund questions to us at taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov. Please include your business name, address and your nine-digit federal employer identification number (FEIN) or eight-digit Maryland central registration number in your e-mail message. This will help us generate a quick response to your inquiry.

Telephone Assistance

You can also obtain motor fuel tax and IFTA refund assistance over the phone by calling 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland, or toll-free 1-800-638-2937 from elsewhere in Maryland. Telephone assistance is available Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Fax

You can fax any necessary documents to us at 410-974-2243. Keep in mind that you cannot fax your fuel tax refund claim forms to us - the original, signed documents must be submitted.

Mailing Address

Mail your completed forms and related documents to:

COMPTROLLER OF MARYLAND
REVENUE ADMINISTRATION DIVISION
MOTOR FUEL TAX REFUND UNIT
110 CARROLL ST
ANNAPOLIS MD 21411-0001

Motor Fuel Inspection Program

The Inspection Program is comprised of Enforcement Agents and Compliance Inspectors who work as a team in their efforts to enforce and regulate the revenue laws involving alcoholic beverages, motor fuels, tobacco products, transient vendors and vendors at flea markets and other venues. Samples of the various grades of motor fuels sold in the state are collected daily to assure their compliance with state and federal regulations, as well as to assure that applicable taxes have been paid. Any substandard product is removed from the marketplace until the problem is corrected.

The transportation and storage of motor fuels is constantly monitored to verify that regulations governing pricing, labeling and registration are being followed. Investigations are conducted to identify and locate unlicensed fuel sellers, unregistered IFTA motor carriers and users who illegally use untaxed dyed fuel in highway vehicles.

Licensed alcoholic beverage retailers are likewise inspected to confirm their compliance with related laws, including efforts to defraud customers by altering the contents of more expensive beverages with less expensive brands while selling these products at the higher price. Investigations of unlicensed sellers are conducted across the state, resulting in arrests and confiscations of illegally sold items.

The sale of tobacco products are also monitored, with inspections of licensed establishments, as well as investigations of unlicensed sellers which result in arrest and confiscation of the items sold illegally (either without a license, or involving contraband untaxed cigarettes).

In addition, as mentioned, the agents and inspectors constantly look for unlicensed Transient Vendors, such as those selling furniture along our roadsides without licenses and not collecting related taxes, as well as vendors at sporting events and at flea markets who likewise do not possess the proper licenses and do not collect or remit related taxes.

The Field Enforcement Division of the Comptroller of Maryland's Office is responsible for checking the quality of petroleum products sold in Maryland. Motor fuel inspectors cover every region of the state. They enforce provisions regulating containers and vehicles used to transport and store all motor fuels, signs advertising prices for gasoline and special fuels, and waterborne movements of motor fuels - interstate, intrastate and/or all points of the supply chain, from terminal or ship to bulk plant, to distributor, to retail service station.

At retail service stations, the inspector will look for the price posted, brand identification, pump price display, pump decals that show octane ratings, color coded fills, the four most recent delivery tickets, registration certificate and any appropriate special fuels tax exemption certificate. The inspector will draw and pay for each grade of product to be tested at the Comptroller's petroleum testing lab in Jessup, although some tests are conducted on site.

The inspector will want to see the trader's license and retail sales tax license for the business, and will inspect all cigarette inventory for proper stamps as well as reviewing all delivery invoices for cigarettes, other tobacco products and alcoholic beverages.

At bulk locations

The inspectors will check the vehicles for Department of Transportation markers, compartments, loading documents, transfer documents, name on tanks and color coding.

On The Spot Tests

On site testing includes tests for water and sediment in storage tanks, and a screening for octane.

Testing At The Lab

Once initial tests are done, samples are taken to the comptroller's petroleum testing lab. Samples are chilled before testing to preserve the integrity of the testing process. The testing lab conducts quality control tests to make sure petroleum products meet Maryland specifications. Routine tests include vapor pressure, distillation, octane ratings, water and sediment, oxygen content and percentage and type of oxygenate, if any, in gasoline.

Special fuels

Fuel oils, diesel fuels and kerosene are tested for flash point, distillation, sulphur content, API gravity, and, if applicable, viscosity, color and cetane index or cetane number.

Sample locations are randomly selected for analysis. The laboratory participates in national and regional exchange groups as part of its quality assurance program.

The inspector will leave a warning, noting the problem discovered and the time permitted to correct the problem.

The lab targets for a 24-hour turnaround. If a sample fails a test, a field inspector is immediately dispatched to issue a "stop sale" order for the fuel that does not meet specifications. The "stop sale" will be removed when the problem is corrected. Inspectors work with the distributor to discover the source and correct the problem.

We will tell you the problem with the fuel. You must contact the supplier to find out if the problem is correctable on site or if the product must be removed. You must contact the Field Enforcement Division at 410-260-7388 to discuss the proposed remedy. Once you receive authorization and the remedy is performed, contact us and we will re-sample the product promptly.

No. It's illegal to sell motor fuel that fails to meet quality standards. Penalties for not complying with the motor fuel inspection law and the stop sale order include a fine of up to $5,000 and/or one year in jail, a court ordered injunction prohibiting sale of the product and suspension of your registration.

The Comptroller's Motor Fuel Testing Lab in Jessup, Maryland began operation in 1974. The primary function of the lab is to analyze all incoming petroleum products for their quality and to make sure the fuel is in compliance with state regulations, as well as federal EPA guidelines. The laboratory is also equipped to run analysis of alcoholic beverages for proof verification using Gas Chromatography procedures. Gasoline and petroleum products are collected at the retail stations and bulk terminals throughout the state by the Comptroller's compliance inspectors also take monthly samples from bulk terminals at nearby Virginia and Pennsylvania locations, as fuels from these locations regularly enter the Maryland market.

TIPLINE: If you have information regarding fuel tampering or questionable octane levels e-mail FED at fed@marylandtaxes.gov.

The Comptroller's Office routinely tests the quality of motor fuels sold in Maryland. If you have a question or complaint about fuel quality, call 410-260-7388.

Maryland's testing program checks fuel quality at all points along the distribution chain, and stops the sale of fuel that does not meet accepted quality standards. The comptroller maintains a petroleum testing laboratory, which is consistently recognized as a leader in its field. Samples representing about two billion gallons of gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, and other fuels are tested each year. Only about 1 percent of the fuel tested is found to be substandard.

Online Services

Payment Information

If a tax payment is due with the motor-fuel tax return, a check or money order or cashiers check may accompany the return. Or payment may be made by ACH for accounts that normally pay $10,000 or over each month. If submitting payment electronically, please pay on or before the due date. For the ACH option the electronic funds transfer form needs to be filled out.

Returns and applications for licenses and permits, along with payment, can be mailed to:

Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Division
P.O. Box 2999
Annapolis, MD 21404-2999

Definitions:

Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI): The CPI is the index published monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U.S. Department of Labor. The CPI is the U.S. city average of all items in a basket of consumer goods and services.

Motor Fuel: Motor fuel consists of gasoline, special fuel, clean burning fuel, aviation gasoline, and turbine fuel. Gasoline includes both gasoline and ethanol that is blended into gasoline. Special fuel consists of diesel fuel and kerosene, while clean burning fuel includes propane, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).

What is the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013?

The Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013 increases transportation funding, to the state’s transportation trust fund, through various means including a motor fuel tax increase. Effective July 1, 2013, there will be additional motor fuel taxes on all motor fuels except aviation gasoline and turbine fuel. The additional taxes adjust for inflation using the CPI and also a percentage of the average retail price of gasoline. Other fees are also increased in this act but are not enforced by the Comptroller of Maryland.

What motor fuels are affected by this tax increase?

Gasoline, special fuels, and clean burning fuels are affected by this legislation. Aviation gasoline and turbine fuel will not be affected.

How is the motor fuel tax increased?

The motor fuel tax is increased using two methods:

  • the average percentage growth in the CPI, and
  • a percentage of the average retail price of gasoline, also known as the Sales and Use Tax Equivalent Rate.

Reports and Statistics

Contact Information

General Information:
Phone: 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland or toll-free 1-800-638-2937 from elsewhere in Maryland
Fax: 410-974-3201
E-mail: taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov

Licensing and Registration Information:
Phone: 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland or toll-free 1-800-638-2937 from elsewhere in Maryland
E-mail: MFT@marylandtaxes.gov

Motor Fuel Reporting Information:
Phone: 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland or toll-free 1-800-638-2937 from elsewhere in Maryland
E-mail: MFT@marylandtaxes.gov

Motor Fuel Tax Refund Information:
Revenue Administration Division
Phone: 410-260-7922 (7923)
FAX: 410-974-2243
E-mail: taxhelp@marylandtaxes.gov

IFTA E-file Information:
Phone: 1-800-638-2937 or 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland
E-mail: MFT@marylandtaxes.gov

IFTA Reporting Information:
Phone: 410-260-7980 from Central Maryland or toll-free 1-800-638-2937 from elsewhere in Maryland
E-mail: MFT@marylandtaxes.gov
Fax: 410-260-7924

Below Cost Motor Fuel Complaints:
Field Enforcement Division
Phone: 410-260-7388 from Central Maryland or toll-free 1-888-674-0017 from elsewhere in Maryland
FAX: 410-974-5564
E-mail: fed@marylandtaxes.gov
Complaint form: Motor Fuel Below Cost Complaint - COM/FED-402

Mailing Address:
Comptroller of Maryland
Revenue Administration Division
Motor Fuel Tax Unit
P.O. Box 1751
Annapolis, MD 21404-1751

The Comptroller's Office routinely tests the quality of motor fuels sold in Maryland. If you have a question or complaint about fuel quality, call 410-260-7388.

Maryland's testing program checks fuel quality at all points along the distribution chain, and stops the sale of fuel that does not meet accepted quality standards. The comptroller maintains a petroleum testing laboratory, which is consistently recognized as a leader in its field. Samples representing about two billion gallons of gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, and other fuels are tested each year. Only about 1 percent of the fuel tested is found to be substandard.