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Publication 510

Excise Taxes


(Including Fuel Tax Credits and Refunds)

Section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted.

What's New(p2)

Expiration of credits.(p2)
The following credits expired on December 31, 2011.
  • The section 40 alcohol fuel credit (consisting of the alcohol credit, the alcohol fuel mixture credit, the small ethanol producer credit). Another part of the section 40 alcohol fuel credit, the cellulosic biofuel producer credit, did not expire.
  • The section 40A biodiesel fuels credit (consisting of the biodiesel credit, the biodiesel mixture credit, and the small agri-biodiesel producer credit).
  • The section 6426 credit for alcohol fuel, biodiesel, alternative fuel (except liquefied hydrogen), and alternative fuel mixtures (except mixtures of liquefied hydrogen and a taxable fuel).
Surtax on fuel used in a fractional ownership program aircraft.(p2)
Fuel used in a fractional ownership program aircraft after March 31, 2012, is subject to a surtax of $.141 per gallon. If the surtax is imposed, the following taxes do not apply.
  • Transportation of persons by air.
  • Transportation of property by air.
  • Use of international air travel facilities.
See Surtax on any liquid used in a fractional ownership program aircraft as fuel, later.
Affordable Care Act. (p2)
The Affordable Care Act (Public Law 111-148, amended by Public Law 111-152) (the "Act") was enacted on March 23, 2010. It contains some tax provisions that are in effect and more that will be implemented during the next several years. The following Act provisions involve excise taxes, and fees that are treated as excise taxes.
  • Medical device excise tax.The Act imposes a 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale of certain medical devices by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of the device. The tax applies to sales of taxable medical devices after December 31, 2012.
  • Patient-centered outcomes research fee. The Act imposes fees on issuers of certain health insurance policies and plan sponsors of certain self-insured health plans to help fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute. The fees, reported on Form 720 and paid annually, are based on the average number of lives covered under the policy or plan. The fees apply to certain health insurance policies and certain self-insured health plans with policy or plan years ending on or after October 1, 2012, and before October 1, 2019.
You can find more information about Act provisions, including links to published guidance, at
Future developments.(p2)
The IRS has created a page on that includes information about Publication 510 at Information about any future developments will be posted on that page.


Publication 510 updates.(p2)
Publication 510 is not updated annually. Instead, it will be updated only when there are major changes in the tax law.
Use of international air travel facilities. (p2)
Generally, the tax on the use of international air travel facilities increases annually. See the Instructions for Form 720 for the tax rate. For more information, see Air Transportation Taxes in Chapter 4.
Aviation fuels for use in foreign trade. (p2)
Aviation gasoline and kerosene for use in aviation are exempt from the leaking underground storage tank (LUST) tax.
Arrow shafts, tax rate.(p2)
Generally, the tax on arrow shafts increases annually. See Form 720 for the tax rate.
Disregarded entities and qualified subchapter S subsidiaries.(p2)
Qualified subchapter S subsidiaries (QSubs) and eligible single-owner disregarded entities are treated as separate entities for excise tax and reporting purposes. QSubs and eligible single-owner disregarded entities must pay and report excise taxes (other than IRS Nos. 31, 51, and 117), register for most excise tax activities, and claim any refunds, credits, and payments under the entity's employer identification number (EIN). These actions cannot take place under the owner's taxpayer identification number (TIN). Some QSubs and disregarded entities may already have an EIN. However, if you are unsure, please call the IRS Business and Specialty Tax line at 1-800-829-4933.
Generally, QSubs and eligible single-owner disregarded entities will continue to be treated as disregarded entities for other federal tax purposes (other than employment taxes).
For more information on these regulations, see Treasury Decision (T.D.) 9356, T.D. 9462, and T.D. 9596. You can find T.D. 9356 on page 675 of Internal Revenue Bulletin 2007-39 at; T.D. 9462 on page 504 of IRB 2009-42 at; and T.D. 9596 on page 84 of IRB 2012-30 at
Registration for certain activities.(p2)
You are required to be registered for certain excise tax activities, such as blending of gasoline, diesel fuel, or kerosene outside the bulk transfer/terminal system. See the instructions for Form 637 for the list of activities for which you must register. Also see Registration Requirements under Fuel Taxes in chapter 1 for information on registration for activities related to fuel. Each business unit that has, or is required to have, a separate employer identification number must be registered.
To apply for registration, complete Form 637 and provide the information requested in its instructions. If your application is approved, you will receive a Letter of Registration showing the activities for which you are registered, the effective date of the registration, and your registration number. A copy of Form 637 is not a Letter of Registration.
Photographs of missing children.(p2)
The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child.


This publication covers the excise taxes for which you may be liable and which are reported on Form 720 and other forms. It also covers fuel tax credits and refunds.

Comments and suggestions.(p2)

We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions.
You can write to us at the following address:

Internal Revenue Service
Tax Products Coordinating Committee
1111 Constitution Ave. NW, IR-6526
Washington, DC 20224

We respond to many letters by telephone. Therefore, it would be helpful if you would include your daytime phone number, including the area code, in your correspondence.
You can email us at * The asterisk must be included in the address. Please put "Publications Comment" on the subject line. Although we cannot respond individually to each email, we do appreciate your feedback and will consider your comments as we revise our tax products.


Useful items

You may want to see:

 509 Tax Calendars
Form (and Instructions)
 11-C: Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering
 637: Application for Registration (For Certain Excise Tax Activities)
 720: Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return
 720X: Amended Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return
 730: Monthly Tax Return for Wagers
 1363: Export Exemption Certificate
 2290: Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return
 2290(SP): Declaración del Impuesto sobre el Uso de Vehículos Pesados en las Carreteras
 4136: Credit for Federal Tax Paid on Fuels
 6197: Gas Guzzler Tax
 6478: Alcohol and Cellulosic Biofuel Fuels Credit
 6627: Environmental Taxes
 8849: Claim for Refund of Excise Taxes, and Schedules 1–3, 5, 6, and 8
 8864: Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Fuels Credit

Information Returns(p3)

See How To Get Tax Help in chapter 15 for information about ordering forms and publications.



Excise Taxes
Not Covered(p3)

In addition to the taxes discussed in this publication, you may have to report certain other excise taxes.
For tax forms relating to alcohol, firearms, and tobacco, visit the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau website at

Heavy highway vehicle use tax.(p3)

You report the federal excise tax on the use of certain trucks, truck tractors, and buses used on public highways on Form 2290, Heavy Highway Vehicle Use Tax Return. The tax applies to highway motor vehicles with a taxable gross weight of 55,000 pounds or more. Vans, pickup trucks, panel trucks, and similar trucks generally are not subject to this tax.
Note. A Spanish version (Formulario 2290(SP)) is also available. See How To Get Tax Help in chapter 15.

Registration of vehicles.(p3)

Generally, you must prove that you paid your heavy highway vehicle use tax to register your taxable vehicle with your state motor vehicle department or to enter the United States in a Canadian or Mexican registered taxable vehicle. Generally, a copy of Schedule 1 (Form 2290) is stamped by the IRS and returned to you as proof of payment.
If you have questions on Form 2290, see its separate instructions, or you can call the Form 2290 call site at 1-866-699-4096 (toll free) from the United States, and 1-859-669-5733 (not toll free) from Canada and Mexico. The hours of service are 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Wagering tax and occupational tax.(p3)

The information on wagering tax can be found in the instructions for Form 730, Tax on Wagering, and Form 11-C, Occupational Tax and Registration Return for Wagering.