Tax file

Aug. 1, 2001
The penalty for being caught with dyed diesel fuel in the propulsion tank of a highway vehicle is both severe ($1,000 or more) and inflexible. The penalty is to be imposed if the owner of the vehicle knew, or had reason to know that the fuel was dyed, and the amount of the penalty goes up for each previous infraction. In a recent court case, however, the penalty was voided for a fleet that was not

The penalty for being caught with dyed diesel fuel in the propulsion tank of a highway vehicle is both severe ($1,000 or more) and inflexible. The penalty is to be imposed if the owner of the vehicle “knew, or had reason to know” that the fuel was dyed, and the amount of the penalty goes up for each previous infraction. In a recent court case, however, the penalty was voided for a fleet that was not aware that its fuel vendor had accidentally put dyed fuel in its clear-fuel underground tank. Now the Internal Revenue Service has published a revenue procedure informing taxpayers how to request an administrative appeal of the penalty (Rev. Proc. 2001-33). Thus, fleet owners who believe their facts warrant relief may want to use the new appeals procedure described in the revenue procedure.

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Ken Simonson

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