Monday, April 16, 2012

Is Boating Really So Taxing

Tax refunds are available for some boaters in some states, but save those receipts... 

Photo: © istockphoto.com/Paul Vasarhelyi
Let's face it. US taxpayers caught a couple of breaks this year. With leap day (February 29, 2012), and April 15th falling on a Sunday, you've bought yourself a couple of extra days to do your taxes. And because Monday is the District of Columbia's Emancipation Day, the Federal government is giving you until Tuesday, April 17th, to turn in your taxes this year. Many states are following suit. Perhaps all of them are, but we honestly didn't look into it other than our own state of CT and neighboring MASS which 'celebrated' the Boston Marathon, a.k.a. Patriot's Day, on Monday the 16th.

As for boaters, did you that know you may be eligible for a full or partial refund of the taxes paid on the fuel? Here's why...


Off Road
It turns out that a portion of the taxes you pay on fuel goes toward highway repair, and since boats do not typically cause highway damage, or even wear and tear, some logical folks in some states decided to give this money back to the boaters who paid into it.

Which States? 
BoatU.S. seems to have the most detailed information about which states offer refunds, and what happens to the money for states that don't have such a program as well as the Federal tax. Here's the BoatUS link, but we can't vouch for how accurate or up-to-date their info is. According to the folks at DiscoverBoating, the American Boating Association has published similar data.

For the most accurate information, check your own state's official revenue services page. A Google search of your state's name followed by the phrase "marine fuel tax refund" should also provide you with a quick answer to this question. For example, a search of "Connecticut marine fuel tax refund" turns up a link right to the form from CT's department of revenue services.

In any event, tax laws often change, so as we're sure your tax accountant would advise, always save your receipts!