What are excise taxes?

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The issue of excise taxes on diesel fuel is one of the most debated in our country, and it is also a burden that motorists and truckers have been carrying for many, many years.

What are excise taxes? How do they affect the final price of diesel fuel? How to get excise refund for truck drivers? These are some of the questions we will try to answer in the following paragraphs.

What are excise taxes

The term excise tax is used to refer to the tax on the manufacture and sale of consumer products; in the case of fuels, these are taxes on gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas and LPG used for automotive purposes.

They were introduced to deal with some emergencies such as earthquakes and migration crisis from Libya, but also to finance international peacekeeping missions and government measures such as the “Save Italy” in 2011.

Also present is the Ethiopian War Excise Tax (1935-1936), which was the first to be introduced and today, still active. All of these excise taxes would not have been there, since all the reasons that had decreed their necessity have lapsed, and yet, they are still there.

Diesel excise taxes are slightly lower than those on gasoline and, represent a fixed share of the final retail price.

Reference legislation on excise taxes

The regulatory framework on excise taxes was regularized in 1995 by Legislative Decree No. 504 of Oct. 26, or the “Consolidated Text of Legislative Provisions Concerning Taxes on Production and Consumption and Related Criminal and Administrative Penalties.”

It is Article 21 that identifies the products that are subject to excise duty, including “gas or diesel oils,” identified by CN code 2710 00 69. The text states that the rates for motor fuels also apply to biodiesel ( with some exceptions specified in the rule) “obtained by esterification of vegetable oils and their derivatives, used as a fuel, as a combustible, as an additive or to increase the final volume of fuels and combustibles.”

MISE publishes on its official website and in a special section, an updated statement on the average prices of all fuels sold in the country. Within a summary table are the average sales price, excise tax, VAT and net. This page is useful for doing the
excise verification

The excise tax on automotive diesel fuel is 617.40 per thousand liters, while for heating oil it is 403.21 per thousand liters of fuel.

The Single Excise Law also regulates the cases in which it is possible to obtain concessions and exemptions from the normal taxation regime.

Automotive diesel excise tax refund

It is possible to obtain diesel excise recovery by submitting an application for refund to the relevant Customs and Monopolies Agency, provided it is diesel fuel for motor vehicles.

In addition, the enterprise submitting the application for the diesel fuel excise tax refund must own trucks or tractor-trailers with a trailer or semi-trailer in Euro class 3 and higher, with a full load mass of 7.5 tons or more.

In order to obtain a refund of diesel excise duty, the transport activity must be carried out by natural or legal persons registered in the national register of
haulers of goods for hire or reward
, or, be in possession of a license for own account haulers and registered in the appropriate list.

Also eligible to apply for it are those enterprises established in EU states for the exercise of the profession of road haulage; public bodies and local public enterprises engaged in the business of transportation; enterprises engaged in interregional self-services with state, regional or local jurisdiction; enterprises engaged in regular self-services within the community; and enterprises engaged in public service transportation.

The refundable amount is 214.18 euros per 1,000 liters of product consumed during the fiscal year. You can fill out and print documentation for the issuance of diesel excise refunds by downloading the appropriate software on the Customs Agency website at this link.

Cash excise refund or tax credit

The recovery of diesel excise taxes for haulers can be claimed either by refund, then by returning money, or, by offsetting the tax credit.

The tax code to be reported on the fillable f24 excise tax form is 6740. Credits related to consumption in the first quarter of 2020 can be used for offsetting by December 31, 2021. From this deadline, and no later than June 30, 2022, it is possible to apply for excise tax refunds for surpluses not used for compensation.

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