CHAPTER 222

MOTOR CARRIER ROAD TAX

Table of Contents

Sec. 12-478. Definitions.

Sec. 12-479. Tax rate.

Sec. 12-479a. Tax rate increase.

Sec. 12-480. Credit on tax. Refund. Challenging legality of registration fee.

Sec. 12-480a. Certain motor fuel dealers permitted to purchase diesel fuel without payment of tax when purchased for sale to motor carriers who pay the tax as provided in this chapter.

Sec. 12-481. Bond for payment of tax.

Sec. 12-482. Penalties for wilful violations of requirements of this chapter.

Sec. 12-483. Payment of tax.

Sec. 12-484. Reports by motor carriers. Regulations.

Sec. 12-484a. Charter or special operations omitted from quarterly reports.

Sec. 12-485. Joint reports.

Sec. 12-486. Inspection of books and records by the commissioner. Agreements with other jurisdictions for cooperative audits. International fuel tax agreement.

Sec. 12-486a. Deficiency assessments by commissioner.

Sec. 12-487. Registration of vehicles for purposes of the motor carrier road tax. Use of dyed diesel fuel.

Sec. 12-488. Failure to file report or pay tax. Collection procedure and state lien against real estate as security for tax.

Sec. 12-489. Hearings before commissioner related to tax, penalty or interest under this chapter. Appeal to Superior Court from determinations of commissioner.

Sec. 12-490. Tax in addition to other taxes; payment to State Treasurer.

Sec. 12-491. Use of services of other departments. Investigation or hearing procedures.

Sec. 12-492. Fine payable for violation of requirements in section 12-487.

Sec. 12-493. Government vehicles and school buses excepted.


Sec. 12-478. Definitions. Whenever used in this chapter:

(1) “Motor carrier” means every person, firm or corporation which operates or causes to be operated on any highway in this state any qualified motor vehicle;

(2) “Operations” means operations of all such vehicles, whether loaded or empty, whether or not for compensation and whether owned by or leased to the motor carrier which operates them or causes them to be operated;

(3) “Motor fuel” means “fuels” as defined in section 12-455a; and

(4) “Qualified motor vehicle” means a motor vehicle that is used, designed or maintained for transportation of persons or property and that (A) has two axles and a gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeding twenty-six thousand pounds; or (B) has three or more axles regardless of weight; or (C) is used in combination and the combined gross vehicle weight or registered gross vehicle weight exceeds twenty-six thousand pounds; but does not include a recreation vehicle that is used exclusively for personal pleasure, and not used in connection with any trade or business, by an individual.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 1; P.A. 80-71, S. 23, 30; P.A. 81-14, S. 3, 4; P.A. 82-25, S. 7, 10; P.A. 84-429, S. 51; P.A. 85-449, S. 1, 3; P.A. 95-35, S. 1, 3; P.A. 03-107, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 80-71 redefined “motor carrier” to include trucks with registered gross weight over 18,000 pounds, rather than trucks with more than two axles, and to delete exception for persons, firms or corporations owning not more than three trucks for their own use; P.A. 81-14 added consideration of light weight in Subsec. (a); P.A. 82-25 substituted references to Sec. 12-455a for reference to repealed Sec. 12-459a in Subdiv. (a) and for reference to Secs. 14-1 and 14-465 in Subdiv. (c), effective July 1, 1982, and applicable to fuel sales by distributors on or after that date; P.A. 84-429 made technical change for statutory consistency; P.A. 85-449 redefined “motor carrier” to include buses used exclusively for charter or special operations and added Subdiv. (d) defining “charter” and “special operations”, effective July 1, 1986; P.A. 95-35 redesignated Subsecs. (a) to (d) as Subdivs. (1) to (4) and added Subdiv. (5) defining “qualified motor vehicle”, effective January 1, 1996; P.A. 03-107 deleted former Subdiv. (4) defining “charter” and “special operations” and redesignated existing Subdiv. (5) as new Subdiv. (4), effective June 18, 2003.

Sec. 12-479. Tax rate. Every motor carrier shall pay a road tax equivalent to the rate per gallon of the tax in effect under chapter 221 calculated on the amount of motor fuel used in its operations within this state.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 2.)

Sec. 12-479a. Tax rate increase. Section 12-479a is repealed.

(1969, P.A. 612, S. 4; P.A. 82-25, S. 9, 10; 82-472, S. 182, 183.)

Sec. 12-480. Credit on tax. Refund. Challenging legality of registration fee. (a) Every such motor carrier shall be entitled to a credit on such tax equivalent to the rate per gallon of the tax in effect under said chapter 221 on all motor fuel purchased by such carrier within this state for use in its operations either within or without this state and upon which motor fuel the tax imposed by the laws of this state has been paid by such carrier. Evidence of the payment of such tax in such form as may be required by, or is satisfactory to, the Commissioner of Revenue Services shall be furnished by each such carrier claiming the credit herein allowed. When the amount of the credit herein provided to which any motor carrier is entitled for any quarter exceeds the amount of the tax for which such carrier is liable for the same quarter, such excess may, under regulations of the Commissioner of Revenue Services, be allowed as a credit on the tax for which such carrier would be otherwise liable for any of the four succeeding quarters; or such carrier may file, within one year from the due date for such quarter, an application verified and presented, in accordance with regulations adopted by the Commissioner of Revenue Services in accordance with chapter 54 and supported by such evidence as may be satisfactory to the Commissioner of Revenue Services, for a refund of such excess.

(b) (1) The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall not allow such refund except after an audit of the applicant’s records and he shall audit the records of an applicant at least once a year. The commissioner shall transmit all claims approved by him to the Comptroller, who shall draw an order on the State Treasurer for payment of such refund. If the commissioner determines that any such claim is not valid, either in whole or in part, he shall mail notice of the proposed disallowance to the claimant, which notice shall set forth briefly the commissioner’s findings of fact and the basis of disallowance in each case decided in whole or in part adversely to the claimant. Sixty days after the date on which it is mailed, a notice of proposed disallowance shall constitute a final disallowance except only for such amounts as to which the claimant has filed, as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, a written protest with the Commissioner of Revenue Services.

(2) On or before the sixtieth day after the mailing of the proposed disallowance, the claimant may file with the commissioner a written protest against the proposed disallowance in which the claimant sets forth the grounds on which the protest is based. If a protest is filed, the commissioner shall reconsider the proposed disallowance and, if the claimant has so requested, may grant or deny the claimant or the claimant’s authorized representatives an oral hearing.

(3) The commissioner shall mail notice of his determination to the claimant, which notice shall set forth briefly the commissioner’s findings of fact and the basis of decision in each case decided in whole or in part adversely to the claimant.

(4) The action of the commissioner on the claimant’s protest shall be final upon the expiration of one month from the date on which he mails notice of his action to the claimant unless within such period the claimant seeks judicial review of the commissioner’s determination pursuant to subsection (b) of section 12-489.

(c) (1) Any motor carrier who has registered any vehicle and paid a fee pursuant to section 12-487, and who claims that such registration or payment is illegal for any reason, may claim a refund or credit, in writing, within six months after such registration or payment. If, upon examination of such claim, the commissioner determines that such registration or payment was illegal, the State Treasurer, upon order of the Comptroller, shall refund or credit the amount of any such fee to such motor carrier. If the commissioner determines that registration or payment was legal, he shall mail notice of the proposed disallowance to the motor carrier, which notice shall set forth briefly the commissioner’s findings of fact and the basis of disallowance in each case decided in whole or in part adversely to the claimant. Sixty days after the date on which it is mailed, a notice of proposed disallowance shall constitute a final disallowance except only for such amounts as to which the claimant has filed, as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, a written protest with the commissioner.

(2) On or before the sixtieth day after the mailing of the proposed disallowance, the claimant may file with the commissioner a written protest against the proposed disallowance in which the claimant sets forth the grounds on which the protest is based. If a protest is filed, the commissioner shall reconsider the proposed disallowance and, if the claimant has so requested, may grant or deny the claimant or the claimant’s authorized representatives an oral hearing.

(3) The commissioner shall mail notice of his determination to the claimant, which notice shall set forth briefly the commissioner’s findings of fact and the basis of decision in each case decided in whole or in part adversely to the claimant.

(4) The action of the commissioner on the claimant’s protest shall be final upon the expiration of one month from the date on which he mails notice of his action to the claimant unless within such period the claimant seeks judicial review of the commissioner’s determination pursuant to subsection (b) of section 12-489.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 3; 1967, P.A. 23, S. 1; P.A. 73-675, S. 6, 44; P.A. 74-342, S. 13, 43; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 78-179, S. 1, 2; P.A. 81-366, S. 3, 7; P.A. 90-140, S. 1, 2; P.A. 97-243, S. 59, 67.)

History: 1967 act rewrote provision in Subsec. (a) for refunds of excess when tax paid to another state on fuel purchased in Connecticut for clarity and economy of expression; P.A. 73-675 substituted transportation fund for highway fund in Subsec. (b); P.A. 74-342 deleted provision for payment of refund out of transportation fund in Subsec. (b); P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 78-179 required filing of application for refund within one year from due date of quarter rather than within six months of end of quarter, effective May 17, 1978, and applicable to taxes due under chapter 222 for the calendar quarter ending September 30, 1978, and each calendar quarter thereafter; P.A. 81-366 added Subsec. (c) providing for a credit or refund of any registration fee challenged as being illegal, effective June 29, 1981; P.A. 90-140 amended Subsec. (a) by eliminating the requirement that to be eligible for refund the carrier must have incurred liability in another state under a similar tax and that the refund may not exceed the tax liability to such other state calculated at a rate not in excess of the rate of motor fuel tax in effect in Connecticut, effective January 1, 1991, and applicable to refunds under Sec. 12-480 on or after that date; P.A. 97-243 amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) to provide for an administrative hearing with the department before taking an appeal to the Superior Court, to establish the time for filing a claim and to make technical changes, effective July 1, 1997, and applicable to claims for refund filed on or after said date.

Cited. 209 C. 679.

Sec. 12-480a. Certain motor fuel dealers permitted to purchase diesel fuel without payment of tax when purchased for sale to motor carriers who pay the tax as provided in this chapter. Section 12-480a is repealed.

(P.A. 86-352, S. 1, 5; P.A. 87-222, S. 1, 2; P.A. 89-251, S. 54, 203; P.A. 91-231, S. 8; P.A. 93-179, S. 3.)

Sec. 12-481. Bond for payment of tax. A motor carrier may give a bond, issued by a surety company authorized to issue bonds in the state, in an amount satisfactory to the Commissioner of Revenue Services which shall be not less than one thousand dollars or more than ten thousand dollars payable to the state of Connecticut and conditioned that the carrier will pay all taxes due and to become due under this chapter from the date of the bond to the date when either the carrier or the bonding company notifies the Commissioner of Revenue Services that the bond has been cancelled. As long as the bond remains in force, the Commissioner of Revenue Services may order refunds to the motor carrier in the amounts appearing to be due on applications filed by the carrier under section 12-480 without first auditing the records of the carrier. The surety shall be liable for all omitted taxes assessed against the carrier, including the penalties and interest on such taxes provided in section 12-488, even though the assessment is made after cancellation of the bond, but only for such taxes due and payable while the bond was in force and penalties and interest on such taxes.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 4; February, 1965, P.A. 66, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 06-196, S. 90.)

History: 1965 act made amount of bond dependent upon commissioner’s decision within limits of $1,000 minimum and $10,000 maximum, previously bond was $10,000 without exception; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 06-196 made technical changes, effective June 7, 2006.

Sec. 12-482. Penalties for wilful violations of requirements of this chapter. (a) Any person required under this chapter to pay any tax, or required under this chapter or by regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of section 12-484 or 12-487 to make a report, keep any records or supply any information, who wilfully fails to pay such tax, make such report, keep such records, or supply such information, at the time required by law or regulations, shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, be fined not more than one thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year or both. Notwithstanding the provisions of section 54-193, no person shall be prosecuted for a violation of the provisions of this subsection committed on or after July 1, 1997, except within three years next after such violation has been committed. As used in this section, person includes any officer or employee of a corporation or a member or employee of a partnership under a duty to pay such tax, to make such report, keep such records or supply such information.

(b) Any person who wilfully delivers or discloses to the commissioner or his authorized agent any list, report, account, statement or other document, known by him to be fraudulent or false in any material matter, shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than five years nor less than one year or both. No person shall be charged with an offense under both subsections (a) and (b) of this section in relation to the same tax period but such person may be charged and prosecuted for both such offenses upon the same information.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 5; P.A. 88-314, S. 38, 54; P.A. 97-203, S. 9, 20.)

History: P.A. 88-314 deleted the entire section concerning penalties for wilfully false statements for the purpose of obtaining a credit, refund or reduction related to tax liability under this chapter, and substituted in lieu thereof penalty provisions for wilful failure to pay the tax or make required reports within the time allowed and wilful delivery of any report or other document known to be false, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; P.A. 97-203 amended Subsec. (a) to extend to three years the time within which persons wilfully failing to file tax returns or pay taxes may be criminally prosecuted, effective July 1, 1997.

Sec. 12-483. Payment of tax. The tax hereby imposed shall be paid by each motor carrier quarterly to the Commissioner of Revenue Services on or before the last day of January, April, July and October of each year and calculated upon the amount of gasoline or other motor fuel used in its operations within this state by such carrier during the quarter ending with the last day of the preceding month. The amount of motor fuel used in the operations of any motor carrier within this state shall be such proportion of the total amount of such motor fuel used in its entire operations within and without this state as the total number of miles traveled within this state bears to the total number of miles traveled within and without this state. The commissioner may, at his discretion, allow use of a miles per gallon factor in computing fuel used in operations in lieu of the above formula if evidence is presented to his satisfaction that no loss of revenue will result. The commissioner may hold the lessor and lessee of vehicles used by such motor carrier jointly and severally responsible for the payment of the tax set forth in this section.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 6; 1963, P.A. 132; 1967, P.A. 23, S. 2; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610.)

History: 1963 act allowed commissioner to permit use of miles per gallon factor in computing fuel used; 1967 act allowed commissioner to hold lessor and lessee of vehicles jointly and severally responsible for payment of tax; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner to hold lessor and lessee of services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979.

Sec. 12-484. Reports by motor carriers. Regulations. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, every motor carrier subject to the tax imposed by this chapter shall, on or before the last day of January, April, July and October, annually, make to the commissioner such reports of its operations during the quarter ending the last day of the preceding month as the commissioner may require and such other reports from time to time as the commissioner may deem necessary.

(b) The commissioner shall exempt from the reporting requirements of subsection (a) of this section, those motor carriers operating solely within this state and purchasing motor fuel solely within this state.

(c) The commissioner shall adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 relating to the administration and enforcement of this chapter.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 7; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 87-33; P.A. 89-9, S. 1, 2; P.A. 10-188, S. 7.)

History: P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 87-33 required commissioner to adopt and enforce regulations relating to administration and enforcement of chapter; P.A. 89-9 enabled the commissioner, by regulation, to allow reports of operations for periods other than quarterly and to exempt as a class motor carriers purchasing motor fuel solely within this state, requiring an annual report in such cases in lieu of any other reporting period; P.A. 10-188 divided existing provisions into Subsecs. (a) and (b), amended Subsec. (a) to eliminate alternative reporting periods and remove regulations provisions, amended Subsec. (b) to require that exemption from reporting requirements be provided to motor carriers operating and purchasing fuel solely within the state and to remove regulations provisions, and added Subsec. (c) re regulations, effective July 1, 2010, and applicable to quarterly periods commencing on or after January 1, 2011.

Sec. 12-484a. Charter or special operations omitted from quarterly reports. Section 12-484a is repealed, effective June 18, 2003.

(P.A. 85-449, S. 2, 3; P.A. 03-107, S. 11.)

Sec. 12-485. Joint reports. (a) Two or more motor carriers regularly engaged in the transportation of passengers on through buses on through tickets in pool service may, at their option, make joint reports of their entire operations in this state. The taxes imposed by section 12-479 shall be calculated on the basis of such joint reports as though such carriers were a single carrier; and the carriers making such reports shall be jointly and severally liable for the taxes.

(b) Such joint reports shall show the total number of over-the-road miles traveled in this state and the total number of gallons of motor fuel purchased in this state by the reporting carriers. Credits to which the carriers making a joint return are entitled shall not be allowed as credits to any other carrier; but carriers filing joint reports shall permit all carriers engaged in this state in pool operations with them to join in filing joint reports.

(c) The vehicles of carriers filing joint reports shall be deemed to have consumed on the average one gallon of motor fuel for each five miles traveled unless evidence discloses that a different amount was consumed.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 8.)

Sec. 12-486. Inspection of books and records by the commissioner. Agreements with other jurisdictions for cooperative audits. International fuel tax agreement. (a) The Commissioner of Revenue Services and his authorized agents and representatives may, at any reasonable time, inspect the books and records of any motor carrier subject to the tax imposed by this chapter.

(b) The commissioner may enter into agreements with the appropriate authorities of other jurisdictions having statutes similar to this chapter for the cooperative audit of motor carrier reports and returns. In performing any such audit or part thereof, the officers and employees of the other jurisdiction or jurisdictions shall be deemed authorized agents of this state for such purpose, and such audits or parts thereof shall have the same effect as similar audits or parts thereof made by the Department of Revenue Services.

(c) (1) For purposes of this subsection:

(A) “Department” means the Department of Revenue Services.

(B) “Commissioner” means the Commissioner of Revenue Services.

(C) “Motor carrier” means any individual, firm, association, or private or public corporation engaged in interstate commercial operation of motor vehicles, any part of which is within this state or any other jurisdiction that is party to an agreement under this subsection.

(D) “Licensee” means any motor carrier who has been issued a motor fuels tax license under an agreement entered into under this subsection.

(E) “Jurisdiction” means a state, territory or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, a foreign country or a province of a foreign country.

(F) “Base jurisdiction” means the jurisdiction in which the licensee is legally domiciled, or in the case of a licensee who has no legal domicile, the jurisdiction from or in which the licensee’s vehicles are most frequently dispatched, garaged, serviced, maintained, operated or otherwise controlled.

(G) “Motor fuels” means “fuels” as defined in section 12-455a.

(H) “Motor fuels taxes” means the tax imposed under this chapter and any similar tax imposed by other jurisdictions that are parties to an agreement under this subsection.

(2) In lieu of the requirements of this chapter with respect to licensing, bonding, reporting and auditing, the commissioner may enter into the International Fuel Tax Agreement or other cooperative agreements with another jurisdiction or other jurisdictions to permit base jurisdiction licensing of motor carriers who are liable for the tax imposed by this chapter and to provide for the cooperation and assistance among the jurisdictions that are parties to the agreement in the administration and collection of motor fuels taxes. No agreement, arrangement, declaration, or amendment to an agreement is effective until stated in writing and approved by the commissioner. If the commissioner enters into the International Fuel Tax Agreement or other cooperative agreement under this subsection, and if the provisions set forth in that agreement or other agreement are different from provisions prescribed by other sections of the general statutes, then the agreement provisions shall prevail.

(3) The amount of the tax imposed and collected on behalf of this state under an agreement entered into under this subsection shall be determined as provided in this chapter.

(4) An agreement entered into under this subsection may provide for determining (A) the base jurisdiction for motor carriers, (B) record-keeping requirements, (C) audit procedures, (D) exchange of information, (E) persons eligible to be licensees, (F) license revocation, (G) tax reporting requirements and periods, (H) penalties and interest for filing of tax reports or payment of tax after the due dates prescribed by the agreement, (I) procedures for forwarding of taxes, penalties and interest collected on behalf of another jurisdiction to that jurisdiction, (J) if bonding is required and (K) any additional provisions which will facilitate the administration of the agreement.

(5) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes to the contrary, the commissioner may, as required by the terms of an agreement entered into under this subsection, forward to any official of another jurisdiction that is a party to the agreement any information in the possession of the department relative to the manufacture, receipt, sale, use, transportation or shipment of motor fuels by any person. The commissioner may disclose to any official of another jurisdiction that is a party to the agreement the location of offices, motor vehicles and other real and personal property of motor carriers.

(6) An agreement entered into under this subsection may provide for each jurisdiction that is a party to the agreement to audit the records of licensees based in such jurisdiction to determine if the motor fuel taxes due each jurisdiction are properly reported and paid. Each jurisdiction that is a party to the agreement shall forward the findings of the audits performed on licensees based in such jurisdiction to each other jurisdiction that is a party to the agreement in which the carrier has taxable use of motor fuels. Such findings may be served upon the licensee and shall have the same effect as the audit findings made by the department.

(7) No agreement entered into under this subsection may preclude the department from auditing the records of any motor carrier who has used motor fuels in this state. Any licensee or motor carrier who is eligible to be a licensee from whom the department has requested records shall make the records available at the location designated by the department or may request the department to audit such records at the place of business of such licensee or motor carrier. If the place of business is located outside this state, the department may require such licensee or motor carrier to reimburse the department for authorized per diem and travel expenses.

(8) The legal remedies for any motor carrier who is served with an order or assessment under an agreement entered into under this subsection are as prescribed in section 12-489.

(9) This subsection shall be applied and construed to effectuate its general purpose to make uniform the law with respect to the subject of this subsection among jurisdictions enacting it for the purpose of participating in the International Fuel Tax Agreement.

(10) The commissioner may enter into the International Fuel Tax Agreement on or after July 1, 1993, provided that such entry is not effective before January 1, 1996.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 9; 1967, P.A. 23, S. 3; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 93-179, S. 1.)

History: 1967 act added provisions re cooperative audits of motor carrier reports and returns; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 93-179 divided existing provisions into Subsecs. (a) and (b) and added new Subsec. (c) re entry into the International Fuel Tax Agreement; (Revisor’s note: In 1997 the Revisors editorially corrected a reference in Subsec. (c)(4) from “payment of tax after the dues dates prescribed ...” to “payment of tax after the due dates prescribed ...”).

Sec. 12-486a. Deficiency assessments by commissioner. (a) If the Commissioner of Revenue Services is not satisfied with any report or return of a motor carrier subject to the tax imposed by this chapter or the amount of such tax to be paid by any such motor carrier, the commissioner may compute and assess the amount of such tax on the basis of facts contained in such report or return or on the basis of any other information available to the commissioner. One or more deficiency assessments may be made with respect to any return for the tax imposed by this chapter.

(b) The amount of such deficiency assessment, exclusive of penalties, shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof from the last day of the month succeeding the quarterly period for which the amount or any portion thereof should have been returned until the date of payment.

(c) When it appears that any part of the deficiency for which a deficiency assessment is made is due to negligence or intentional disregard of the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated thereunder, there shall be imposed a penalty equal to ten per cent of the amount of such deficiency assessment, or fifty dollars, whichever is greater. When it appears that any part of the deficiency for which a deficiency assessment is made is due to fraud or intent to evade the provisions of this chapter or regulations promulgated thereunder, there shall be imposed a penalty of twenty-five per cent of the amount of such deficiency assessment. No taxpayer shall be subject to more than one penalty under this subsection in relation to the same tax period.

(d) The Commissioner of Revenue Services shall give written notice to any motor carrier of any such deficiency assessment. If such notice is served by mail, it shall be addressed to such motor carrier at the address appearing in the records of the Department of Revenue Services. Except in the case of fraud, intent to evade the provisions of this chapter or failure to submit a return, such notice of a deficiency assessment shall be mailed within three years after the last day of the month following the quarterly period for which the amount is assessed or within three years after the return for such period is filed, whichever is later.

(e) If, prior to the expiration of the time prescribed in subsection (d) of this section for the mailing of notice of a deficiency assessment, the taxpayer has consented in writing to the mailing of notice after such time, the notice may be mailed at any time prior to the expiration of the period agreed upon for such mailing. The period so agreed upon may be extended by subsequent agreements in writing made before the expiration of such period.

(P.A. 75-552, S. 1, 2; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 81-64, S. 15, 23; 81-411, S. 34, 42; P.A. 88-314, S. 39, 54; P.A. 95-26, S. 24, 52.)

History: P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 81-64 amended Subsec. (c) to include a minimum penalty of $50; P.A. 81-411 increased the rate of interest applicable to the deficiency assessment from 1% to 1.25% per month, effective July 1, 1981, and applicable to taxes becoming due on or after that date; P.A. 88-314 amended Subsec. (c), concerning penalties when a deficiency in payment of tax is due to negligent compliance with this chapter and when due to intent to evade chapter requirements, by making the penalties applicable in the case of deficiency due to negligent compliance with or intent to evade regulations promulgated under this chapter, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; P.A. 95-26 amended Subsec. (b) to lower interest rate from 1.25% to 1%, effective July 1, 1995, and applicable to taxes due and owing on or after July 1, 1995, whether or not those taxes first became due before said date.

Sec. 12-487. Registration of vehicles for purposes of the motor carrier road tax. Use of dyed diesel fuel. (a) Each motor carrier operating or causing to be operated on any highway in this state any qualified motor vehicle, as defined in section 12-478, solely and exclusively in intrastate commerce shall register each such vehicle with the Commissioner of Revenue Services, for a fee of ten dollars per vehicle, which registration shall be renewable annually. On the registration of any such vehicle, said commissioner shall provide identification markers for such vehicle to be affixed to the lower rear portion of the exterior side of the vehicle’s doors. Such marker shall remain the property of the state and may be recalled for any violation of the provisions of this chapter or of the regulations promulgated hereunder.

(b) (1) Each motor carrier operating or causing to be operated on any highway in this state any qualified motor vehicle, as defined in section 12-478, in interstate commerce shall, if such carrier’s base jurisdiction is this state, for purposes of any agreement entered into by the commissioner under subsection (c) of section 12-486, register each such vehicle with the Commissioner of Revenue Services, for a fee of ten dollars per vehicle, which registration shall be renewable annually. On the registration of any such vehicle, the commissioner shall provide identification markers for such vehicle to be affixed as required by such agreement. Such marker shall remain the property of the state and may be recalled for any violation of the provisions of this chapter or of the regulations adopted thereunder.

(2) Each motor carrier operating or causing to be operated on any highway in this state any qualified motor vehicle, as defined in section 12-478, in interstate commerce shall, if such carrier’s base jurisdiction is other than this state, for purposes of any agreement entered into by the commissioner under subsection (c) of section 12-486, affix, in the manner required by such agreement, identification markers to such vehicle.

(c) No person shall operate or cause to be operated any such vehicle in this state unless such vehicle bears the identification markers required by this section, provided the commissioner by letter or telegram may authorize the operation, for a period not to exceed ten days as to any one motor carrier, of a vehicle or vehicles without such identification marker when the enforcement of this section would cause undue delay and hardship in the operation of such vehicle or vehicles and when the enforcement of this chapter will not be adversely affected. Any person operating or causing to be operated in this state any qualified motor vehicle, as defined in section 12-478, to which the identification markers required by this section or any regulations adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 are not properly affixed shall have committed an infraction, the fine for which shall be ninety dollars. Any person who is alleged to have committed such an infraction shall follow the procedures set forth in section 51-164n or section 51-164o, as applicable.

(d) (1) For purposes of this subsection, “dyed diesel fuel” means diesel fuel that has been dyed in compliance with, or in intended compliance with, regulations adopted under Section 4082 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, or any subsequent corresponding internal revenue code of the United States, as amended from time to time; “highway” has the same meaning as provided in section 14-1; and “motor vehicle” has the same meaning as provided in section 14-1, but does not include any passenger motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1, or any passenger and commercial motor vehicle, as defined in section 14-1.

(2) Any person operating or causing to be operated on any highway any motor vehicle that contains dyed diesel fuel in the fuel supply tank of the propulsion engine of such vehicle, unless permitted to do so under a federal law or regulation relating to the use of dyed diesel fuel on the public highways, shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars.

(3) Any person who, upon request by an authorized official of the Department of Revenue Services or another state agency, refuses to allow an inspection of the fuel supply tank of the propulsion engine of a motor vehicle shall be fined not more than one thousand dollars.

(4) Any person who is alleged to have violated a provision of this subsection shall follow the procedures set forth in section 51-164n or section 51-164o, as applicable.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 10; 1969, P.A. 599, S. 1; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 80-71, S. 24, 30; P.A. 81-14, S. 1, 4; 81-366, S. 4, 7; P.A. 86-352, S. 3, 5; P.A. 88-249, S. 1; P.A. 93-179, S. 2; P.A. 95-35, S. 2, 3; P.A. 97-243, S. 37, 67; P.A. 11-61, S. 64.)

History: 1969 act raised registration fee from $1 to $3; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-71 increased registration fee to $5; P.A. 81-14 increased the annual registration fee to $40 and added exception re motor buses operating under permit issued pursuant to Sec. 13b-89; P.A. 81-366 reduced the motor carrier registration fee to $10, effective July 1, 1981; P.A. 86-352 added Subsec. (b) concerning the additional registration required with respect to each vehicle of a motor carrier for purposes of the purchase of motor fuel on which state tax has not been paid, effective (1) July 1, 1986, for purposes of establishing procedures and regulations and preparation of farms and identification markers as required in Sec. 12-480a and (2) October 1, 1987 for purposes of actual sales of diesel fuel to holders of permits in accordance with the procedure in Sec. 12-480a; P.A. 88-249 amended Subsec. (a) to provide that on or after January 1, 1989, in lieu of July 1, 1981, the commissioner shall provide by regulation for motor carrier registration, to delete the exemption for vehicles bearing number plates issued by this state, and to eliminate fee provision concerning registrations issued prior to July 1, 1981, for calendar year 1981; P.A. 93-179 amended provisions formerly designated as Subsec. (a) to remove exception re motor buses operating under permit issued pursuant to Sec. 13b-89 and deleted former Subsec. (b) concerning the additional registration required for purposes of purchasing motor fuel with respect to which state tax has not been paid; P.A. 95-35 changed the single identification marker requirement to identification markers to be affixed to the lower rear portion of the exterior side of the vehicle’s doors, effective January 1, 1996; P.A. 97-243 divided section into Subsecs. (a) to (c), added requirement that motor carriers operating qualified motor vehicles be registered with commissioner for both interstate and intrastate commerce, provided penalty for failure to properly affix identification markers and required use of procedure in Sec. 51-164n, effective June 24, 1997; P.A. 11-61 added Subsec. (d) re use of dyed diesel fuel and made technical changes, effective July 1, 2011.

Cited. 209 C. 679.

Sec. 12-488. Failure to file report or pay tax. Collection procedure and state lien against real estate as security for tax. (a) If any motor carrier fails to pay tax reported to be due on its report within the time specified under the provisions of this chapter, there shall be imposed a penalty of ten per cent of such amount of tax due and unpaid, or fifty dollars, whichever is greater. The tax shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof, from the due date of such tax until the date of payment. If no return has been filed within one month after the time specified under the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner may make such return at any time thereafter, according to the best information obtainable and the form prescribed. There shall be added to the tax imposed upon the basis of such return, an amount equal to ten per cent of such tax, or fifty dollars, whichever is greater. The tax shall bear interest at the rate of one per cent per month or fraction thereof, from the due date of such tax to the date of payment. Subject to the provisions of section 12-3a, the commissioner may waive all or part of the penalties provided under this chapter when it is proven to his satisfaction that the failure to pay any tax was due to reasonable cause and was not intentional or due to neglect.

(b) The amount of any tax, penalty or interest due and unpaid under the provisions of this chapter may be collected under the provisions of section 12-35. The warrant therein provided for shall be signed by the commissioner or his authorized agent. The amount of any such tax, penalty and interest shall be a lien, from the last day of the calendar quarter next preceding the due date of such tax until discharged by payment, against all real estate of the taxpayer within the state, and a certificate of such lien signed by the commissioner may be filed for record in the office of the clerk of any town in which such real estate is situated, provided no such lien shall be effective as against any bona fide purchaser or qualified encumbrancer of any interest in any such property. When any tax with respect to which a lien has been recorded under the provisions of this section has been satisfied, the commissioner, upon request of any interested party, shall issue a certificate discharging such lien, which certificate shall be recorded in the same office in which the lien is recorded. Any action for the foreclosure of such lien shall be brought by the Attorney General in the name of the state in the superior court for the judicial district in which the property subject to such lien is situated, or, if such property is located in two or more judicial districts, in the superior court for any one such judicial district, and the court may limit the time for redemption or order the sale of such property or make such other or further decree as it judges equitable.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 11; 1967, P.A. 23, S. 4; 1969, P.A. 388, S. 16; P.A. 76-322, S. 17, 27; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 610; P.A. 80-307, S. 25, 31; P.A. 81-64, S. 16, 23; 81-411, S. 35, 42; P.A. 82-172, S. 10, 14; P.A. 88-314, S. 40, 54; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-4, S. 61, 85; P.A. 95-160, S. 64, 69.)

History: 1967 act deleted provision for charging interest on penalties and allowed waiver of penalties if failure to fulfill requirements “due to reasonable cause” rather than if failure “not wilful”; 1969 act increased interest rate from 0.5% to 0.75% per month; P.A. 76-322 increased interest rate to 1%; P.A. 77-614 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-307 temporarily increased interest rate to 1.25% for taxes due on or after July 1, 1980, but not later than June 30, 1981; P.A. 81-64 amended penalty provisions, including a minimum penalty of $50 rather than $10, and revised waiver provision to conform with other sections; P.A. 81-411 continued interest applicable to tax not paid when due at 1.25% per month, effective July 1, 1981, and applicable to taxes becoming due on or after that date; P.A. 82-172 added Subsec. (b) re collection of tax, re lien against real estate related to overdue taxes and re lien foreclosure procedure; P.A. 88-314 amended Subsec. (a) by a technical restatement concerning the imposition of penalty for failure to pay the tax reported to be due within the time specified, effective July 1, 1988, and applicable to any tax which first becomes due and payable on or after said date, to any return or report due on or after said date, or in the case of any ongoing obligation imposed in accordance with said act, to the tax period next beginning on or after said date; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-4 in Subsec. (a) reduced interest rate from 1.25% to 1%, provided that such interest may only be applied on the tax rather than on the tax and any penalty and provided for the commissioner to make a return for a taxpayer who fails to file a return within one month after the specified due date, effective July 1, 1995, and applicable to taxes due and owing on or after said date; P.A. 95-160 revised effective date of May Sp. Sess. P.A. 94-4 but without affecting this section.

Sec. 12-489. Hearings before commissioner related to tax, penalty or interest under this chapter. Appeal to Superior Court from determinations of commissioner. (a) Any motor carrier aggrieved by any act of the commissioner or his authorized agent under this chapter may apply to the commissioner, in writing, within sixty days after notification of any such act of the commissioner is delivered or mailed to it, for a hearing and a correction of the amount of any tax, penalty or interest, setting forth reasons why such hearing should be granted and the amount by which such tax, penalty or interest should be reduced. The commissioner shall promptly consider each such application and may grant or deny the hearing requested. If the hearing is denied, the applicant shall be notified forthwith. If it is granted, the commissioner shall notify the applicant of the time and place fixed for such hearing. After such hearing the commissioner may make such order in the premises as appears to him just and lawful and shall furnish a copy of such order to the applicant. The commissioner may, by notice in writing, at any time within three years after the date when any return of any taxpayer has been due, order a hearing on his own initiative and require the taxpayer or any individual whom he believes to be in possession of relevant information concerning the taxpayer to appear before him or his authorized agent with any specified books of account, papers or other documents, for examination under oath.

(b) Any motor carrier aggrieved because of any order, decision, determination or disallowance of the commissioner made under this chapter may, within one month after service of notice of such order, decision, determination or disallowance, take an appeal therefrom to the superior court for the judicial district of New Britain, which shall be accompanied by a citation to the Commissioner of Revenue Services to appear before said court. Such citation shall be signed by the same authority, and such appeal shall be returnable at the same time and served and returned in the same manner, as is required in case of a summons in a civil action. The authority issuing the citation shall take from the appellant a bond or recognizance to the state of Connecticut, with surety, to prosecute the appeal to effect and to comply with the orders and decrees of the court in the premises. Such appeals shall be preferred cases, to be heard, unless cause appears to the contrary, at the first session, by the court or by a committee appointed by it. Said court may grant such relief as may be equitable and, if any tax or fee has been paid prior to the granting of such relief, may order the Treasurer to pay the amount of such relief, with interest at the rate of two-thirds of one per cent per month or fraction thereof to the aggrieved motor carrier. If the appeal has been taken without probable cause, the court may tax double or triple costs, as the case demands; and, upon all such appeals which are denied, costs may be taxed against the appellant at the discretion of the court, but no costs shall be taxed against the state.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 12; 1971, P.A. 870, S. 101; P.A. 76-436, S. 324, 681; P.A. 78-280, S. 5, 6, 127; P.A. 81-366, S. 5, 7; P.A. 82-259, S. 6, 7; P.A. 88-230, S. 1, 12; P.A. 89-343, S. 14, 17; P.A. 90-98, S. 1, 2; P.A. 91-236, S. 11, 25; P.A. 93-142, S. 4, 7, 8; P.A. 95-26, S. 25, 52; 95-220, S. 4–6; P.A. 99-215, S. 24, 29.)

History: 1971 act substituted court of common pleas for superior court, effective September 1, 1971, except that courts with cases pending retain jurisdiction unless pending matters deemed transferable; P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for court of common pleas, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 78-280 substituted judicial district of Hartford-New Britain for Hartford county; P.A. 81-366 set the time in which to appeal at 45 days and gave the court the authority to grant equitable relief and to award court costs for any appeals of Subsec. (c) of Sec. 12-480; P.A. 82-259 deleted provisions related to appeal to superior court by any motor carrier concerning actions of the commissioner, and substituted in lieu thereof provisions re hearings before the commissioner related to any tax, penalty or interest under this chapter and re appeal to superior court by any motor carrier from determinations by the commissioner, including related procedures and relief court may grant; P.A. 88-230 replaced “judicial district of Hartford-New Britain” with “judicial district of Hartford”, effective September 1, 1991; P.A. 89-343 amended Subsec. (b) to increase the rate of interest on the amount of relief ordered by the court from 6% to 9% per annum; P.A. 90-98 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1991, to September 1, 1993; P.A. 91-236 amended Subsec. (a) to provide for 60, rather than 30, days to request a hearing, effective July 1, 1991, and applicable to taxes due on or after that date; P.A. 93-142 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1993, to September 1, 1996, effective June 14, 1993; P.A. 95-26 amended Subsec. (b) to lower interest rate from 9% per annum to 0.66% per month, effective July 1, 1995, and applicable to taxes due and owing on or after July 1, 1995, whether or not those taxes first became due before said date; P.A. 95-220 changed the effective date of P.A. 88-230 from September 1, 1996, to September 1, 1998, effective July 1, 1995 (Revisor’s note: The reference in Subsec. (b) to “bond of recognizance” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “bond or recognizance”); P.A. 99-215 replaced “judicial district of Hartford” with “judicial district of New Britain” in Subsec. (b), effective June 29, 1999.

Cited. 31 CS 134.

Subsec. (b):

Cited. 209 C. 679.

Sec. 12-490. Tax in addition to other taxes; payment to State Treasurer. The taxes imposed by this chapter are in addition to any other taxes imposed on motor carriers by any other provision of law. Moneys collected under the provisions of this chapter shall be paid promptly to the State Treasurer in accordance with section 13b-61.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 13; June, 1971, P.A. 8, S. 35; P.A. 73-2, S. 4, 11; 73-675, S. 7, 44; P.A. 74-342, S. 14, 43.)

History: 1971 act added exception crediting tax receipts from increase to general fund; P.A. 73-2 changed exception so that tax receipts in excess of $0.08 per gallon credited to general fund; P.A. 73-675 substituted transportation fund for highway fund; P.A. 74-342 required that moneys be paid to state treasurer rather than credited to transportation fund or general fund.

Sec. 12-491. Use of services of other departments. Investigation or hearing procedures. (a) The Commissioner of Revenue Services is authorized to avail himself or herself of the services of the state police, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in enforcing the provisions of this chapter.

(b) In carrying out the provisions of this chapter, the commissioner, and any representative of the commissioner authorized to conduct any inquiry, investigation or hearing, may administer oaths and take testimony under oath in any inquiry or investigation related to the tax imposed under this chapter. At any such hearing ordered by the commissioner, the commissioner or the commissioner’s representative authorized to conduct such hearing and to issue such process as may be necessary for such hearing may subpoena witnesses and require the production of books, papers and documents pertinent to such inquiry. No witness under subpoena shall be excused from testifying or from producing books or other documentary evidence on the ground that such testimony or the production of such books or other documentary evidence would tend to incriminate the witness provided such evidence or the books or other documentary evidence so produced shall not be used in any criminal proceeding against the witness. If any person disobeys such process or, having appeared in obedience to such process, refuses to answer any pertinent question put to him or her by the commissioner or the commissioner’s authorized representative, or to produce any books and other documentary evidence pursuant to such questioning, the commissioner or such representative may apply to the superior court for the judicial district in which the taxpayer resides or in which the business has been conducted setting forth such disobedience to process or refusal to answer. The court shall order such person to appear before said court to answer such question or to produce such books and documentary evidence and, upon such person’s refusal to do so, shall commit such person to a community correctional center until such person testifies, but not for a longer period than sixty days. Notwithstanding the serving of the term of such commitment by any person, the commissioner may proceed in all respects with such inquiry and examination as if the witness had not previously been called upon to testify.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 14; P.A. 75-486, S. 30, 69; P.A. 77-614, S. 139, 162, 486, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 80-482, S. 26, 348; P.A. 04-201, S. 3; P.A. 11-80, S. 1.)

History: P.A. 75-486 substituted public utilities control authority for public utilities commission; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 substituted commissioner of revenue services for tax commissioner and division of public utility control within the department of business regulation for public utilities control authority, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 80-482 made division of public utility control an independent department; P.A. 04-201 designated existing provisions as Subsec. (a) and amended same to make a technical change for the purpose of gender neutrality and added Subsec. (b) re investigation or hearing procedures to enforce the tax under chapter, effective June 3, 2004; pursuant to P.A. 11-80, “Department of Public Utility Control” was changed editorially by the Revisors to “Public Utilities Regulatory Authority” in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 2011.

Sec. 12-492. Fine payable for violation of requirements in section 12-487. Section 12-492 is repealed, effective June 24, 1997.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 15; P.A. 81-14, S. 2, 4; P.A. 84-198, S. 2, 7; P.A. 88-314, S. 41, 54; May Sp. Sess. P.A. 92-6, S. 4, 117; P.A. 97-243, S. 66, 67.)

Sec. 12-493. Government vehicles and school buses excepted. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any vehicle owned by the United States or the state or any political subdivision thereof or to any school bus.

(1961, P.A. 575, S. 16.)