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note The Oil Spill Response Tax is temporarily suspended effective April 1, 2013. See our Special Notice for more information.

What are the oil spill taxes?

The oil spill response tax and the oil spill administration tax are taxes on the receipt of crude oil or petroleum products at a marine terminal in Washington from a waterborne vessel or barge operating on the navigable waters of Washington. The tax is imposed on the person who owns the crude oil or petroleum products when the crude oil or petroleum products are received in the storage tanks of a marine terminal.


How do I pay the tax?

Both taxes are paid either:

  • directly to the marine terminal operator, or
  • by a taxpayer who has been issued a direct payment certificate.

The taxes are paid monthly on the Oil Spill Tax Return to the Department of Revenue.


What rate do I pay?

The rate of the oil spill administration tax is four cents per 42-gallon barrel.

The rate of the oil spill response tax is one cent per 42-gallon barrel. The oil spill response tax is imposed when funds in the oil spill response account is less than $8 million and will remain in effect until the account balance exceeds $9 million. The oil spill response tax will be suspended effective April 1, 2013.


What are the funds used for?

The funds are dispersed as follows:

  • The four cents per barrel oil spill administration tax is deposited into the oil spill prevention account to fund oil spill prevention and preparedness programs.
  • The one cent per barrel oil spill response tax is deposited into the oil spill response account to cover state response costs to oil spills which involve clean-up costs in excess of $50,000.

Forms & publications


Special Notice - Oil Spill Response Tax Suspended April 1 (pdf) new

Oil Spill Tax Returns

Tax Reference Manual (pdf)

 

References


Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 82.23B

Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 458-20-260