Internal Revenue Service
Rev. Rul. 72-618
1972-2 C.B. 640
Period of limitation applicable for the filing of claims for refund and the assessment of highway use tax with respect to vehicles put into use in different months during a taxable period.
Rev. Rul. 72-618
Advice has been requested concerning the periods of limitation on assessment of Highway Motor Vehicle Use tax and the filing of a claim for refund of overpayment of such taxes under the circumstances described below.
On August 31, 1967, the taxpayer filed a timely Form 2290, Federal Use Tax Return on Highway Motor Vehicles, for the taxable period July 1, 1967, through June 30, 1968, on which was reported and with which was paid the tax believed to be due on vehicles first used during the month of July, 1967. On March 2, 1972, the taxpayer filed a claim for refund of an overpayment of tax with respect to the return filed and tax paid on August 31, 1967, due to the improper weighing of vehicles first used during the month of July, 1967.
On August 31, 1971, the taxpayer filed two delinquent Forms 2290 on which were reported the taxes, interest and penalties due on additional vehicles first placed in use in April and May of 1968. These returns should have been filed on May 31 and June 30, 1968.
The specific questions to be answered are:
(1) Under section 6511(a) of the Code, whether the taxpayer filed a timely claim for refund on March 2, 1972 with respect to the highway use tax imposed on vehicles first placed in use in July 1967, where the taxpayer, on August 31, 1967, filed a return and paid the amount of tax it believed to be due;
(2) Under section 6501(a) of the Code, whether the assessment on August 31, 1971 of taxes and penalties was timely, for the highway use tax imposed with respect to the vehicles first placed in use in April and May of 1968, and with respect to which tax delinquent returns were filed on August 31, 1971.
A tax is imposed by section 4481 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 upon the use of certain highway motor vehicles on the public highways at any time during a "taxable period," as defined in section 4482(c) of the Code. If in any taxable period the first use of the vehicle is after the first month in such period, the tax shall be determined proportionately from the first day of the month in which such use occurs to and including the last day in such taxable period.
The term "taxable period" is defined in section 4482(c)(4) of the Code as any year beginning before July 1, 1977, and the period which begins on July 1, 1977, and ends at the close of September 30, 1977.
Section 4482(c)2) of the Code defines the term "year" to mean the one-year period beginning on July 1. Therefore, the "taxable period" in this case is the one-year period from July 1, 1967 to June 30, 1968.
Under section 41.6071(a)-1(b) of the Highway Motor Vehicle Use Tax Regulations, if the first taxable use of a highway motor vehicle occurs in July of the taxable period, a return of the tax on the use of the vehicle must be filed after July and on or before August 31 of the taxable period. If the first taxable use occurs in a month after July, a return of the tax on the use of the vehicle must be filed after such month and on or before the last day of the following month.
Section 41.6151(a)-1 of the regulations, relating to the time and place for paying tax shown on a highway use tax return, provides generally that the tax is due and payable at the time prescribed for filing the return. Thus, a taxpayer may be required to file several returns during a taxable period, each one covering the tax due on vehicles put into use in different months, and to pay the tax on each vehicle at the time the return with respect to such vehicle is filed.
Section 6511(a) of the Code provides that a claim for credit or refund of an overpayment of any tax for which a return is required to be made shall be filed within 3 years from the time the return is filed or 2 years from the time the tax is paid, whichever period expires later.
Accordingly, as to question (1), it is held that the period of limitations for filing a claim for refund of the tax paid with the return filed on August 31, 1967, expired on August 31, 1970. Therefore, the claim for refund filed on March 2, 1972, for the overpayment of such tax was not timely.
Section 6501(a) of the Code provides that the amount of tax imposed by the Code shall be assessed within three years after the return is filed. As indicated by the rules described above, the taxpayer in this case was required to file a return for each month during which vehicles were first placed in use in the taxable period.
Accordingly, as to question (2), it is held that the period of limitations on assessment provided by section 6501(a) of the Code, for the return filed August 31, 1971, will expire on August 31, 1974. Therefore, the assessment made on August 31, 1971 was valid.