WASHINGTONThe Tire Industry Association (TIA) has helped rectify a misinterpretation by the Internal Revenue Service of a tax regulation involving tire casings imported into the U.S. for retreading.
Earlier this year, the IRS sent out 10 field agents to crack down on retreaders who, the agency alleged, were not paying the required federal excise tax (FET) on those casings.
Within two weeks of the IRS action, five TIA members contacted the association's office in Bowie, Md., because the IRS was threatening them with heavy fines and tax bills, according to the association's Legislative Update.
The confusion resulted from an interpretation of a revenue ruling that spelled out that imported casings suitable for road use should be taxed, according to the article written by Roy Littlefield, ITA executive vice president.
They interpreted that a retreaded tire was suitable for road use and was therefore subject to the new FET because it had not been previously taxed, Mr. Littlefield wrote. The association had worked on a revenue ruling that clearly stated that an imported casing not suitable for use would be considered raw material to be used in the retread process and would not be subject to the FET.
TIA contacted the IRS and presented a long history of rules, regulations and revenue rulings that demonstrated the agency's interpretation of the imported casings rule was erroneous, according to Mr. Littlefield. On May 19, the IRS confirmed to TIA that it had reversed its interpretation and would not seek payment of FETs on those casings, he said.