Federal Excise Tax (FET) info

The United States imposes excise taxes on a variety of commodities and services. Retail sellers of commercial and vocational vehicles, some truck and truck bodies, trailer and semitrailer bodies and chassis and truck tractors are subject to one of these federal excise taxes (FETs). The current version of the FET (I.R.C. §§ 4051-4053) affecting trucks levies a 12-percent tax on the first retail sale of a taxable body, chassis or tractor.

NTEA is one of the foremost authorities on the FET for the work truck industry. 

Information specific to the work truck industry:

  • Excise Tax Enquirer articles  - provide expert insights presented in a question-and-answer format to a specific FET issue. The answers incorporate IRS rulings and interpretations relevant to the taxability of items in the work truck industry. Also available in NTEA News.
  • Webinar presentations  - provide information on several FET-oriented topics, including: updates and recent changes; applications to truck bodies; tax-free sales to state and local governments; and exceptions for off-highway vehicles, mobile mounts for machinery and farm bodies.
  • FET Exemption Certificate - used for documenting the tax-free sale of a product for the purposes of resale. 
  • Municipal FET Exemption Certificate - used to document the tax-free sale of a product to a state or local government.
  • FET Guide - the first and only publication of its kind for the industry. It is an essential reference for the people in your company who make FET decisions on sales and who prepare your company's tax returns.   
  • FET Manual  - compilation of FET Bulletins, Quarterlies, Enquirers and Special discussions published since the retail excise tax took effect in 1984. You may order only the Manual or include an optional one-, two- or three-year update service providing copies of all of NTEA's FET materials published in the previous calendar year.
  • Excise Tax QuarterlyQuarterly review of IRS releases concerning FET on motor vehicles.

Contact Us

Members needing personalized FET assistance are encouraged to call NTEA’s toll-free FET and Engineering Hotline at 800-441-6832, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.