FET on parts and accessories

Originally published in the May 2016 edition of Tech Trends (e-newsletter and as an article within NTEA News), this article is also available to you below as an employee of an NTEA member company.

Members have been asking about federal excise tax (FET) as related to parts and accessories rulings. As with most FET questions, solutions are vehicle-specific. The Internal Revenue Service breaks FET into specific categories: taxable articles (i.e., truck chassis, truck bodies, trailer chassis, trailer bodies and tractors) and parts and accessories (sold on or in connection with chassis, bodies and tractors).  

Helpful info

  • If a taxable chassis or body is sold by a retailer without parts or accessories considered essential for the operation or appearance of the taxable article, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, sale of these parts or accessories by the retailer to the buyer of the taxable article will be considered made in connection with sale of the taxable article even though shipped separately, whether at the same time or on a different date.
  • Tax is imposed on installation of a part or accessory on a taxable article within six months after the article was first placed in service. This does not apply if the aggregate price of non-replacement parts and accessories (and installation) for any vehicle does not exceed $1,000.


The seller of the taxable article may have liability for sale of parts and accessories within the six–month period post-sale. Consider reviewing this potential issue with your parts sales team to see if FET liability could occur with sales to customers who have purchased a taxable item from you in the last six months.


Additional resources available from NTEA

Are you faced with technical or engineering challenges?
Contact the Technical and Engineering Hotline at 800-441-6832 for individual attention on varied topics such as Federal Excise Tax, truck certification and labeling, vehicle compliance and truck spec’ing. The Hotline is available Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST). Members can contact the Association as frequently as needed.