This is the accessible text file for GAO report number GAO-12-139R 
entitled 'Fiscal Year 2011 Agreed-Upon Procedures for Excise Tax 
Distributions to the Highway Trust Fund' which was released on 
November 3, 2011. 

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GAO-12-139R: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
Washington, DC 20548: 

November 3, 2011: 

The Honorable Calvin L. Scovel III: 
Inspector General:
U.S. Department of Transportation: 

Subject: Fiscal Year 2011 Agreed-Upon Procedures for Excise Tax 
Distributions to the Highway Trust Fund: 

Dear Mr. Scovel: 

We have performed the procedures described in the enclosure to this 
letter, which we agreed to perform and with which you concurred, 
solely to assist your office in ascertaining whether the net excise 
tax revenue distributed to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for the fiscal 
year ended September 30, 2011, is supported by the underlying records. 

We conducted the engagement in accordance with U.S. generally accepted 
government auditing standards, which incorporate certain financial 
audit and attestation standards established by the American Institute 
of Certified Public Accountants. 

You are responsible for the adequacy of these agreed-upon procedures 
to meet your objectives, and we make no representation in that 
respect. The procedures we agreed to perform were related to (1) 
transactions that represent the underlying basis of amounts 
distributed from the general fund to the HTF during fiscal year 2011, 
(2) the Internal Revenue Service's (IRS) quarterly HTF excise tax 
receipt certifications prepared during fiscal year 2011, (3) the U.S. 
Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service adjustments 
to HTF excise tax distributions during fiscal year 2011, (4) the U.S. 
Department of the Treasury's Office of Tax Analysis's (OTA) estimates 
of excise tax amounts to be distributed to the HTF for the fourth 
quarter of fiscal year 2011, (5) adjustments to the HTF for tax on 
kerosene used in aviation during fiscal year 2011, and (6) the amount 
of net excise taxes distributed to the HTF during fiscal year 2011. 
The enclosure provides more detail on the agreed-upon procedures and 
our results. 

We were not engaged to perform, and did not perform, an examination, 
the objective of which would have been to express an opinion on the 
amount of net excise taxes distributed to the HTF during fiscal year 
2011. Accordingly, we do not express such an opinion. Had we performed 
additional procedures, other matters might have come to our attention 
that we would have reported to you. We completed the agreed-upon 
procedures on October 26, 2011. 

We provided a draft of this letter, along with the enclosure, to IRS 
and OTA officials for review and comment. IRS and OTA agreed with the 
results and findings presented in the enclosure relating to each 
agency's respective responsibilities as it pertains to excise tax 
distributions to the HTF during fiscal year 2011. 

This report is intended solely for the use of the Office of Inspector 
General of the U.S. Department of Transportation and should not be 
used by those who have not agreed to the procedures or have not taken 
responsibility for the sufficiency of the procedures for their 
purposes. However, the report is a matter of public record, and its 
distribution is not limited. The report is available at no charge on 
the GAO Web site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

If you have any questions concerning this report, please contact me at 
(202) 512-3406 or sebastians@gao.gov. Contact points for our Offices 
of Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. 

Sincerely yours, 

Signed by: 

Steven J. Sebastian:
Director:
Financial Management and Assurance: 

Enclosure: 

[End of section] 

Highway Trust Fund Excise Tax Procedures: 

I. Procedures on Transactions That Represent the Underlying Basis of 
Amounts Distributed to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in Fiscal Year 
2011: 

A. Nonstatistical selection of tax returns from the quarter ended 
September 30, 2010.[Footnote 1] 

1. For the quarter ended September 30, 2010, select the 30 largest 
excise tax returns containing excise taxes related primarily to the 
HTF and the Airport and Airway Trust Fund (AATF) on the basis of the 
total tax liability amount[Footnote 2] from the Internal Revenue 
Service's (IRS) master file.[Footnote 3] 

Description of Findings and Results: 

We selected 30 excise tax returns that had the largest tax liability 
related primarily to the HTF and the AATF from the quarter ended 
September 30, 2010. The selection was based on the total tax liability 
amount and type of taxes owed for each return from IRS's master file. 
The total reported excise tax liabilities on these 30 returns were 
approximately $9.5 billion, which represents 70 percent of the total 
IRS recorded excise tax liability amount of $13.6 billion for this 
quarter. Of these 30 returns, 21 contained primarily HTF-related tax 
liabilities and 9 contained primarily AATF-related tax liabilities. 

2. For each of the returns related primarily to the HTF, perform the 
following procedures: 

(a) Compare the assessment amounts for diesel fuel tax and gasoline 
tax, abstracts[Footnote 4] 60 and 62, respectively, from the tax 
return to IRS's master file for agreement. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The assessment amounts for diesel fuel tax and gasoline tax, abstracts 
60 and 62, respectively, on the tax return, agreed with the master 
file for all 21 returns containing primarily HTF-related tax 
liabilities. 

(b) Calculate the assessment amounts on the tax return for the 
selected abstracts to determine whether they are mathematically 
correct. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The taxpayers' calculations for the selected abstracts were 
mathematically correct on all 21 returns containing primarily HTF- 
related tax liabilities. 

(c) Calculate the prorated collection amount[Footnote 5] for the 
selected abstracts based on information from the master file and 
compare this amount to the amount in the Collection Certification 
System audit files[Footnote 6] for agreement. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The independently calculated prorated collection amounts for the 
selected abstracts, based on information from the master file, agreed 
with amounts in IRS's Collection Certification System audit files for 
all 21 returns containing primarily HTF-related tax liabilities. 

B. Statistical selection of attribute and monetary unit samples (MUS) 
from the quarters ended December 31, 2010, and March 31, 2011: 

1. Sampling and other procedures: 

(a) Compare excise tax collections from IRS's master file with excise 
tax collections from IRS's Collection Certification System audit files 
for each of the first two quarters of fiscal year 2011 to determine 
whether there is any variance that exceeds 1 percent of total excise 
tax collections for this period. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

Excise tax collections from IRS's master file agreed with excise tax 
collections from IRS's Collection Certification System audit files, 
with less than a 1 percent variance, for each of the first two 
quarters of fiscal year 2011. 

(b) Compare excise tax collections from the IRS's master file with 
excise tax collections from IRS's general ledger for the first 9 
months of fiscal year 2011 to determine whether there is any variance 
that exceeds 1 percent of total excise tax collections for this 
period.[Footnote 7] 

Description of Findings and Results: 

Excise tax collections from IRS's master file agreed with excise tax 
collections from IRS's general ledger, with less than a 1 percent 
variance, for the first 9 months of fiscal year 2011. 

(c) Select a random attribute sample of 78 excise tax returns from 
IRS's master file. Compare assessment and receipt information for each 
return from IRS's master file to IRS's Collection Certification System 
for agreement.[Footnote 8] 

Description of Findings and Results: 

For all 78 returns, assessment and receipt information from IRS's 
master file agreed with the information in IRS's Collection 
Certification System. 

(d) Sum the prorated collections for selected abstracts[Footnote 9] 
from IRS's Collection Certification System audit files and compare 
these amounts to amounts in the Report of Excise Tax Collection 
[Footnote 10] to determine if the Collection Certification System 
properly summarized the prorated collections. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The Collection Certification System properly summarized the prorated 
collections for all of the selected abstracts. Prorated collections 
from the audit files for the selected abstracts agreed with the 
corresponding amounts in the Report of Excise Tax Collection. 

(e) Separate the total population of prorated collections from IRS's 
Collection Certification System audit files for the first two quarters 
of fiscal year 2011 into the following distinct populations: (1) HTF, 
(2) AATF, and (3) other excise tax abstracts. Use MUS to select a 
sample of prorated excise tax collections from the HTF population 
using a confidence level of 80 percent, a tolerable misstatement of 
$349 million, and an expected aggregate error amount of $105 million. 
[Footnote 11] 

Description of Findings and Results: 

Use of MUS with a confidence level of 80 percent, a tolerable 
misstatement of $349 million, and an expected aggregate error amount 
of $105 million resulted in a sample of 102[Footnote 12] prorated 
excise tax collections for the HTF for the first two quarters of 
fiscal year 2011. 

(f) Select samples of prorated excise tax collections from the two non-
HTF populations for the first two quarters of fiscal year 2011. Use 
MUS to select a sample of prorated excise tax collections from the 
AATF population using a confidence level of 80 percent, a tolerable 
misstatement of $106 million, and an expected aggregate error amount 
of $32 million.[Footnote 13] Select a random attribute sample of 45 
items from the population of prorated tax collections related to all 
excise taxes other than the HTF and the AATF.[Footnote 14] 

Description of Findings and Results: 

Use of MUS with a confidence level of 80 percent, a tolerable 
misstatement of $106 million, and an expected aggregate error amount 
of $32 million resulted in a sample of 65[Footnote 15] prorated excise 
tax collections for the AATF for the first two quarters of fiscal year 
2011. 

A random attribute sample of 45 items was selected from the population 
of prorated tax collections related to all excise taxes other than the 
HTF and the AATF. 

2. Procedures on transactions: 

(a) For each prorated excise tax collection sampled from the HTF 
population: 

* Compare the assessment amount for the sampled item from the tax 
return to IRS's master file for agreement. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The assessment amount on the tax return agreed with the assessment 
amount recorded in IRS's master file for each of the 102 sampled items. 

* Calculate the assessment amount on the tax return for the sampled 
item to determine whether it is mathematically correct. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The assessment amount on the tax return was mathematically correct for 
each of the 102 sampled items. 

* Calculate the prorated collection amount for the sampled item based 
on information from IRS's master file and compare this amount to the 
amount in IRS's Collection Certification System audit files for 
agreement. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The independently calculated prorated collection amount agreed with 
the amount in IRS's Collection Certification System audit files for 
each of the 102 sampled items. 

(b) Inspect the tax returns and master file information for the two 
samples of prorated collections from the non-HTF populations to 
determine if they contain any HTF excise tax collections. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The two samples of 110 prorated collections from the non-HTF 
populations did not contain any HTF excise tax collections. 

(c) Statistically evaluate the results of conducting steps (a) and (b). 

Description of Findings and Results: 

For the first two quarters of fiscal year 2011, the net most likely 
error was $0 with an upper error limit of $199 million at the 80 
percent confidence level. 

II. Procedures on IRS's Quarterly HTF Receipt Certifications: 

Perform the following procedures on IRS's HTF receipt certifications 
for the quarters ended September 30, 2010; December 31, 2010; March 
31, 2011; and June 30, 2011: 

A. Inspect the certification letters[Footnote 16] for authorizing 
signatures. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The certification letters for all four quarters had authorizing 
signatures. 

B. Inspect the certification letters and supporting worksheets to 
determine if evidence exists that they were reviewed by the supervisor 
or another analyst. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

There was evidence that the supervisor or another analyst reviewed the 
certification letters and supporting worksheets for all four quarters. 

C. Calculate the totals on the certification letters to determine if 
they are mathematically correct. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The totals on the certification letters for all four quarters were 
mathematically correct. 

D. Trace the certified amounts for diesel fuel tax (abstract 60) and 
gasoline tax (abstract 62)[Footnote 17] from the certification letters 
back to the Report of Excise Tax: Collection[Footnote 18] and the 
Treasury 90 Report[Footnote 19] for agreement. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The certified amounts for diesel fuel tax (abstract 60) and gasoline 
tax (abstract 62) from the certification letters agreed with the 
related Report of Excise Tax Collection and the Treasury 90 Report for 
all four quarters. 

E. Compare the distribution rates used by IRS for diesel fuel tax 
(abstract 60) and gasoline tax (abstract 62) for agreement with the 
applicable laws. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The distribution rates used by IRS for diesel fuel tax (abstract 60) 
and gasoline tax (abstract 62) agreed with the applicable laws in 
effect during all four quarters. 

F. Inspect the Report of Excise Tax Collection used in the 
certification to determine if it contains more than $185 million 
[Footnote 20] in collections from prior quarters. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

None of these reports used in the certification for any of the four 
quarters contained more than $185 million in collections from prior 
quarters. 

G. Trace heavy vehicle use tax amounts from the Highway Account 
certification letters to the master file and Treasury 90 Report. 
[Footnote 21] 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The heavy vehicle use tax amounts from the Highway Account 
certification letters agreed with the master file and Treasury 90 
Report for all four quarters. 

H. For the quarter ended June 30, 2011, only, inquire with IRS whether 
any excise tax returns from its list of the largest excise taxpayers 
were omitted from its certification.[Footnote 22] For any such returns 
that were omitted but were subsequently received by IRS, report the 
total amount of HTF-related tax collections from these tax returns. 
For any such returns that were omitted and where IRS has not yet 
received these, report the average quarterly amount of HTF-related tax 
collections from the taxpayer(s) based on the previous four quarters. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

According to IRS, no tax returns from its list of the largest excise 
taxpayers were omitted from its certification for the quarter ended 
June 30, 2011. 

III. Procedure on Financial Management Service (FMS) Adjustments: 

Calculate the FMS adjustment amounts to HTF excise tax distributions 
based on the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Tax Analysis 
(OTA) transfer forms[Footnote 23] and IRS certification letters to 
determine if they are mathematically correct for the quarters ended 
September 30, 2010; December 31, 2010; March 31, 2011; and June 30, 
2011. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The FMS adjustment amounts for all four quarters were mathematically 
correct. For the Highway Account, the adjustment amounts were[Footnote 
24] 

* $980,606,000 for the quarter ended September 30, 2010; 

* ($335,791,000) for the quarter ended December 31, 2010; 

* ($150,141,000) for the quarter ended March 31, 2011; and: 

* ($54,396,000) for the quarter ended June 30, 2011. 

For the Mass Transit Account, the adjustment amounts were: 

* $122,483,000 for the quarter ended September 30, 2010; 

* ($81,398,000) for the quarter ended December 31, 2010; 

* ($44,855,000) for the quarter ended March 31, 2011; and: 

* ($31,219,000) for the quarter ended June 30, 2011. 

IV. Procedures on Excise Tax Distributions to the HTF for the Quarter 
Ended September 30, 2011: 

A. Determine if OTA prepares a tax rate table to capture information 
concerning tax rates, tax basis, accounts, and deposit rules in effect 
during the quarter ended September 30, 2011, and whether OTA uses this 
rate table in its trust fund estimates[Footnote 25] for the quarter. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

OTA prepared a tax rate table to capture information concerning tax 
rates, tax basis, accounts, and deposit rules in effect during the 
quarter ended September 30, 2011. OTA used the rate table in preparing 
the five semimonthly estimates that affect fiscal year 2011 
distributions to the HTF. 

B. Inspect the transfer forms and supporting schedules to determine if 
there is evidence of review. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

There was evidence that an OTA economist, other than the one who 
prepared the estimate, reviewed the transfer forms and supporting 
schedules affecting distributions from the general fund to the HTF for 
the quarter ended September 30, 2011. 

C. Calculate the totals on the transfer forms to determine if they are 
mathematically correct. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The totals on the transfer forms affecting distributions to the HTF 
for the quarter ended September 30, 2011, were mathematically correct. 

D. Trace the transfer amounts for diesel fuel tax (abstract 60), 
gasoline tax (abstract 62), and heavy vehicle use tax[Footnote 26] 
from the transfer forms back to the related source documents[Footnote 
27] for agreement. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

The transfer amounts for diesel fuel tax (abstract 60), gasoline tax 
(abstract 62), and heavy vehicle use tax from the transfer forms 
agreed with the related source documents for the quarter ended 
September 30, 2011. 

V. Other Procedures: 

A. Determine if IRS and OTA made adjustments to the HTF for tax on 
kerosene used in aviation during fiscal year 2011, and calculate the 
adjustment amounts to determine if they were mathematically correct. 
[Footnote 28] 

Description of Findings and Results: 

Adjustments to the HTF for tax on kerosene used in aviation were made 
during fiscal year 2011 and were mathematically correct. For the 
Highway Account, the adjustment amounts were[Footnote 29] 

* ($157,778,000) for the quarter ended September 30, 2010; 

* ($150,799,000) for the quarter ended December 31, 2010; 

* ($144,929,000) for the quarter ended March 31, 2011; 

* ($139,483,000) for the quarter ended June 30, 2011; and: 

* ($139,785,000) for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. 

For the Mass Transit Account, the adjustment amounts were: 

* ($21,048,000) for the quarter ended September 30, 2010; 

* ($20,117,000) for the quarter ended December 31, 2010; 

* ($19,334,000) for the quarter ended March 31, 2011; 

* ($18,607,000) for the quarter ended June 30, 2011; and: 

* ($18,645,000) for the quarter ended September 30, 2011. 

B. Using IRS's quarterly certifications, OTA's estimated 
distributions, and any adjustments, compile and report the amount of 
net excise taxes and penalties[Footnote 30] distributed to the HTF in 
fiscal year 2011. 

Description of Findings and Results: 

Based on a compilation of IRS's quarterly certifications, OTA's 
estimations, and adjustments, the amount of net excise taxes and 
penalties to be distributed to the HTF in fiscal year 2011 was 
$36,888,454,000. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] The Internal Revenue Service certification of excise tax 
distributions and corresponding U.S. Department of the Treasury 
Financial Management Service adjustment for the quarter ended 
September 30, 2010, were completed in February 2011, and thus affected 
distributions to the HTF during fiscal year 2011. 

[2] Although the certifications are based on amounts collected, we 
used the tax liability amounts to identify the taxpayers paying the 
largest amounts of excise taxes. These taxpayers generally pay their 
excise taxes in full each quarter. 

[3] The master file is a detailed database containing taxpayer 
information. 

[4] The abstract numbers identify the tax type (e.g., gasoline and 
ticket tax) and are used as the basis for determining the distribution 
of the excise taxes to the various trust funds. Abstract numbers are 
preprinted on the Form 720, Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, and 
are used by the taxpayer to report excise tax assessments. If the 
return was related to the HTF, we selected (1) diesel fuel tax 
(abstract 60) and (2) gasoline tax (abstract 62). If the return was 
related to the AATF, we selected (1) tax on transportation of persons 
by air (abstract 26), (2) tax on the use of international air travel 
facilities (abstract 27), and (3) tax on transportation of property by 
air (abstract 28). The tax amounts related to the selected abstracts 
for each trust fund are the largest tax amounts reported on the 
taxpayer's excise tax return and made up over 86 percent of the total 
amount of excise tax receipts certified by IRS to the HTF and over 94 
percent of the total amount of excise tax receipts certified by IRS to 
the AATF for the quarter ended September 30, 2010. 

[5] These procedures encompassed approximately $7 billion in prorated 
collections affecting distributions to the HTF. IRS certifies to trust 
funds the amount of excise taxes collected. Because taxpayers have 
sometimes not fully paid their tax liability, IRS must allocate the 
amount of payments actually received among the different excise taxes 
reported on the taxpayers' returns. IRS's Collection Certification 
System prorates a taxpayer's payments proportionately among all taxes 
reported as owed on the tax return. For example, if a corporation 
reports that it owes $4 million for gasoline tax, $2 million for 
diesel fuel tax, and $1 million for kerosene tax on its Form 720, 
Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return, but has paid IRS only $3.5 
million at the time IRS performs its certification, the program 
prorates the $3.5 million in the following manner: $2 million to 
gasoline tax, $1 million to diesel fuel tax, and $500,000 to kerosene 
tax. 

[6] The Collection Certification System produces what IRS refers to as 
audit files. These audit files contain the individual prorated 
collections by abstract and taxpayer identification number. The 
amounts certified to the trust funds are calculated by subtracting 
credits from prorated collections and then multiplying the difference 
by the applicable trust fund distribution rates. 

[7] This is a reconciliation of all excise tax collections that were 
posted to the master file and general ledger during the first 9 months 
of fiscal year 2011 and is not limited to the first two quarters. 

[8] For this sample, if one or no errors were found in our comparison 
of the 78 items, we would be 90 percent confident that the error rate 
in the population would not exceed 5 percent. 

[9] The selected abstracts are (1) diesel fuel tax (abstract 60), (2) 
gasoline tax (abstract 62), (3) tax on transportation of persons by 
air (abstract 26), (4) tax on the use of international air travel 
facilities (abstract 27), (5) tax on transportation of property by air 
(abstract 28), and (6) tax on kerosene for use in commercial aviation 
(abstract 77). The tax amounts for the two HTF-related abstracts made 
up over 91 percent of the total amount of excise tax receipts 
certified by IRS to the HTF for the quarters ended December 31, 2010, 
and March 31, 2011. The tax amounts for the four AATF-related 
abstracts made up over 98 percent of the total amount of excise tax 
receipts certified by IRS to the AATF for the quarters ended December 
31, 2010, and March 31, 2011. 

[10] The Report of Excise Tax Collection contains prorated 
collections, classified by abstracts, which serve as the basis for 
IRS's quarterly trust fund certifications. 

[11] The $349 million tolerable misstatement represents approximately 
1 percent of the net excise tax revenue distributed to the HTF in 
fiscal year 2010. The expected aggregate error amount of $105 million 
represents approximately 30 percent of the tolerable misstatement 
amount. 

[12] The planned sample size using MUS was 146 items. MUS selects 
dollars versus specific transaction items by dividing the population 
of prorated excise tax collections by dollar intervals. The dollar 
interval for the HTF was $127 million. Accordingly, any item with a 
dollar value equal to or exceeding the interval would be selected, 
whereas items less than the interval might not be selected. For 
example, an item of $254 million would cover 2 dollar intervals but 
represent one sample item. Because large-dollar items cover more than 
one interval, the 102 unique sampled transactions selected represented 
146 dollar intervals. 

[13] The $106 million tolerable misstatement represents approximately 
1 percent of the net excise tax revenue distributed to the AATF in 
fiscal year 2010. The expected aggregate error amount of $32 million 
represents approximately 30 percent of the tolerable misstatement 
amount. 

[14] For this sample, if no errors were found in performing procedures 
on the 45 items, we would be 90 percent confident that the error rate 
in the population would not exceed 5 percent. 

[15] The planned sample size using MUS was 145 items. As explained in 
footnote 12, MUS selects dollars instead of specific transaction items 
by dividing the population of prorated excise tax collection by dollar 
intervals. The dollar interval for AATF was $38 million. Because large-
dollar items cover more than one interval, the 65 unique sampled 
transactions selected represented 145 dollar intervals. 

[16] IRS prepares two certification letters for the HTF each quarter: 
one for the Highway Account and the other for the Mass Transit Account. 

[17] The certified amounts for diesel fuel tax (abstract 60) and 
gasoline tax (abstract 62), along with the heavy vehicle use tax 
(traced separately), made up over 90 percent of the total amount of 
excise tax receipts certified by IRS to the HTF for each quarter of 
fiscal year 2011. 

[18] The Report of Excise Tax Collection is produced by the Collection 
Certification System. Collections are classified by abstract on the 
report when the related Form 720 tax return has been posted to IRS's 
master file during the processing interval covered by the report. For 
the quarter ended September 30, 2010, IRS used data from three of 
these reports, covering sequential processing intervals. Beginning in 
fiscal year 2011, IRS reprogrammed the Collection Certification System 
to capture data that better correspond to the receipt and processing 
time frames of the Forms 720 for each quarter. Consequently, IRS was 
able to use data from only one report for each quarter starting with 
the quarter ended December 31, 2010. Each report may contain 
collections related to prior quarters that IRS certifies as part of 
the current quarter's collections because the related return was not 
posted to the master file until the processing intervals covered by 
the report. 

[19] The Treasury 90 Report summarizes excise tax credit information 
and is produced quarterly by IRS service center campuses. IRS has six 
service center campuses that receive and process tax returns and 
payments. 

[20] The $185 million represents approximately 2 percent of the total 
amount of excise tax receipts certified by IRS to the HTF for each 
quarter of fiscal year 2011. 

[21] These taxes, which go to the HTF, are reported on Form 2290 and 
are not included in the Collection Certification System. 

[22] IRS maintains a list of approximately 150 taxpayers that 
comprises its largest excise taxpayers. To help ensure that tax return 
data for the largest excise taxpayers are included in each quarterly 
excise tax certification, IRS tracks the receipt of these returns and 
contacts these taxpayers when necessary. 

[23] The transfer forms denote the amounts estimated by OTA for 
transferring excise taxes to the trust funds. 

[24] A positive amount indicates that the FMS adjustment increased 
excise taxes distributed to the account. A negative amount, shown in 
parentheses, indicates that the FMS adjustment decreased excise taxes 
distributed to the account. 

[25] OTA makes semimonthly estimates of excise tax collections for 
transfer to trust funds. To better match excise tax collections with 
the corresponding quarter, OTA's estimates for each quarter cover the 
period starting on the 16th day of the first month in the quarter and 
go through the 15th day of the first month of the next quarter. For 
example, OTA's estimates for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011 
cover July 16, 2011, through October 15, 2011. While there are six 
semimonthly estimates related to the quarter, only five of these 
affect fiscal year 2011 distributions to the HTF. The sixth 
semimonthly estimate, covering the period from October 1 through 15, 
will affect distribution to HTF for fiscal year 2012. 

[26] The OTA estimated transfer amounts for diesel fuel tax (abstract 
60), gasoline tax (abstract 62), and heavy vehicle use tax made up 
over 93 percent of the total amount transferred to the HTF for the 
fourth quarter of fiscal year 2011. 

[27] The source documents include the IRS report of excise taxes used 
to derive the percentages applied to reported receipts, the Daily 
Treasury Statement, the Monthly Treasury Statement, and the excise tax 
rate table. 

[28] Section 11161 of Pub. L. No. 109-59 (Aug. 10, 2005), Treatment of 
Kerosene for Use in Aviation, taxes all kerosene taxpayers at the 
standard kerosene rate, unless a taxpayer had removed the kerosene 
from a refinery or terminal directly into an aircraft's fuel tank and 
thus qualified for the lower aviation kerosene tax rate. Amounts 
received under the standard kerosene tax are initially deposited in 
the HTF. If a taxpayer subsequently used the kerosene in aviation, the 
taxpayer is eligible for the lower tax rate associated with aviation 
kerosene and can request a refund. The amount of the kerosene tax 
collected from the taxpayer, net of refunds, is transferred from the 
HTF to the AATF. 

[29] The adjustments for the quarters ended September 30, 2010; 
December 31, 2010; March 31, 2011; and June 30, 2011, were included in 
the IRS receipt certifications, and the adjustment for the quarter 
ended September 30, 2011, was included in the OTA estimates. The 
adjustment amounts, shown in parentheses, represent excise taxes 
transferred from the HTF to the AATF and general fund. 

[30] Section 868 of Pub. L. No. 108-357 (Oct. 22, 2004), Dedication of 
Revenues from Certain Penalties to the Highway Trust Fund, requires 
that certain fuel-related penalties, which are assessed and collected 
by IRS, be distributed to the HTF. IRS includes such amounts in its 
quarterly certification to the HTF. 

[End of section] 

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