Tesoro Ref. & Mktg. Co. v. Dep't of RevenueAnnotate this Case
The issue before the Supreme Court was whether the deduction in RCW 82.04.433(1) applies to reduce Business and Occupation (B&O) taxes for manufacturing activities. Plaintiff Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company owns and operates a refinery in Washington state from which it processes crude oil from Alaska, Canada and other sources. The legislature created a tax deduction for the amount of tax "derived from the sales of fuel for consumption outside the territorial waters of the United States." On its monthly tax returns from 1999-2007, Tesoro reported its fuel sales on both the "Manufacturing" B&O tax line and the "Wholesaling and Retailing" B&O tax line. After completing an audit of the refinery, Tesoro requested a partial tax refund claiming the deduction against amounts paid in B&O tax on manufacturing from 1999 through 2004. The request was denied by the Department of Revenue's (DOR) appeals division on the ground that the deduction applied only to taxes paid under the "wholesaler and retailer" B&O tax line. Tesoro appealed to the superior court; the Court of Appeals held that the company could deduct the amount of its "offshore" bunker fuel sales from its B&O taxes. Upon review, the Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals and reinstated the superior court's grant of summary judgment to the DOR: "the plain language of RCW 82.04.433(1) … indicates that the B&O deduction applies only to ... taxes on wholesale and retail sales, not on manufacturing."