Statement of Scope
Department of Transportation
Unified Carrier Registration System (UCR)
1. Finding/nature of emergency (Emergency Rule only):
2. Detailed description of the objective of the proposed rule:
The objective of this rule is to fulfill the new requirements of the Unified Carrier Registration System (“UCR”) Agreement adopted by the UCR Board August 2014.
The UCR Agreement now requires participating states, including Wisconsin, to conduct a specified number of audits of UCR motor carriers each year. The State of Wisconsin Department of Transportation (“WisDOT”) proposes to create provisions in ch. Trans 178 to implement a Wisconsin UCR audit program. While Wisconsin statute and current rules provide for participation in the UCR and provide enforcement penalties for failure to register, there is no explicit provision for auditing, auditing collection, audit penalties, and audit sanctions. Also update language and defined terms in relevant sections in order to provide clarity and consistency.
The proposed rule will not affect total Wisconsin revenue received via the UCR program. If the proposed audits increase or reduce the revenue collected by Wisconsin from specific carriers it will not change the total retained by Wisconsin.
Total Wisconsin revenue, as for all states, is capped by the State Revenue Entitlement figures described in Fees for the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement, 75 Fed. Reg. 21993, April 27, 2010, Table 5, pages 22008-22009.
Wisconsin revenue each year historically exceeds its entitlement figure. Therefore Wisconsin remits the excess to the Unified Carrier Registration Board per 49 USC 14504a(h)(2). The UCR Board distributes the total excess collected to states which have not received revenue exceeding their entitlement figures, per 49 USC 14504a(h)(2).
3. Description of the existing policies relevant to the rule, new policies proposed to be included in the rule, and an analysis of policy alternatives:
The following is an explanation of the proposed changes to ch. Trans 178.
1. Create provisions in Wisconsin administrative code to implement a UCR audit program. While Wisconsin statute and rule provide for participation in the UCR, and provide enforcement penalties for failure to register, there are no explicit provisions for auditing, auditing collection, audit penalties, and audit sanctions.
2. Similar to Trans 152 for International Registration Plan (“IRP”) and International Fuel Tax Agreement (“IFTA”), adding audit provisions to Trans 178 regarding UCR is a good method to provide for these requirements in Wisconsin law. For example, adding provisions similar to:
Subchapter III — Audits, Assessments and Appeals
Trans 152.13 Audits and assessments. (1) AUDIT.
The department may conduct such audits that it deems necessary to determine the adequacy of the taxes or fees paid under this chapter. All records described in this chapter shall be made available to the department at its request.
Trans 152.16 Jeopardy assessment. Before any tax or fee becomes due, if the department has reason to believe that any licensee or registrant, including former registrants or licensees, intends or is likely to evade or attempt to evade payment of the tax or fee when due, or intends or is likely to convey, dispose of, or conceal his or her property or abscond from the state, or do any other act which would render the state insecure in the collecting the tax or fee when due, the department may demand payment forthwith of all taxes and fees accrued by the licensee or registrant, which shall immediately become payable and collectible as if delinquent, and the property of the licensee or registrant shall be subject to attachment as provided in s. 78.70, Stats.
Subchapter IV – Collections
Trans 152.17 Actions to collect tax, fees and penalties.
(1) DEPARTMENT COLLECTION. The department shall make initial efforts to collect delinquent fuel tax and registration fees. The department may:
(a) Assess the person responsible for paying the fuel use taxes and registration fees. The department may subpoena any records necessary to determine the person responsible for paying the fuel use taxes and registration fees. Any officer, employee, fiduciary or agent who is responsible for paying taxes, fees, interest, penalties or other charges under this chapter incurred by another person but not paid is personally liable for those taxes, fees, interest, penalties or other charges. The officer, employee, fiduciary or agent may appeal that determination under the procedures of subch. III.
(b) Suspend or refuse to issue any permit, license or registration to any person who is responsible for paying the fee, taxes, interest or penalty under this chapter.
(2) THIRD PARTY COLLECTION. The department may refer for collection any delinquent fuel taxes and registration fees to the department of revenue. The department of revenue may collect
any delinquent fuel taxes and registration fees as it collects motor vehicle fuel and alternative fuel general aviation taxes under s.
The rule changes under consideration include:
• Adopt audit policy and procedure to comply with UCR. Create policy and procedure for notifying carriers of an upcoming audit and requesting carriers UCR records to conduct an audit. Notify carriers of any finding of non-compliance, and provide a method for amending filing and fees.
• Adopt audit policy and procedure to comply with UCR, and also adopt policy and procedure for collecting unpaid/underpaid fees, refunding overpayments, assessing penalties for non-compliance, revoking UCR for non-compliance, and assess penalties for non-filers, consistent with audit procedures in place for IFTA and IRP in Trans 152.13.
4. Detailed explanation of statutory authority for the rule (including the statutory citation and language)