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Old 11-08-2018, 08:14 PM   #1
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Motor Fuel Violation (IFTA)

Several months ago, a friend was traveling through Illinois and while stopped at a rest stop outside Springfield IL an Officer with the Illinois Department Of Revenue knocked at his door.

The Officer stated he was in violation of the “Failure to display a valid Fuel Use Tax Decal.” The Officer said that because the motorhome was registered in a Montana LLC and had a tag axle it was treated the same as a commercial semi truck and must display the “Fuel Tax” decal. The Officer issued an IFTA violation and said my friend would receive a letter/notice from the Illinois Dept of Revenue. The Officer also advised that Florida would be notified since he is a Florida resident.
The Illinois notice arrived stating my friend had to pay a $1,000 fine or appear in court to protest the action.

We’ve already had a lively debate on the TRVN board and I’m not wanting to revisit the much debated MT LLC discussion. Instead I’d just like to know if anyone has had a similar experience and any first had information they might be willing to share.
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Old 11-08-2018, 08:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like your friend's gamble to avoid Florida taxes has got him caught in the Montana LLC trap. Many states recognize the Montana tag on an RV as a possible tax dodge and this officer ran his plate and discovered the LLC ownership. I'm sure more Dept. of Revenue officers will be knocking at the door of RVs with Montana plates. A $1000 fine makes it worth their while to run suspect plates.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:29 PM   #3
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On the Atlanta news a couple of weeks ago they did a story on Georgia going after high value cars using the Montana LLC’s.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:40 PM   #4
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If the vehicle is over 26000 lb curb weight or has 3 or more axles and travels in 2 or more states it should have an IFTA tag if registered to a corporation. I believe the towed vehicle weight is also included in th 26000 lb rule, though someone else may have a better answer.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:59 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richardgood View Post
If the vehicle is over 26000 lb curb weight or has 3 or more axles and travels in 2 or more states it should have an IFTA tag if registered to a corporation. I believe the towed vehicle weight is also included in th 26000 lb rule, though someone else may have a better answer.

Combination weight....


BUT Montana LLC should NOT be registered as a Commercial Entity otherwise business books/tax filings would be necessary



Course the Illinois Trooper saw MT Plates/Tag axle and WHAM....easy revenue

Owners has to PROVE not in violation---good luck with that.
A letter from the law firm that set up the MT LLC might help but sounds like the 'friend' paid the 'fine'



Illinois is VERY Aggressive on 'Commercial' Violations
Farmers have VERY strict laws they must follow if they have a 'farm use registration'..150 mile limit
That limit is TOTAL distance the product can be hauled if moved by a 'Farm Use Vehicle'....which means not just the drive to the grainery if the grain is taken out of state.


So not surprised the Illinois Trooper jumped on the MT LLC
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:57 AM   #6
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I think the trooper's full of crap! If he's treating your friends rv as a commercial vehicle your friend would also need to display DOT numbers, display business name, would need to stop at all scale houses and possibly trip permits for each state he travels through. Just because he wears a uniform doesn't mean he knows what he's talking about.
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:24 AM   #7
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Just Another reason Illinois will NEVER see me or my money !!!! Too many stupid laws.... My opinion....
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Old 11-09-2018, 09:33 AM   #8
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Illinois is broke--some time ago, they had to delay paying off bigger lottery tickets because of lack of funds....I do not go thru there unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:41 AM   #9
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I think your friend got bullied into paying a fine that was not really valid. They figured he would pay the fine rather than go to the hassle and expense of fighting it. Florida doesn't consider any motorhome in private use as a commercial vehicle, so IGFA regs don't apply (despite what the tax cop claimed). Illinois is supposed to honor Florida's registration classification as private too, but the tax guys must figure they can get around that. At least until a judge gets involved.


The mere fact that an LLC owns a vehicle does NOT make it commercial, but the private use status has to be shown (defended).
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:57 AM   #10
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A few responses write about the Illinois "trooper"...
I think its significant to note the poster said it was a revenue officer. I have not heard of those positions before (never lived anywhere close to IL) but I would think they target this type of violation whereas a trooper may not even ever get involved with it. I wonder how many of those guys exsist in IL. Of course if one gets ticketed, it doesn't matter how many exsist.
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Old 11-09-2018, 11:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary RVRoamer View Post
I think your friend got bullied into paying a fine that was not really valid. They figured he would pay the fine rather than go to the hassle and expense of fighting it. Florida doesn't consider any motorhome in private use as a commercial vehicle, so IGFA regs don't apply (despite what the tax cop claimed). Illinois is supposed to honor Florida's registration classification as private too, but the tax guys must figure they can get around that. At least until a judge gets involved.


The mere fact that an LLC owns a vehicle does NOT make it commercial, but the private use status has to be shown (defended).

The MH was NOT registered in FL
MT LLC registration


Owners DL was FL ---hence the reason LEO stated FL would be notified
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:14 AM   #12
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I missed that, Biscuit. Good point. However, it's just another scare tactic by the revenue officer - Florida couldn't care less about an Illinois tax problem, especially since Florida doesn't even have a special license class for motorhome drivers.


It's true that a vehicle over 26k lbs and having three axles on the powered unit is a "qualified vehicle" under IFTA rules, but most states exempt recreational and other private-use vehicles. I know both Montana and Florida do (it's in their IFTA Guidelines). Reading the Illinois IFTA Guidelines, it also appears to specifically exempt "recreational vehicles" but apparently Illinois does not. See Qualifies Vehicles on pages 2& 3 of the Liinois IFTA document.


http://www.revenue.state.il.us/publi...el/mfut-53.pdf
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:32 AM   #13
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I seem to remember, a couple of years back, that NC kinda went thru this sort of thing. I remember reading reports of RV's with any kind of signage advertising anything that could be considered "commercial" being cited if the operator didn't have all the appropriate "commercial" documents.

I even read of folks with websites posted on their RV or pulling trailers with something like "Joe's Racing" stickers, getting cited. Haven't heard anything about that recently. I think sometimes it may be a new enforcement officer who knows most of the rules but not all of the rules.
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Old 11-10-2018, 09:42 AM   #14
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The Definition for recreational vehicle by Illinois:


A recreational vehicle means any vehicle, such as motor homes, pickup trucks with
attached campers, and buses, when used exclusively for personal pleasure by an
individual. In order to qualify as a recreational vehicle, the vehicle shall not be used in
connection with any business endeavor.


Since it's registered by a LLC not a individual it's not exempt from IFTA.
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