The Oregon Fuels Tax System Accurately Assesses and Collects Fuels Taxes for Oregon and Local Jurisdictions
Salem, OR—Today, an audit released by the Oregon Secretary of State found that the Oregon Department of Transportation's (ODOT) new fuels tax system accurately assesses and collects fuels taxes for Oregon and other local jurisdictions.
Report No. 2017-18: http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Documents/2017-18.pdf
In 2013, ODOT contracted with Avalara to implement a new fuels tax system for $2.8 million. The previous system was outdated and relied heavily on paper returns and manual inputs by department staff. The new Oregon Fuels Tax System (OFTS) allows for fuels tax licensees to electronically submit returns and pay fuels tax owed to the state and other local jurisdictions through an online web portal. During 2016, OFTS processed approximately 14,000 fuels tax returns and collected over $565 million in fuels taxes.
Auditors examined fuels tax returns submitted during 2016 and determined the system's calculations to be correct for 99.5% of all returns. The remaining 0.5% of records differed due to rounding errors or manual overrides of calculations by department staff.
However, ODOT needs to address several weaknesses identified in the audit report. Specifically, the report identified design flaws that may allow for certain fuels tax refunds to be issued for more than what was owed, and has caused inaccuracies in some key reports. The audit report also identifies security weaknesses which, if left unmitigated, may put the system and its data at risk.
The report includes nine recommendations to ODOT management to address weaknesses identified during the audit, including fixing system design flaws and correcting security weaknesses.
View this audit and all recently released audits: http://sos.oregon.gov/audits/Pages/recent.aspx