FTA logo


The Motor Fuel industry has a long history of utilizing EDI standards. They were one of the first industries to built complete backend systems that were dependent on EDI transactions to operate their daily business. The Motor Fuel Uniformity committee (joint industry, government and software providers) has provided a standards based EDI filing process since 1995. There are currently 19 states that utilize those EDI based standards to capture the information required to administer their Motor Fuel Tax program.

The EDI program will continue to function for the foreseeable future, but several factors lead the Uniformity committee to request that TIGERS assist with updating the XML developed in 1999.

The 1999 draft Motor Fuel XML was created prior to the development of TIGERS standards for XML returns. TIGERS were still about 4 years away from establishing the original standards for 1) general XML return format, 2) a library of XML components, such as taxpayer address, that can be used in a variety of returns across tax types, and 3) the "packaging" and transmission of the XML returns. These standards could be used by the Motor Fuel community to assist in the security, performance, and maintainability of the Motor Fuel XML return. For these reasons, it is was decided that TIGERS and representatives of the Motor Fuel Uniformity Electronic Commerce Subcommittee jointly develop XML Motor Fuel return(s) in compliance with these standards.

TIGERS, the Tax Implementation Group for E-Commerce Requirements Standardization, is a joint working group of the X12 accredited standards committee for data interchange formats and the Federation of Tax Administrators (FTA). In 2000, TIGERS began the transition from traditional EDI formatting to XML standards development. Early XML efforts merely mirrored old EDI formats. It was not until 2003, with adoption of early IRS Modernized eFile (MeF) components, that TIGERS established a model for XML development. Since that time, working together, TIGERS and IRS have evolved that model into the current generation of XML standards for return format and transmission.

Prior to 2003, however, the California Board of Equalization (CABOE) decided to convert many of its internal processing systems to a XML based architecture. Larry Hanson of CABOE worked with Stewart Beagles and Ray Grimm of Motor Fuel Uniformity to develop a prototype XML schema set for the Motor Fuel return(s). These schema(s) were published in the Motor Fuel Uniformity Implementation Guide for several years, but has since been deleted. Although CABOE used the schemas for internal processing, it is not currently used for transmission of Motor Fuel returns from taxpayers to any state taxing authority.

In 2006, a state mandated XML filing of Motor Fuel returns, using a state proprietary format. Resulting from this program, the Uniformity Committee approached TIGERS about helping develop broadly based standards for any future development of Motor Fuel XML eFile programs. The redesign of the Motor Fuel XML formally began in early 2007. The core redesign team was composed of:

The TIGERS group provided the XML technical expertise and the Uniformity Committee provided the business guidance. The Uniformity Committee has been in existence for many years. They have strict control over the various code list utilized by industry and government to exchange information. This has removed much of the uncertainty that revolves around other XML development projects. Our task was to create XML that captured the same information already handled by the EDI 813 transaction set. We only had to worry about the structure, not reaching a consensus on the information passed within the data format.

The resulting Motor Fuel XML schema set has been approved by the FTA Motor Fuel Uniformity Committee Electronic Commerce section, and are fully compliant with TIGERS standards. They are now being implemented by the first states. As states begin to utilize the schema sets, the need for tweaks to the schemas or for additional elements arises as a normal side effect of implementation. The TIGERS Change Control process is in place for the MFET schema set, and the MFET Change Control Form is available on the MFET web page. Because laws governing Motor Fuel reporting vary from state to state, the MFET schemas can be customized by the implementing states, but within strict guidelines established by TIGERS and the Motor Fuel Uniformity Committee. These guidelines are also available on the MFET web page.

New states considering implementing a Motor Fuel eFile program are encouraged to contact TIGERS and/or the Uniformity committee for additional information.

Last modified: Wednesday, 20-Jul-2011 16:16:38 UTC