5735.19 Records open to inspection by tax commissioner - investigations - forms.

(A) The tax commissioner may examine, during the usual business hours of the day, the records, books, invoices, storage tanks, and any other equipment of any motor fuel dealer, retail dealer, exporter, terminal operator, purchaser, or common carrier pertaining to motor fuel received, sold, shipped, or delivered, to determine whether the taxes imposed by this chapter have been paid and to verify the truth and accuracy of any statement, report, or return.

(B) The tax commissioner may, in the enforcement of the motor fuel laws of this state, hold hearings, take the testimony of any person, issue subpoenas and compel the attendance of witnesses, and conduct such investigations as the commissioner deems necessary. Such information or evidence is not privileged when used by the state or any officer thereof in any proceeding for the collection of the tax, or any prosecution for violation of the motor fuel laws.

(C) The commissioner may prescribe all forms upon which reports shall be made to the commissioner, forms for claims for refund presented to the commissioner, or forms of records to be used by motor fuel dealers.

(D)

(1) As used in this division, "designated inspection site" means any state highway inspection station, weigh station, mobile station, or other similar location designated by the tax commissioner to be used as a fuel inspection site.

(2) An employee of the department of taxation that is so authorized by the tax commissioner may physically inspect, examine, or otherwise search any tank, reservoir, or other container that can or may be used for the production, storage, or transportation of fuel, fuel dyes, or fuel markers, and books and records, if any, that are maintained at the place of inspection and are kept to determine tax liability under this chapter. Inspections may be performed at any place at which motor fuel is or may be produced or stored, or at any designated inspection site.

(3) An employee of the department of taxation who is a duly authorized enforcement agent may detain any motor vehicle, train, barge, ship, or vessel for the purpose of inspecting its fuel tanks and storage tanks. Detainment shall be on the premises under inspection or at a designated inspection site. Detainment may continue for a reasonable period of time as is necessary to determine the amount and composition of the fuel.

(4) Any employee described in division (D)(2) or (3) of this section who has been properly trained may take and remove samples of fuel in quantities as are reasonably necessary to determine the composition of the fuel.

(5) No person shall refuse to allow an inspection under division (D) of this section. Any person who refuses to allow an inspection shall be subject to revocation or cancellation of any license or permit issued under Chapter 5728. or 5735. of the Revised Code.

Effective Date: 09-26-2003