Claiming fuel tax credits (FTC) for your business is complex and many businesses are not claiming their credits properly, potentially missing out on entitlements. Use an intelligent fuel tax reporting system to ensure you’re not leaving any money on the table!
What are fuel tax credits (FTC)? What can I claim them for?
Fuel tax credits (FTC) in Australia provide businesses of all sizes with a credit for the fuel tax (excise or customs duty) that’s included in the price of fuel used in:
- heavy vehicles (over 4.5 tonnes)
- light vehicles (under 4.5 tonnes) travelling off public roads or on private roads, such as road repair vehicles or farming vehicles driving on private property
You can claim fuel tax credits for eligible fuel you purchase, manufacture or import for use in your business. The credit amount you receive back depends on:
- when you acquire the fuel
- what type of fuel you use
- the activity in which you use it
Which fuels does the fuel tax credit apply to? How can I check eligibility for fuel tax credits?
Businesses using the following liquid fuels may be eligible for fuel tax credits:
- other fuels, such as: kerosene, mineral turpentine, white spirit, toluene, heating oil and some solvents.
Gaseous fuels used in business activities which may be eligible for credits include:
- liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
- liquefied natural gas (LNG)
- compressed natural gas (CNG).
Not all fuels are eligible for fuel tax credits. A full and current list of eligible liquid or gaseous fuels can be found on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
Likewise, not all activities are eligible for fuel tax credits. To help you work out which of your business activities you can claim for, along with the applicable rates, we recommend you use the fuel tax credit eligibility tool on the ATO website.
How do I claim my fuel tax credits from the ATO?
Fuel tax credit claims are made in your business activity statements (BAS), the same way you report on fringe benefits tax (FBT) installments or claim GST credits. To make a claim for fuel tax credits, you must be registered for GST when you acquire the fuel, and fuel tax credits when you lodge the claim.
Fuel tax credit rates are reviewed every six months so check the rates every time you lodge your business activity statements (BAS).
How far back can I claim fuel tax credits?
Fuel tax credits can be claimed at the time of fuel acquisition. Any claims must be lodged within the four–year time limit.
If you forget to claim your fuel tax credits, or wish to amend a claim, you can do so for up to four years retrospectively, from the day after you were required to lodge a BAS for the tax period in which the fuel was acquired. Visit the ATO for more details on fuel tax credit claim amendments.
Darryl Daisley, Pitcher Partners Director of Customs, Fuel Tax and International Trade, warns “many businesses are not claiming credits properly, potentially missing out on entitlements.”
Mr Daisley states a complex process with various rules around who can claim credits, under what circumstances and at what rate are factors relating to incorrect claims being lodged, saying that during his time working with the fuel scheme that “he’s never seen anyone successfully claim their full entitlement without help.”