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
  • machinery
  • plant
  • equipment

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:

  • petrol
  • diesel
  • 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.

road grader and digger on flatbed

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.”

Can GPS tracking help improve my claims?

GPS tracking technology, in partnership with a comprehensive fleet management solution, can improve fuel tax credit claims by capturing and using substantiated vehicle data.

Lodging fuel tax credit claims using GPS data helps to:

  • maximise claims by capturing all vehicle activities
  • save administration time with no need for manual searching and compiling of data
  • improve accuracy with no human errors or estimating
  • reduce risk with an auditable trail of data and avoiding penalties for over-claiming
  • streamline the claiming process by using digital, automated reporting
  • ensure maximum rebate claims with geofencing for special work areas

Confidently lodge your claims using GPS-verified data, safe in the knowledge that you’ve captured all eligible fuel consumption.

Improve the accuracy of your tax claims with ConnectTrak from Connect Fleet.

ConnectTrak’s GPS tracking and fleet management software platform features an intelligent fuel tax credit reporting system, developed to improve the accuracy of fuel tax reporting and maximise your fuel tax credit claims. 

Our GPS tracking devices are fitted to assets to track movements and activities such as the GPS location, engine hours, idling and vehicle type, on and off “gazetted” main and public roads. This data is sent to the ConnectTrak platform, where authorised users can run that data through the fuel tax credit reporting system to generate and export reports. These smart reports:

  • calculate the percentage of fuel consumed for public, private and auxiliary use
  • return an estimated dollar value on how much is eligible to be claimed
  • can also assist with historical tax refund claims (up to four years back) for our existing clients who’ve been using our GPS trackers
  • include a fringe benefit tax (FBT) allocator to assist with employers’ FBT returns.
ConnectTrak is the comprehensive and intelligent GPS tracking and fleet management solution your business needs to ensure no more money is left on the table.
Schedule your demo today and let us help you uncover your fuel tax credit savings ready for tax time!

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The information contained in this article may or may not be correct, complete or current at the time of reading. The content is not intended to be used as a substitute for specific professional, legal advice or opinions. No recipients of content from this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of content of the article without seeking appropriate legal advice or other professional counselling.


Editor’s note: This article was originally published in August 2019 and has been revamped and updated for comprehensiveness.
Sources: ATO website: https://www.ato.gov.au/
Daisley, Darryl. “Fuel Tax Credit Rise to Benefit Thousands of Australian Businesses: Pitcher Partners.” Pitcher Partners, 5 Feb. 2018, www.pitcher.com.au/news/fuel-tax-credit-rise-benefit-thousands-australian-businesses.

Thanks for reading! As always, if you have any questions please reach out.

Kate Prentice
Marketing & Digital Media

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