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  • Work out the quantity of fuel

    Heavy vehicles can be used in different activities both on and off public roads. The amount of fuel tax credits you can claim depends on what fuel you use, when you acquired it and if you use it:

    • for travelling on public roads
    • in all other activities, including off public roads, on work sites and to power auxiliary equipment.

    You need to do separate calculations for different fuel tax credit rates.

    If rates change during a BAS period, you need to separate the fuel acquired before the rate change and from the rate change; however, if you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use the rate that applies at the end of the period.

    To work out how much fuel was used in the different activities, you can use any apportionment method considered fair and reasonable for your circumstances.

    Common methods and measures include where you:

    • add up all the eligible quantities of each fuel type that attract the same fuel tax credit rate
    • subtract any ineligible fuel, such as fuel you used in light vehicles on a public road, from the total fuel acquired
    • determine a reliable percentage of eligible fuel usage for a sample period and apply this over a number of tax periods.

    On this page:

    See also:

    Simplified method for working out fuel used in vehicles with auxiliary equipment

    You can apply the percentage listed in Table 1 below to the fuel used in your heavy vehicle with auxiliary equipment. If you use this method to calculate your fuel tax credits, you don't need to do:

    • complex calculations or sample testing or keep detailed records of the testing
    • a separate calculation for fuel used while the vehicle is off public roads (such as for idling or propelling the vehicle) because the percentage covers fuel used for powering the auxiliary equipment as well as these activities.

    You are not required to use the simplified method for all the vehicles listed in Table 1.

    If you choose not to use the simplified method in Table 1, you will need to use Table 2 to determine what rate applies to your activities or circumstances.

    For example, you may choose to use the simplified method to calculate your fuel tax credits for your concrete trucks, but use a different method for other vehicles.

    Working out your fuel tax credit for fuel used in vehicles with auxiliary equipment

    Step 1: Determine the total amount of fuel acquired and used for the vehicle for that period.

    Step 2: See Table 1 to find your vehicle type that uses auxiliary equipment and the correct percentage rate.

    Step 3: Multiply the amount of fuel for use in that vehicle by the percentage in the table.

    Step 4: Multiply the result of Step 3 by the relevant ‘all other business uses’ fuel tax credit rate.

    Step 5: Multiply the remaining fuel by the relevant ‘used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads’ rate.

    Step 6: Add the results from Steps 4 and 5 to total the fuel tax credit you can claim for this vehicle.

    Example – construction

    BIATWC Construction use diesel in a number of different vehicles including their fleet of tipping trucks.

    Step 1: They have determined they have used 1000 L of fuel for their tipping trucks for the period ending 30 June 2018.

    Step 2: To help calculate their fuel tax credits they locate the tipping trucks percentage from Table 1 below (5%).

    Step 3: They multiply the 5% by the 1000 L of fuel used = 50 L.

    Step 4: They multiply 50 L by the 'all other business uses' fuel tax credit rate for the period, which was 40.9 cents per litre = $20.45).

    Step 5: The remaining fuel used (1000 L − 50 L = 950 L) is then multiplied by the relevant ‘used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads’ rate which is 15.1 cents per litre for that period = $143.45.

    Step 6: To calculate the total fuel tax credit they can claim, BIATWC Construction add the two amounts together from Step 4 and Step 5 ($20.45 + 143.45 = $163.90).

    End of example

    If your vehicle is not in Table 1, you need to consider one of the other methods to apportion your fuel use.

    Table 1: Percentage of fuel used in vehicles with auxiliary equipment

    Vehicle

    Percentage

    Comment

    Concrete truck

    30%

    Includes the mixing barrel and all mechanisms used in loading, unloading and transporting the concrete.

    Commercial bus or coaches

    5%

    Air-conditioning for passenger comfort – all taxable fuel types.

    Refrigerated vehicle

    10%

    Refers to all the refrigeration units of a vehicle transporting temperature-sensitive goods.

    Includes fuel sourced from a separate or the same fuel tank as that which fuels the main engine.

    Waste management collection

    15%

    Equipment of a vehicle used to lift the bin to deposit contents into the vehicle's hopper and to compact the contents of the hopper. Includes all configurations of bin-lifting equipment.

    Does not include pumping in relation to waste management (refer below to 'Vehicles with specialised auxiliary equipment').

    Vehicles with specialised auxiliary equipment

    5%

    Refers only to the following specialised equipment:

    a) elevated work platform

    b) truck mounted loader cranes

    c) truck mounted drilling equipment

    d) pumping equipment

    e) truck blower for dry goods

    f) tipping equipment for loading and unloading.

    The apportionment of 5% is only applied once even if you have used fuel to power more than one type of specialised equipment.

    Long haul vehicles with sleeper cabins

    5%

    Air-conditioner units that moderate the temperature of the vehicle’s sleeping compartment when the driver is on a sleeping break during the course of a long-haul trip.

    Note: The vehicle must use fuel to power the air conditioner during the sleeping break of a long haul trip.

    Note: Generally a vehicle will qualify under only one category, with the possible exception of a long haul refrigerated vehicle with an air-conditioner unit of a sleeper cabin.

    See also:

    • PCG 2016/11 Fuel tax credits - apportioning taxable fuel used in a heavy vehicle with auxiliary equipment

    Use Table 2 below if you are not using the simplified method from Table 1.

    Table 2: Rates for different activities for heavy vehicles

    Heavy vehicle

    Activities

    Rate to use

    Transport truck

    Travels on public roads to transport equipment and vehicles to the work site (for travelling on public roads)

    Used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads (see note)

    Tipper truck – on road

    Travels on public roads to and from the work site, depot and material source (for travelling on public roads)

    Used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads (see note)

    Tipper truck – off road

    Fuel used while the vehicle is picking up and dropping off the material (off-road), including to power the tipping mechanism (off public roads)

    All other business uses

    Concrete truck – travelling on road

    Fuel used for travelling on public roads (for travelling on public roads)

    Used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads (see note)

    Concrete truck – off road

    Fuel used for travelling off public roads and on sites

    All other business uses

    Concrete mixing barrel

    Fuel used to power the concrete mixing barrel while travelling along a public road (powering auxiliary equipment) and on-site (off public roads)

    All other business uses

    Graders, backhoe loader, front-end loader, wheeled- excavator – travelling (see PCG 2016/4)

    Fuel used while the vehicle travels on a public road between the depot and the work site (for incidental use)

    All other business uses

    Graders, backhoe loader, front-end loader, wheeled- excavator – constructing or maintaining

    Fuel used undertaking construction or maintenance of a road (movement along public roads)

    All other business uses

    All other construction vehicles – on road

    Fuel used while the vehicle travels on a public road between the depot and the work site (for travelling on public roads)

    Used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads (see note)

    All other construction vehicles – on site

    Fuel used while the vehicle works on-site (off public roads)

    All other business uses

    Note: Rate is reduced by the road user charge.

    See also:

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    Other methods of calculating fuel consumption

    Examples of other methods used to calculate fuel consumption include:

    • using actual records of fuel purchased and used if the auxiliary equipment of your heavy vehicle is fuelled by a separate tank
    • using the actual fuel consumption data of the auxiliary equipment if it uses a power take-off connected to the module, such as engine diagnostic downloads
    • running trials to compare the  
      • vehicle’s fuel consumption when the vehicle is idling with, and without the power take-off engaged
      • fuel consumption of the vehicle with and without the auxiliary equipment operating.

    The following example is not specific to a particular type or use of auxiliary equipment. You'll need to consider your individual circumstances to determine a fair and reasonable method for your heavy vehicle and equipment.

    Example: Fuel consumption of the vehicle with and without the auxiliary equipment operating

    TrashBGone Inc operates several 20-tonne garbage trucks with rear bin-lifting equipment and compactors (auxiliary equipment). The auxiliary equipment is powered through a power take-off while the vehicle drives along the road and while idling.

    TrashBGone selects several vehicles of different ages for fuel consumption trialling. The vehicles are fuelled to capacity and sent on a typical route while using the bin lifting equipment and compactor. The vehicles are then refuelled and the amount of fuel used is recorded.

    The vehicles are once again sent on the same route, without use of the bin lifter or compactors. The vehicles are again refuelled and the amount of fuel used is recorded. The difference between the average amounts of fuel required to refuel the vehicles represents the amount of fuel used to power the auxiliary equipment.

    When calculating their fuel tax credits, TrashBGone works out the amount of fuel used to power the bin lifter and compactor as follows:

    The average fuel consumption of the bin lifter and compactor for each delivery multiplied by the number of deliveries made during the tax period.

    End of example

    See also:

    • PCG 2016/8 Fuel Tax Credits - apportioning fuel for fuel tax credits

    Variables affecting fuel consumption

    To work out the fuel consumed either by the heavy vehicle or its auxiliary equipment, your testing methods need to take into account variables that affect the fuel consumption, such as:

    • the terrain the heavy vehicle travels over (steep or undulating roads affecting fuel consumption of the vehicle)
    • variable distance of travelling compared to the interval between use of the auxiliary equipment
    • climatic conditions during transportation – including whether the cargo area is thermostatically controlled
    • age and design of the auxiliary equipment
    • servicing and maintenance of the auxiliary equipment or heavy vehicle
    • weight and capacity of the cargo area
    • configuration of the vehicle's cargo area – fully or partially insulated, curtain or solid construction, shipping container
    • Australian standards or statutory requirements to be met in relation to goods transported
    • driver influence, for example conservative driving practices.

    Using a third party’s apportionment amount

    If you're subcontracted to use heavy vehicles, and the contractor engages in the same activities – for example, concrete transport or commercial coach and bus industry – you may be able to use the same apportionment amounts as the contractor.

    You can do this if the contractor used a fair and reasonable method to determine the amount of fuel used in auxiliary equipment, and the circumstances under which you operate is substantially identical to the contractor's.

    This generally means you:

    • work exclusively for the contractor
    • own or lease the vehicle you use under the contract
    • operate a vehicle of a similar type, size and age as those operated by the contractor
    • perform journeys under the contract identical to those performed by the vehicles of the contractor
    • operate your vehicle under the same conditions as the contractor’s vehicles.

    If you operate in a similar industry to others, but do not meet the factors of a contractual arrangement detailed above, you'll need to establish your own apportionment of fuel using any method that is fair and reasonable in your circumstances.

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      Last modified: 30 Jan 2019QC 44648