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    Travel and other vehicle movement or activity on a public road

    Attention

    Warning:

    This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.

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    You can claim fuel tax credits for taxable fuel used in your heavy vehicle when travelling on a public road. The movement of a vehicle on a public road while engaged in road maintenance is not considered 'travelling' so different fuel tax credit rates apply to these vehicles.

    From 1 December 2011, excise or customs duty applies to gaseous fuels – that is, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), liquefied natural gas (LNG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) – used for transport purposes in most instances. There will also be circumstances where excise duty is paid on gaseous fuels that are used for non-transport use.

    As a result of these changes, if you acquire, manufacture or import duty paid gaseous fuels for use in eligible business activities, you may be entitled to claim fuel tax credits from 1 December 2011.

    Fuel tax credits for LNG and CNG are calculated in cents per kilogram.

    Find out about:

    What is travel?

    Travel or travelling on a public road:

    • must be in a vehicle with a GVM of more than 4.5 tonne (diesel vehicles acquired before 1 July 2006 can equal 4.5 tonne GVM)
    • begins when the vehicle starts to move (for example, leaving a depot) and ends when it arrives at its destination
    • includes all the ordinary incidents in the course of a vehicle's journey, such as stopping at a red light.

    You can claim 38.143 cents per litre minus the road user charge for taxable fuel (other than gaseous fuels) used in a heavy vehicle for travelling on a public road.

    Duty paid gaseous fuels used in heavy vehicles travelling on a public road are eligible for fuel tax credits from 1 December 2011. However, for gaseous fuels used in a heavy vehicle for travelling on a public road, the road user charge currently reduces any fuel tax credit entitlement to nil for these fuels.

    You can convert the road user charge rate to cents per kilogram, for LNG and CNG, by multiplying it by 1.333.

    Road user charge

    The road user charge is imposed on heavy vehicles using public roads to contribute to the road maintenance needed as a result of the wear and tear these vehicles cause.

    This charge affects the fuel tax credit rate that can be claimed for heavy vehicle use. Heavy vehicles using fuel for travelling on a public road are entitled to the fuel tax credit rate minus the road user charge, which is subject to change.

    Duty paid gaseous fuels – that is, LPG, LNG and CNG – used in heavy vehicles travelling on a public road are eligible for fuel tax credits. However, the road user charge currently reduces any fuel tax credit entitlement to nil for these fuels.

    You do not need to work out the final fuel tax credit rate, minus the road user charge yourself.

    See also:

    What is not travel?

    Travel or travelling does not include the movement of a vehicle while undertaking road construction, maintenance or repair – these activities come under All other activities and are eligible from 1 July 2008. An exception applies for certain heavy vehicles operating in a non-metropolitan area.

    Fuel used in a heavy vehicle for powering the auxiliary equipment of the vehicle, is not considered to be fuel used for travelling and, therefore, the fuel tax credit for the fuel is not reduced by the amount of the road user charge.

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    Example 1: Travel – rubbish collection by a garbage truck

    This example shows when an activity is classed entirely as travel, even though another activity (rubbish collection) occurs during the course of that travel.

    A garbage truck collects rubbish from rubbish bins along a public road. The garbage truck moves along the road to a bin, momentarily stops to empty the contents of the bin into its enclosed rubbish container and then moves to the next bin.

    The garbage truck's travel begins when it leaves its depot and ends when it arrives back at the depot.

    The 68,800 litres of diesel used in this activity during December 2011 is eligible for 38.143 cents per litre minus the road user charge.

    The fuel tax credit entitlement is calculated in two steps:

    • Step 1: $0.38143 − $0.231 (the road user charge)  = $0.15043
    • Step 2: 68,800 litres × $0.15043 = $10,349.58

    If the garbage truck used 68,800 kilograms of CNG in this activity during December 2011, the fuel tax credit entitlement would be nil. This is because the road user charge (30.72 cents per kilogram) currently exceeds the fuel tax credit rate of 5.22 cents per kilogram for CNG.

    End of example

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    Vehicle movement on a public road that is not travel

    If the movement of a heavy vehicle along a public road does not meet the definition of 'travel', the fuel used may still be eligible for fuel tax credits from 1 July 2008, depending on the type of vehicle and activity it is involved in.

    An example of the type of movement that is not travel, is the movement of a grader or bulldozer along a public road while undertaking road construction, maintenance or repair.

    This activity is eligible for fuel tax credits at the following rates:

    • 2.5 cents per litre for duty paid LPG acquired from 1 December 2011
    • 5.22 cents per kilogram for duty paid LNG and CNG acquired from 1 December 2011
    • 19.0715 cents per litre for all other taxable fuels acquired from 1 July 2008 – see All other activities.

    For certain heavy vehicles operating outside metropolitan areas or across metropolitan/non-metropolitan areas, you can claim 38.143 cents per litre minus the road user charge for fuels (other than gaseous fuels) used for both travel and other activities on a road –

    Duty paid gaseous fuels used in these vehicles are eligible for fuel tax credits; however, the road user charge currently reduces any fuel tax credit entitlement to nil for heavy vehicles using fuel for travelling on a public road.

    See also:

    Example 2: Inspecting a public road – grader

    This example shows when movement of a heavy vehicle along a public road is not travel.

    A petrol-powered grader moves slowly along a public road while the driver inspects the road.

    This is not travel because the stretch of road being inspected is considered to be under maintenance and the grader is engaged in the maintenance of the road.

    The 73,200 litres of petrol used during December 2011 for this activity is eligible for 19.0715 cents per litre.

    The fuel tax credit entitlement is:

    • 73,200 litres × $0.190715 = $13,960.34

    If the grader was LPG-powered and used 73,200 litres of LPG during December 2011 for the same activity, the fuel tax credit entitlement is:

    • 73,200 litres × $0.025 = $1,830.00
    End of example

    Combined travel and other heavy vehicle movement on a public road

    Vehicles are often engaged in both travel and other movement or activities as part of their operations. When claiming fuel tax credits, it is important to apply the correct rate to each type of activity.

    For example, the movement of a vehicle, such as a grader, along a public road from its depot to a road works site where it is to repair a road is considered to be travel. However, any movement the grader makes while repairing the road is not considered to be travel.

    Example 3: Travel and movement during road repair – grader

    This example shows the difference between travel and other heavy vehicle movement along a public road.

    During August 2011, a diesel-powered grader moves from the depot along a public road to where it will begin grading the road. The grader repairs the road and then returns along the road to the depot.

    The grader's travel begins when it leaves the depot and arrives at the road for grading and resumes on the return journey to the depot.

    Any movement the grader makes while repairing the road is not travel, however it is still an activity that is eligible for fuel tax credits from 1 July 2008.

    Both activities are eligible for fuel tax credits but at different rates:

    • 22,500 litres of diesel used for travelling is eligible for 38.143 cents per litre minus the road user charge
    • 76,300 litres of diesel used for grading is eligible for 19.0715 cents per litre – see All other activities.

    The fuel tax credit entitlement is calculated as follows:

    • Step 1: $0.38143 − $0.231 (the road user charge)  = $0.15043
    • Step 2: 22,500 litres × $0.15043 = $3,384.68
    • Step 3: 76,300 litres ×$0.190715 = $14,551.55
    • Step 4: $3,384.68 + $14,551.55 = $17,936.23
    End of example

     

    Example 4: Travel and power line maintenance – cherry picker

    This example shows the difference between travel and other heavy vehicle use on a public road.

    During September 2011, a diesel-powered cherry picker is used for powerline maintenance along a public road. The cherry picker moves along the road and stops at power poles to allow workers to replace electricity conductors.

    The cherry picker's travel begins when it leaves the depot and ends when it stops at a point to carry out repairs, and restarts when it moves from that point to the next point along the road.

    It is not considered to be travel when the vehicle is standing on the road while the maintenance functions are carried out.

    Both activities are eligible for fuel tax credits but at different rates:

    • 22,500 litres of diesel used for travelling on a public road is eligible for 38.143 cents per litre minus the road user charge
    • 76,300 litres of diesel acquired after 1 July 2008 and used when it undertakes the power pole maintenance is eligible for 19.0715 cents per litre – see All other activities.

    The fuel tax credit entitlement is calculated as follows:

    • Step 1: $0.38143 − $0.231 (the road user charge)  = $0.15043
    • Step 2: 22,500 litres × $0.15043 = $3,384.68
    • Step 3: 76,300 litres ×$0.190715 = $14,551.55
    • Step 4: $3,384.68 + $14,551.55 = $17,936.23
    End of example

    See also:

      Last modified: 18 Mar 2014QC 26573