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    Incidental travel

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    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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    Where a vehicle is designed for off-road use and operates mainly off a road, incidental travel is that portion of travel on a public road that is minor or subordinate to it.

    Off-road, used in this context, means to use off a road or not on a road. It does not include specified activities eligible since 1 July 2006.

    Example 8: Incidental travel – water truck

    This example shows when travel on a public road is incidental (not integral) to the vehicle's main use.

    Water Services Pty Ltd is carrying on a business and during July 2011 they use a diesel-powered water truck for dust suppression on a major construction site that straddles a public road. The water truck has to travel around 500 metres along or across the public road to access the different parts of the construction site.

    The water truck's main use is to transport and spray water within the construction site for dust suppression rather than travelling on public roads.

    The water truck's travel on the public road is incidental travel because it is insignificant and is in the course of its main use.

    All of the 62,500 litres of diesel acquired and used in the water truck is eligible for fuel tax credits from 1 July 2008 at 19.0715 cents per litre – see All other activities.

    Water Services Pty Ltd's fuel tax credit entitlement is:

    • 62,500 litres × $0.190715 = $11,919.69
    End of example

    The fuel tax credit rate for incidental travel is the same as the rate for the vehicle's main off-road use as it is considered to be part of the main use. Because the main use is off-road use, the fuel tax credit rate for incidental travel is not reduced by the road user charge. For example, the following rules apply when working out incidental travel:

    • if the vehicle's main use attracts 38.143 cents per litre, so will the incidental travel
    • if the main use attracts 19.0715 cents per litre, the same rate will apply to incidental travel
    • if the main use attracts 2.5 cents per litre, the same rate will apply to incidental travel
    • if the main use attracts 5.22 cents per kilogram, the same rate will apply to incidental travel.

    Example 9: Travel that is not incidental – water truck

    This example shows when travel is not incidental to a vehicle's main use.

    Following on from example 8, Water Services securely garages the water truck at its depot each night. During August 2011, at the beginning of each day the water truck travels on a public road from the depot to the construction site and returns to the depot at the end of each day.

    This travel is not in the course of the water truck's activities on the construction site and is not incidental to the truck's main use.

    Each activity is eligible for fuel tax credits but at different rates:

    • the water truck's 62,000 litres of diesel used at the construction site is eligible for 19.0715 cents per litre – see All other activities
    • the 2,500 litres of diesel used travelling to and from the construction site is eligible for 38.143 cents per litre minus the road user charge because it is not incidental to its main use at the construction site.

    Water Services Pty Ltd's fuel tax credit entitlement is calculated as follows:

    • Step 1: 62,000 litres × $0.190715= $11,824.33
    • Step 2: $0.38143 − $0.231 (the road user charge) = $0.15043
    • Step 3: 2,500 litres × $0.15043 = $376.08
    • Step 4: $11,824.33 + $376.08 = $12,200.41

    Example 10: Incidental travel – tractor slasher

    This example shows when travel on a public road is incidental (not integral) to the vehicle's main use.

    The Doowall City Council uses a diesel-powered tractor slasher during August 2011 to maintain its parks and ovals. In the course of its work, the tractor slasher sometimes has to cross or travel a short distance on a public road to get to the next park.

    The tractor slasher's main use is maintenance of the parks and ovals. In this instance, the minor distance travelled on a public road in the course of its main use is insignificant and considered incidental travel.

    All the 62,500 litres of diesel acquired and used in the tractor slasher is eligible for fuel tax credits from 1 July 2008 at 19.0715 cents per litre – see All other activities.

    Doowall City Council's fuel tax credit entitlement is:

    • 62,500 litres × $0.190715 = $11,919.69

    Example 11: Travel that is not incidental – tractor slasher

    This example shows when travel is not incidental to a vehicle's main use.

    The Treechange Regional Council covers a large area and uses a petrol-powered tractor slasher to maintain its sporting fields and roadside verges. In the course of its work during August 2011, the slasher is used to mow the town oval and the adjoining town park. It is then driven a considerable distance out of town to another area where the highway verge needs slashing.

    The 62,000 litres of petrol used in the main purpose of maintaining ovals and verges is eligible for fuel tax credits from 1 July 2008 at 19.0715 cents per litre – see All other activities.

    The 2,500 litres of petrol used in driving the tractor slasher a significant distance on public roads to the sites where the verge needs slashing is eligible for 38.143 cents per litre minus the road user charge because this travel is not considered incidental to the main use.

    Treechange Regional Council's fuel tax credit entitlement is calculated as follows:

    • Step 1: 62,000 litres × $0.190715 = $11,824.33
    • Step 2: $0.38143 − $0.231 (the road user charge) = $0.15043
    • Step 3: 2,500 litres × $0.15043 = $376.08
    • Step 4: $11,824.33 + $376.08 = $12,200.41
    End of example

    See also:

      Last modified: 18 Mar 2014QC 26573