Agenda item 1 - Welcome
- Introduction, review of action items and previous minutes
Outcome: The minutes of the previous meeting 12 June 2013 were endorsed, and all action items closed. There were no conflicts of interest declared.
Pauline provided an update on the Federal Budget announcements including:
Pauline noted that indexation will have a major impact on clients - for instance, record keeping. The groups that will be affected have not had a rate change in years for example, farming industry.
Discussion took place on indexation and timing issues and Industry suggested that it may be necessary to technically amend the Fuel Tax Credit Act.
Pauline noted that the ATO is mindful of the burden to industry and the ATO will do what we can to work through any issues.
Industry would like instructions via a communication message to ensure the correct indexation rate is being claimed.
The Communications team has completed significant work in pre-empting certain scenarios and will be ready to communicate to key stakeholders with only a few days' notice. They have also been liaising with industry regarding user testing of ATO material so that it is user friendly and makes sense.
Action item: 150514-1-1
Due date: completed
Responsibility: Carlene August, ATO, to have discussions with Bill McKinley, Australian Trucking Association, regarding a possible technical amendment to the Fuel Tax Credit Act.
Secretariat note: As a result of the discussion at the meeting, and the follow up discussions Bill McKinley had with Treasury, the amendments we required are in the Fuel Indexation (Road Funding) Bill 2014, currently before the House of Representatives.
Action item: 150514-1-2
Due date: as soon as possible
Responsibility: The ATO would like feedback from industry when the Bill does become law on the type of issues that industry see.
Action item: 150514-1-3
Due date: as soon as possible
The ATO Communications team send out communication to industry once the indexation rates are known.
Agenda item 2 - Updates - Carlene August and industry members
- Safe Harbour
- Member’s overview of application of Linfox decision and safe harbour
Outcome: An update was provided by Carlene on safe harbour and Linfox matters including:
Action item: 150514-2-1
Due date: to be determined
Responsibility: Carlene to follow up with the Communications area regarding communication to be sent out to industry about the expiry of back claiming on the business activity statement (BAS).
Agenda item 3 - Clean energy – Michael O’Rourke
Pauline acknowledged the work that Laurren Pamenter has done with implementing the clean energy project and the Carbon Tax Repeal legislation.
Outcome: Michael O’Rourke provided an update to the group on the Carbon Tax Repeal Bills relating to fuel tax amendments, highlighting the following points:
Outcome: Paul gave a presentation on the new Fuel Tax Credit Calculator app. The app was well received by the group and some feedback was provided which is listed in action item 150514-3-1 below.
Action item: 150514-3-1 due date: ASAP
Responsibility: Paul Ashburn to investigate the following in relation to the Fuel Tax Credit Calculator app:
Secretariat note: The message advising the user that the ATO would like to access their photos (iOS mobile operating system only) appears only once, and only happens on Apple iOS products. It is unique to Apple. The Android and Microsoft versions do not have this message. And once you have said 'Yes' to the ‘ATO re access to my photos’ the message doesn’t generate again. While essentially this is an Apple product message that we are unable to change, there are information technology architectural changes we are looking to add that are likely to offer improvements in the future.
- Communication presentation – Michael O’Rourke
Outcome: Michael gave a presentation on communication activity on the proposal to repeal the carbon charge.
- The proposed communication activities in June 2014 will be:
- a mail-out to fuel tax clients self-preparers includes letter with a quick response (QR) code to a fact sheet
- bulk email to tax agents who represent fuel tax credit claimants, includes a link to the fact sheet
- new fact sheet available at Fuel tax credits – changes from 1 July 2014
- some other information products published to Fuel schemes essentials
- email to industry forums
- limited user testing undertaken to gain client feedback.
Agenda item 4 - 2014/15 Compliance activities – Michael Hughes
Outcome: For fuel tax credit Michael updated the Group on the:
- principal risks being managed
- focus of the 2013/14 compliance activities
- highlighted the focus areas for 2014/15.
- Principal risks - continuing impacts of the clean energy measure including:
- fuel tax credit rate change from 1 July 2013
- implementation of opt in arrangements for large claimants
- providing advice in relation to technical issues
- managing additional claims in relation to fuel used to power auxiliary equipment
- managing incorrect claims as a result of using the incorrect rate, calculation errors and/or recordkeeping
- addressing fraudulent claims.
- The treatment approach for 2013/14 was focussed on:
- continued support to clients with education/communication activities
- large claimant assurance program covering the top 100 fuel tax credit claimants
- auxiliary equipment related claims
- addressing low level non-compliance, including fraud
- specific focus on Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) construction clients in view of the number of changes impacting that industry and the size of their claims.
- The focus for 2014/15:
- supporting clients through the impacts of any legislative changes (Budget announcements)
- further enhancement of electronic tools to assist clients reduce errors including mobile phone app and so on
- continuation of the large claimant assurance program of the top 100 claimants over a five year period
- use of the risk profiling to identify and address higher risk cases
- completion of carry over work from SME construction casework
- further work to ensure correct apportionment and calculation of fuel tax credit claims in relation to fuel used to power auxiliary equipment.
Agenda item 5 - Remedial powers – marine transport (carbon charge issue) – Pauline Zdjelar
Outcome: Pauline provided an update on remedial powers highlighting several points.
Issues with international shipping:
Action item: 150514-5-1
Due date: as soon as possible
Responsibility: Tom Wheeler to follow up with Treasury regarding the issues of remedial powers.
Agenda item 6 - Industry updates – industry members
- Members provided some feedback/updates including the following:
- industry will be looking for support/clarification from the ATO
- unclear on how indexation will work and timing as such – early communication from the ATO will be appreciated
- it will be a challenging time for industry
- the issue of fuel security was discussed and it may get to a point where we will be reliant on imported fuel as we won’t have the capacity to produce fuel
- the bus industry is doing a lot of work in relation to Linfox.
In closing Pauline thanked everyone for their cooperative attitude and work together in helping our clients.
Peter Gibson, on behalf of the Group, thanked Pauline for all her work in coordinating and chairing the Fuel Scheme Stakeholder Group meetings, and noted that they have been very beneficial for industry.
Meeting closed at 2:30pm.
Next meeting: May 2015