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  • Records you need to keep

    To work out your fuel tax credits accurately and support your claims, you need to keep complete and accurate records.

    Keep records as soon as you start your business activity to help you calculate and claim correctly.

    Your records must:

    • show the amount of fuel acquired and used in your business and calculations
    • be in writing, either electronically or on paper
    • be in English or easily translated into English
    • be kept for five years, although some records need to be kept longer.

    If you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use the simplified approach to keep records and calculate your claim.

    Keeping accurate records helps you to correctly claim all the fuel tax credits you are entitled to. If you can't support your claims with adequate records, you may have to repay all or part of the fuel tax credits you have received. You may also incur penalties and interest charges.

    The tables below provide examples of records to support your fuel tax credit claim and the additional records you need to keep for heavy vehicle activities.

    You will need to keep more than one of these record types to support your claims. For example, you will need to keep tax invoices to show when you acquired the fuel, copies of contracts to show the activities that the fuel was used in, as well as GPS data if using GPS in a heavy vehicle that operates on and off a public road.

    Table 1: Examples of records you need to keep (not exhaustive)

    What your records need to show

    Examples of records you can use

    You are carrying on a business

    • sales invoices
    • production records
    • contracts
    • driver logbooks
    • lease documents


    The type, date and quantity of fuel you acquired, manufactured or imported for your business activities

    • tax invoices
    • receipts
    • fuel card statements
    • fuel supplier statements
    • bank statements
    • manufacturing records
    • importation documents


    The business activities the fuel was used for

    • records of hire, lease or ownership of the vehicle or equipment and the date of acquisition or hire
    • vehicle or equipment use maintenance records
    • odometer readings
    • logbooks
    • worksheets showing work carried out
    • invoices you issued
    • sales and production records
    • work contracts
    • fuel issue records


    How you separated fuel usage between eligible and ineligible activities and activities that attract different rates

    • odometer readings
    • GPS data
    • fleet tracking telematics data
    • route distances
    • fuel usage reports and records
    • engine hours (run time compared with engagement time)
    • meter readings
    • logbooks
    • testing records that show fuel consumption rate and how you take external variables into account (for example, operator, climate, age of the vehicle)


    How you categorise and classify different roads and areas if you use GPS technology

    • GPS data
    • fleet tracking telematics data
    • details and location data if source documentation relied on maps or land titles
    • details of how and what you classify as public roads and roads other than public roads (including supporting evidence)
    • how you record idling time and supporting evidence
    • details of any formulas or assumptions used to establish data, methods or calculations
    • reports generated showing kilometres travelled, locations, vehicle details and dates


    That you used the correct fuel tax credit rate when calculating your claim

    • records or screen shots from the ATO fuel tax credit calculator
    • calculation worksheets
    • records from another system you use


    Table 2: Record keeping for heavy vehicle activities

    Heavy vehicles
    (more than 4.5 tonnes GVM)


    Examples of records you may need to keep

    Garbage truck, tip truck, refrigeration truck

    Fuel for travelling on public roads to work site or on route

    General odometer readings (e.g. servicing)

    Route distances

    Fuel purchases/issues

    Auxiliary equipment used while the heavy vehicle is travelling on public roads – for example, a garbage truck, concrete truck, refrigeration truck

    Bin lifting and compaction mechanism of a garbage truck

    Mixing barrel on a concrete truck

    Refrigeration unit of a truck

    See PCG 2016/11 for acceptable percentages

    Evidence to support any fair and reasonable method of apportionment of the fuel

    Street sweeper/ water truck travelling

    Fuel for travelling on public roads to and from work site

    General odometer readings (e.g. servicing)

    Route distances

    Fuel purchases/issues

    Street sweeper/ water truck doing maintenance

    Undertaking road maintenance

    Specific records (or percentages based on previous actual records) of fuel used in specific work activities

    Auxiliary equipment of a heavy vehicle used while the vehicle is not travelling on public roads

    Truck mounted drill at a building construction site or a water tanker while spraying off-road

    Specific records (or percentages based on previous actual records) of fuel used in specific work activities

    Environmental criteria records for heavy diesel vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1996

    Vehicle used on a public road

    Maintenance records including;

    • receipts or dockets for oil and replacement parts
    • mechanical invoices for servicing/repairs
    • maintenance schedule documentation
    • a DT80 test report from a registered test facility
    • a membership certificate or equivalent from an accredited audited maintenance program.

    For more information for apportioning fuel for fuel tax credits is available in the Practical Compliance Guidelines 2016/8. It provides examples of acceptable methodologies for apportioning taxable fuel.

    Last modified: 22 Feb 2023QC 44516