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  • Simplified fuel tax credits

    You may be able to use simplified methods to keep records and calculate your fuel tax credit claim. You'll need to be registered for and eligible to claim fuel tax credits.

    If you are a farmer and your business or residential address is in one of the identified impacted postcodes, and you have a lodgment and payment deferral for that period, you may be able to use the simplified methods for calculating fuel tax credits, regardless of the amount you claim each year.

    If you are unsure whether you fall within an impacted postcode or are entitled to claim using the simplified method, phone us on 1800 806 218.

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    Simplified methods for claims less than $10,000 each year

    If you claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year, you can use one or more of the following simplified methods:

    You can choose to use or stop using these methods at any time.

    Basic method for heavy vehicles

    You can use the basic method for heavy vehicles to calculate fuel tax credits for diesel used in heavy vehicles.

    This method makes it easier to work out your on and off public road use. All you need is the distance you’ve travelled on public roads and the amount of eligible diesel you've acquired for use in the heavy vehicle for the tax period to use the method.

    You can use this method for all diesel acquired on or after 1 October 2020.

    Next step:

    See also:

    • PCG 2021/2 Fuel tax credits – basic method for heavy vehicles

    Use the rate that applies at the end of the BAS period

    When there is a change of rate during the business activity statement (BAS) period (for example, in February and August), you can calculate your fuel tax credit claim by using the rate that applies at the end of the period.

    You don't need to split your fuel purchases during the period and use two different rates. Simply total your litres for the period and use the rate that is current on the last day of the BAS period to work out your claim.

    If you are using the ATO app to calculate your claim, enter your total fuel purchases in the final rate period.

    You can use this method for all BAS periods ending on or after 31 March 2016.

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    Work out your litres

    To work out the quantity of fuel you purchased in a tax period, you can simply use the total cost of fuel you purchased in the BAS period, divided by the average price per litre for the BAS period.

    Calculate your litres by:

    • Litres = total cost of fuel purchased ÷ average price of fuel

    You can use this method for all BAS periods ending on or after 31 March 2016.

    Next steps:

    See also:

    • Rates – business
    • PCG 2016/2 Fuel tax credits – practical compliance methods for small claimants
    • PCG 2019/2 Fuel tax credits – practical compliance methods for farmers in disaster affected areas

    Simplified record keeping

    You can use the following records to substantiate claims of less than $10,000 per year:

    • Contractor statements – where an amount for fuel used in the performance of services is deducted from the amount payable for the services.
    • Financial institution statements (such as business or personal credit or debit accounts) – where only the dollar amount is displayed on the statement.
    • Point-of-sale dockets – where the docket either does not itemise the quantity of fuel dispensed or the quantity is illegible.
    • Fuel supplier statements or invoices – where only the dollar amount is displayed on the statement.

    You can use these records if you can:

    • show the quantity of fuel was used in your business during the period, for example by reference to the type of vehicles and equipment used in the business
    • reasonably demonstrate (if the relevant record is lost) by reference to records from prior or later periods, the quantity of fuel was used in your business.

    You can use this method for all your past and future BAS periods.

    If you are a farmer impacted by a natural disaster, and you do not have records to substantiate your claims, visit reconstructing your tax records for further information.

    See also:

    Simplified methods for all claims

    No matter how much you claim in fuel tax credits each year, you can use the following methods to simplify the apportionment of fuel:

    • heavy vehicles used mainly off public roads
    • fuel used to power auxiliary equipment.

    Heavy vehicles used mainly off public roads

    If your vehicle is on the list of heavy vehicles we consider are used mainly off public roads (for example, a harvester or backhoe) you no longer need to apportion on and off-road travel when calculating your fuel tax credit claim.

    You can claim all fuel used in these vehicles at the 'all other business uses' rate, even if you sometimes drive the vehicle on a public road.

    You can use this method for all BAS periods ending on or after 31 March 2016.

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    Fuel used to power auxiliary equipment

    If you use fuel to power the auxiliary equipment of a heavy vehicle (for example, a concrete mixing barrel or elevated work platform) you can use a percentage that we have set to work out how much fuel is used for powering this equipment.

    If you use these percentages you won't need to do a separate calculation for fuel used while the vehicle is off public roads (such as for idling or propelling the vehicle and use of auxiliary equipment). The percentage you use to work out your fuel tax credits will cover this use. You also won't need to do complex calculations or sample testing when you use this method.

    See also:

    Last modified: 08 Feb 2021QC 48520