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Tips to get your fuel tax credits right

Follow our tips to get your fuel tax credit claims right.

Last updated 19 September 2021

Our tips will help you get your fuel tax credit claims right. We know most businesses are trying to do the right thing – but not everyone is claiming their fuel tax credits correctly.

The easiest and safest way to get your claims right is to use:

  • our simplified methods – such as the basic method for heavy vehicles, which provides certainty and protection for claims less than $10,000 each year
  • a global positioning system (GPS) or telematics technology product that has a current product ruling. This provides you with certainty, regardless of the size of the claim, provided you use the product as set out in the product ruling.

It's important you check the accuracy of your claims before you lodge your business activity statement (BAS). If you have made an error on your BAS, you can correct or adjust it. See, fuel tax credits – correct a mistake or amend a return.

Check the activity

You need to correctly identify how your fuel is used as this affects the amount of fuel tax credits you can claim.

Remember to:

  • apportion fuel used correctly between on and off public roads
  • use fuel consumption rates that reflect the fuel used by your vehicle and activity
  • only claim fuel used to power air conditioning in sleeper cabins when the heavy vehicle is used on a long-haul trip (not when the air conditioner is powered by battery)
  • not claim for ineligible activities such as fuel used in light vehicles for travelling on public roads.

Using our eligibility tool or simplified methods will help you get your activity and claim right.

Next steps:

Check you're apportioning correctly

It's important to work out your fuel used on and off public roads or to power auxiliary equipment correctly, so you get all the fuel tax credits you're entitled to.

The easiest way to get your claims right when apportioning fuel tax credits is to use:

  • our simplified methods, such as the basic method for heavy vehicles or the accepted percentage method for fuel used in vehicles with auxiliary equipment
  • results from a GPS or telematics technology product that has a current product or class ruling
  • a current private ruling that includes the details, records and telematics technology data (if applicable) of your apportionment method.

Don't forget, you need to keep complete and accurate records to support your claims regardless of the method you use.

Find out more:

Check the rate

Fuel tax credit rates change regularly. Rates also differ depending on when you acquired the fuel and the activity the fuel is used for.

Remember to:

  • use the right rate for the activity being claimed
  • check you're using the correct rate before you claim.

Using our fuel tax credit calculator will help you get your claim right. The calculator is updated with all the rate changes.

See also:

Use simplified methods

Simplified methods can make calculating your fuel tax credits easier. You may also get more fuel tax credits as they can help you work out your off public road use.

There are many simplified methods you can use.

If you use a heavy vehicle and:

  • claim less than $10,000 in fuel tax credits each year – you can use the basic method for heavy vehicles
  • operate auxiliary equipment – you can use a percentage that we have set to work out how much fuel is used for powering this equipment and when the vehicle is off public roads.

You won't need to do complex calculations or keep as many records when using these methods.

Remember to check your eligibility for using the simplified methods before you claim.

See also:

Use GPS technology correctly

GPS technology can help you monitor and calculate your fuel tax credits.

Using GPS technology products that have a product or class ruling will help you get your claims right:

  • product rulings give you certainty about how your product works and the accuracy of data and claims produced
  • class rulings also provide a degree of certainty - specifically, that the product reports can be used for record keeping purposes.

When using GPS technology, remember to check:

  • the accuracy of the GPS route or distances travelled with other map sources
  • roads have been correctly classified as private or public roads
  • it detects vehicle idling correctly (the GPS technology product should only record fuel used when idling if the engine is running)
  • it is accurate when comparing the fuel used in the vehicle with the actual fuel acquired
  • it’s producing a realistic off-road fuel use percentage compared to the use of the vehicle and auxiliary equipment off public roads
  • the GPS record is recording time and location correctly. (You can compare a select sample of the GPS data and use other records you have, including delivery logs or a National Work Diary, to help confirm the vehicle's time and location).

If your GPS technology product is not tracking usage correctly, speak with the GPS provider.

See also:

Keep records to support your claim

When claiming fuel tax credits, keep accurate and complete records of your fuel purchases and how the fuel is used in your business.

When checking records ensure:

  • you have evidence to support how much fuel was purchased and used
  • any GPS reports or records reflect your business operations and the data has been used correctly.

If you use fuel consumption rates, you need to keep records which show any testing undertaken and the results.

See also:

Check your calculations

It's important to check your calculations when claiming fuel tax credits.

Remember to:

  • check your claim calculations with the fuel purchased to ensure you have not overclaimed
  • use the quantity of fuel multiplied by the relevant rate in your calculations, not the cost of fuel.

Work out your fuel tax credits using this formula:

Quantity of eligible fuel × Correct fuel tax credit rate = Fuel tax credits

Write this amount (in whole dollars) at label 7D on your BAS. Keep records of your calculations.

See also: