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Fuel tax credits following a disaster

Check you're eligible to claim fuel tax credits following a disaster for businesses and emergency operations.

Last updated 20 December 2021

Following a disaster, you may be able to claim credits for when you need to use taxable fuel (such as diesel or petrol) to:

  • generate electricity for domestic or business purposes
  • operate machinery, plant, equipment, and heavy vehicles for eligible business activities
  • operate emergency vehicles or vessels (for not-for-profit organisations).

Claiming fuel tax credits

Fuel tax (excise or customs duty) is included in the price of certain eligible fuels, including diesel, petrol, heating oil, kerosene, and fuel oil. You may be eligible to claim fuel tax credits if you use these fuels for eligible activities.

You may be able to use the simplified fuel tax credits method to calculate your claims if you:

  • are a farmer and your business or residential address is in one of the identified impacted postcodes
  • have received a lodgment and payment deferral, regardless of how much you claim each year
  • are not a farmer but live in the impacted postcodes.

This means you can use the fuel tax credit rate that applies at the end of the BAS period to simplify calculating how much fuel you purchased for the period.

For more detail see PCG – 2019/2 Fuel tax credits – practical compliance methods for farmers in disaster affected areas

Domestic electricity generation using fuel

You can claim fuel tax credits for any taxable fuel you acquire to generate electricity for domestic purposes. The fuel can be used to generate electricity using a motor or generator, for yourself or others.

'Domestic purposes' means for a home, house or household, which includes a:

  • static home, such as a single house, duplex, town house, unit, or cabin
  • relocatable home, such as a demountable home
  • marine home, such as a houseboat
  • mobile home, such as a caravan or motorhome.

Example: domestic electricity generation

Donna's home is destroyed by fire. She no longer has access to an electricity supply.

Donna and her family live in a caravan on the land while their home is rebuilt. Donna uses a generator to supply the caravan with electricity.

As the caravan is now considered her home, Donna can claim fuel tax credits for the fuel used in generating electricity for domestic purposes.

End of example

Fuel used in a business

Businesses that are registered for GST at the time they acquire the fuel can claim credits for the fuel tax included in the price of fuel used in eligible business activities to operate machinery, plant, equipment and heavy vehicles.

Example: fuel used in a business

Peter is a sole trader and is registered for GST. During the floods, the basement of his business premises – where he keeps a lot of stock – fills with water. For safety, his electricity supply is disconnected.

Peter hires a generator to operate a pump to clear the water from his basement. He can claim fuel tax credits for the fuel acquired and used in the generator because it is used for business purposes.

End of example

Operating emergency vehicles or vessels with fuel

If you operate a non-profit organisation that has chosen not to register for GST because its GST turnover is less than $150,000, you can still claim fuel tax credits on a fuel tax credits claim form, providing you:

  • only claim for fuel you use to operate emergency vehicles or vessels
  • are a not-for-profit organisation at the time you acquire, manufacture, or import the fuel
  • acquire, manufacture or import the fuel for use in a vehicle or vessel that  
    • provides emergency services
    • is clearly identifiable as such.