The Australian Trucking Association (ATA) and other industry bodies have supported the Australian Tax Office’s plan to simplify road user charge refund claims from refrigerated trailer and other operators.
The tax office developed the plan after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal ruled in August that the fuel used to operate trailer refrigeration units was not subject to the road user charge.
The tribunal ruled that operators could claim 38.143 cents per litre in fuel tax credits on the fuel used in these units, instead of the 12.643 cents per litre that can be currently claimed on the fuel used to propel trucks and prime movers.
The ruling will affect all operators that use fuel to run auxiliary equipment on trucks, not only those with refrigerated trailers.
The association’s government relations manager Bill McKinley said the ATA supported the plan because it would reduce the paperwork involved in applying for refunds under the ruling.
“At the moment, businesses wanting to claim road user charge refunds would have to revise each affected activity statement. As the tax office pointed out in its briefing paper, this could involve filing amendments to more than 48 activity statements,” McKinley said.
“The tax office instead plans to issue a determination to allow businesses to include all their road user charge refund claims in a single BAS.
“The tax office will now finalise its determination. The determination is expected to come into effect by the end of November,” he added.
The tax office will also issue guidelines about how to apportion fuel use between a truck’s main engine and its auxiliary equipment.
The ATA suggests truck operators should contact their tax adviser to see if they are eligible for a refund or contact Peter Gibson at Deloitte on 0418 448 100.