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Fuel tax credit mistakes

Fuel tax credits are provided to businesses who acquire, manufacture, import or use fuel in part of running a business.

These credits can greatly benefit business owners but it is important to get the claim right. The ATO sees common mistakes made when calculating and claiming fuel tax credits, including:

Wrong calculations
A common error is to calculate fuel tax credits using the cost of the fuel rather than the quantity of fuel multiplied by the relevant rate. The correct formula is: quantity of eligible fuel x correct fuel tax credit rate = fuel tax credits.

Inaccurate records
You must keep accurate records of your fuel purchases and how the fuel is used in your business. If you claim less than $10,000 a year in fuel tax credits, you can use a range of documents to support your claims.

Using an incorrect rate
Fuel tax credit rates change every February. Check the rates before you lodge your BAS. The current rates for fuel acquired from 5 February 2018 to 30 June 2018 are as follows:

Eligible fuel type Unit Used in heavy vehicles for travelling on public roads All other business uses (including to power auxiliary equipment of a heavy vehicle)1
Liquid fuels, for example diesel or petrol cents per litre 15.1 40.9
Blended fuels: B5, B20, E10 cents per litre 15.1 40.9
Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) (duty paid) cents per litre 0.0 13.3
Liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG) (duty paid) cents per kilogram 0.0 28.0
Blended fuel: E85 cents per litre 0.0 10.725
B100 cents per litre 0.0 2.7

Not checking the activity
A common mistake is to claim fuel tax credits using the ‘other business uses’ rate for heavy vehicles travelling on public roads. Rates differ depending on the activity they are used for.

Ineligible fuels
Claiming fuel used for private purposes, or for travelling on a public road in vehicles with a gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4.5 tonne or less is a common error. If you are unsure if about the eligibility of your fuel type and usage, contact one of our accountants today.

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What Are The Consequences Of Improperly Lodged Tax Returns?

May 4, 2021

With tax return season approaching quickly this year, you may have already started looking into lodging your income tax return. Ensuring that your details are correct and that any information about your earned income from the year is lodged is the responsibility of the taxpayer and their tax agent. However, if during this income tax return process the tax obligations of the taxpayer fail to be complied with, the Australian Taxation Office has severe penalties that they can enforce.

Australian taxation laws authorise the ATO with the ability to impose administrative penalties for failing to comply with the tax obligations that taxpayers inherently possess.

As an example, taxpayers may be liable to penalties for making false or misleading statements, failing to lodge tax returns or taking a tax position that is not reasonably arguable. False or misleading statements have different consequences if the statement given results in a shortfall amount or not. In both cases, the penalty will not be imposed if the taxpayer took reasonable care in making the statement (though they may still be subject to another penalty provision) or the statement of the taxpayer is in accordance with the ATO’s advice, published statements or general administrative practices in relation to a tax law.

The penalty base rate for statements that resulted in a shortfall amount is calculated as a percentage of the tax shortfall, or in the case of no shortfall amount, as a multiple of a penalty unit. This percentage is determined by the behaviour that led to the shortfall amount or as a multiple of a penalty unit, which are as follows:

If a statement fails to be lodged at the appropriate time, you may be liable for a penalty of 75% of the tax-related liability if:

To ensure that the statements, returns and lodgements are done correctly, and avoid the risk of potential penalties, contact us today. We’re here to help.