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ATO Offers Update On Fuel Tax Reporting Changes

by Mary Swire, Tax-News,com, Hong Kong

17 December 2012


The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has issued guidelines on how businesses can correct errors made in previous fuel tax credit claims following a recent Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) decision.

The case, Linfox Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation, related to fuel used to operate a refrigerated trailer. However, according to the ATO, the AAT's ruling more broadly affects the Commissioner's published view on uses of fuel that are subject to the road user charge.

The Commissioner registered a determination in response to the ruling. The determination permits taxpayers to correct previous fuel tax credit claims where the road user charge was incorrectly deducted in a business activity statement (BAS). This can be done by including the total amount of the correction in one BAS, instead of revising each individual BAS.

Taxpayers will be able to combine multiple corrections in any BAS that commences in the period from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2014, providing certain conditions are met. The claim must relate to fuel used in a heavy vehicle travelling on a public road, but where the fuel was not for travelling on a public road (for example, operating the refrigeration unit of a refrigerated trailer).

The taxpayer must be registered for goods and services tax (GST) and the correction must be within time limits, which are generally four years from the end of the tax period in which the fuel was acquired.

The determination does not apply to corrections of fuel tax credit claims as a result of other errors or omissions.

As a result of the AAT decision, the ATO is also reviewing a previous ruling on a vehicle's travel on a public road that is considered incidental to the vehicle's main use and the road user charge.

TAGS: compliance | tax | business | tax compliance | revenue guidance | goods and services tax (GST) | Australia | tax authority | services

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