Heavy vehicles can be used in different activities both on and off public roads. The amount of fuel tax credits you can claim depends on what fuel you use, when you acquired it and if you use it:

  • for travelling on public roads
  • in all other activities, including off public roads, on work sites and to power auxiliary equipment.

You need to do separate calculations for different fuel tax credit rates.

To work out how much fuel was used in the different activities, you can use any apportionment method considered fair and reasonable for your circumstances.
Common methods and measures include where you:

  • add up all the eligible quantities of each fuel type that attract the same fuel tax credit rate
  • subtract any ineligible fuel, such as fuel you used in light vehicles on a public road, from the total fuel acquired
  • determine a reliable percentage of eligible fuel usage for a sample period and apply this over a number of tax periods.

The ATO's simplified method for working out fuel used in vehicles with auxiliary equipment can be found at:
www.ato.gov.au/business/fuel-schemes/in-detail/heavy-vehicles/?page=5#Methodsofworkingoutfuelconsumption_auxil and includes the following:
 

 Vehicle Percentage  Auxiliary equipment
 Concrete truck  30%  Mixing barrel and mechanisms for loading/unloading concrete
 Commercial coach  5%  Air conditioning
 Refrigerated vehicle  10%  Refrigeration unit
 Waste collection  15%

 Bin lifting equipment

The current fuel tax credit rate for heavy vehicles travelling on a public road is 15.8c/litre and for all other uses – including power auxiliary equipment of a heavy vehicle is 41.6c/litre. With such a large difference in the rates, it is important that you identify any non on road use of heavy vehicles and claim it at the appropriate higher rate.