The Australian Government Fuel schemes essentials
- 22 July 2016
Every user of bulk fuel in Australia needs to know about the Australian government's fuel schemes programme. This forward-thinking initiative provides businesses and non-businesses with fuel tax credits. It aims to promote the recycling of fuels that would otherwise have gone to waste and, at the same time, bring down costs. So, it benefits both our beautiful planet and our hip-pockets. It's a win-win situation. Here's a lowdown of what you need to know.
Businesses and fuel tax credits
Businesses that require fuel for machinery, equipment, plants, heavy vehicles (usually 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass (GVM) or more) and light vehicles used on non-public roads can score credits for fuel tax. The worth of credits available varies from business to business, depending on a variety of factors, including type of fuel used, when it is bought, and how and why it is used. It is worth noting, too, that the guidelines determining fuel credits change often. Refresh your knowledge every time you complete a Business Activity Statement (BAS). You can use the ATO's fuel tax credit tools, including its calculator, to estimate your credits.
Fuel tax credits and non-businesses
It's not only businesses that are liable for fuel tax credits, but non-businesses, too. Non-businesses refers to entities that are not registered - and/or do not need to be registered - for GST (goods and services tax). However, their scope for claiming credits is more limited, covering only electricity for home use and the fuel used in emergency vehicles. The latter applies only to non-profit organisations.
Product stewardship for oil program
This one is for any business with a licence to manufacture, whose products are excisable and have the recycling of oil involved in their creation. The product stewardship for oil program (often shortened to PSO) exists to promote environmentally-conscious practices. The amount of money a business can save depends on how well the oil is recycled and what the end product of recycling looks like.
Cleaner Fuels Grants Scheme
Unfortunately, the cleaner fuels grants scheme came to an end on 1st July 2015. However, businesses can still make claims for fuel used before this date - up until 30th June 2016.
This programme rewarded businesses using cleaner fuels - whether they produced or imported them. Fuels that fell under the scheme included biodiesel, a selection of biodiesel blends and renewable diesel. Businesses were rewarded with credits for fuel tax.
Any businesses or non-businesses that were once able to claim fuel tax credits, but are now unable to, due to changes, are required to cancel their registration. This can be done online via the ATO's website, by phone or by email.
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More information can be found on the ATO website.