Fuel tax increase, can a business claim it back?? Well the answer is yes and no. Firstly excise tax is applied to petrol to help fund roading costs and repairs and it is charged at the pump. If the petrol driven vehicle is used on the road then normal business expense allowances and claims are applied. If however, you use petrol powered vehicles/tools/equipment as part of your business off road then the fuel excise can be claimed back. In general, agricultural vehicles, some mobile machinery and commercial vehicles that don’t travel on the road are exempt from excise tax and therefore can claim it back.

Prior to the increase the fuel excise portion includes:

  • 59.524 cents – National Land Transport Fund
  • 6 cents – ACC Motor Vehicle Account
  • 0.66 cents – Local Authorities Fuel Tax
  • 0.3 cents – Petroleum or Engine Fuels Monitoring Levy

So when you last bought petrol, 66.484 cents per litre was charged as fuel excise (excluding GST).

What can be claimed for:

  • To get around the land you work on (farm, orchard or forestry) I.e. ATV, ute, motorbike, tractor
  • To work the land: i.e. chainsaws, lawnmowers, weedeaters etc
  • To operate machinery in your business: i.e. generators, forklifts, pumps, compressors, Concrete Mixers, Steam Cleaners etc
  • On the water: must be a MSA registered vessel or jetboat (If a vessel doesn’t have either a current MSA number or an approved safety plan, it can’t be deemed commercial and isn’t eligible for a refund of excise duty).

More good news is that your first claim can go back the last two years’ worth of use and then you will receive refunds ongoing every quarter. You lodge your claim within three months of the close of a quarter (quarters close 31 March, 30 June, 30 September and 31 December). If your claim isn’t lodged within this timeframe, but is lodged within two years of the close of a quarter, the refund is reduced by 10 percent.

The types of fuel eligible for a refund are petrol, CNG & LPG, whereas the fuel types that aren’t eligible for a refund are any fuel used for a motor vehicle that’s used principally in vehicle races, trials, or other sporting events, fuel used in recreational boats and pleasure craft, fuel that has already had excise duty refunded or diesel.

The ACC levy was introduced on 1 July 2003, provision has been made for the refund of the Motor Vehicle Account Levy for exempted vehicles and for fuel used for commercial purposes. These refunds are automatically added onto the refund of fuel excise duty.

Be aware that the Transport Agency’s Crown Revenue Team carries out audits of claims and may refer claims to field audit officers to complete on-site inspections. If you make a claim, you need to keep your records for three years. You must also retain the customer copy or a photocopy of the MR70 form for each claim.