Tue 03 Mar 2015

ATO Fuel Tax Credit Scheme:

Please find below an email received from the ATO relating to a review of the Fuel Tax Credit System.

Previous experience supports that this is an issue of concern to many of our members and we have spent much time and effort in the past lobbying to protect this scheme and also to simplify its use.

We have an opportunity to further support any changes that may be required.

We would appreciate feedback from our members so that we may present any issues to this review.  In particular the ATO are seeking some early feedback, so we would be interested in a few key contact people that we can pass on to our National CEO, so he can talk to you personally about the issues to get a quick feel of the current situation.

If you wish to be contacted early for discussion, please reply as soon as practical by return email providing your preferred company contact.

Other feedback by return email by late March would be appreciated.

The ATO request.

With the legislative changes over the last few years largely behind us, the ATO is currently taking the opportunity to review its administration of the fuel tax credit system. In particular, we are seeking input from some of our key industry partners on the following:

*       What parts of the current fuel tax credit system, or the ATO’s administration of it, are industry happy with and want to remain unchanged?

*       What are the main irritants in the system, or the ATO’s administration of it, for your industry?

*       Are there any specific changes you would like the ATO to consider, or areas which you think could be improved?

We would also like to gain a better understanding of how businesses operate in practice in relation to their fuel acquisition and use, and calculating their fuel tax credit claims. For example:

*       How does industry typically acquire their fuel and what invoicing/payment arrangements do they have in place?

*       What influences their decision in how/where they acquire their fuel?

*       When calculating fuel tax credit claims:

*       What methods/systems/processes do they use?

*      What source documents do they generally rely on?

*       How do they deal with apportionment, if relevant to their business?

We are seeking this information to help us identify ways to align our products etc more closely to the natural systems that businesses use, to simplify and automate the operation of the fuel tax credit system to improve our clients’ experience.

One of the specific issues the ATO is exploring<https://www.ato.gov.au/general/consultation/what-we-are-consulting-about/matters-under-consultation/administration/> is whether there are particular areas where safe harbours (and/or related mechanisms) could be provided to give certainty to taxpayers and the ATO, and to reduce compliance costs for taxpayers and ease the administrative burden for the ATO, without undermining the integrity of the tax system. We are interested in your views on whether there are any areas of the fuel tax credit system where you think a safe harbour could be appropriately applied to achieve quantifiable red tape reductions that are within acceptable risk/cost to the revenue.

Assistant Commissioners Tom Wheeler and Peter Holt, who together have responsibility for excise including fuel tax credits, and I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with you to discuss the above matters. We are seeking to meet with industry representatives as soon as possible, in March or early April.