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Sleeper cab air-con fuel now tax free

ATO rules the fuel used in truck sleeper cab air-conditioners should be tax free

May 10, 2013

Trucking operators no longer need to pay tax on the fuel used in truck sleeper cab air-conditioners, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has ruled.

A recent decision issued this month now allows operators to claim back 100 percent of the tax on the fuel used in the air-conditioners.

The Australian Trucking Association (ATA), which lobbied for the exemption, says businesses could save up to $300 per truck per year.

“The ATA argued in February that the fuel used in a sleeper cab air conditioner is used to cool the sleeper cab while the truck is stationary, its engine is off and the driver is resting,” ATA CEO Stuart St Clair says.

“We pointed out that it is not used for travelling, which is now the crucial test for deciding if the fuel used in a truck is subject to the road user charge.

“In its ruling, the tax office has come down in support of the ATA’s position. As a result, trucking businesses can now claim back all the tax on the fuel used in these air conditioners: a fuel tax credit of 38.143 cents per litre.”

St Clair says the ATO’s ruling will benefit long-distance owner drivers in particular.

“Owner drivers often spend more nights in their sleeper cabs than they do at home,” he says.

Businesses will need to keep records showing how they worked out the amount of fuel used in their sleeper cab air-conditioners.

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