Never Mine the Budget, Here’s the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme

by Audrey Quicke

While some Aussies (who own a car that isn’t electric) are set to receive a small and temporary reduction to the amount of tax we pay on fuel when we fill up our tanks – many companies are quite used to receiving fuel tax back through the Fuel Tax Credit Scheme.

The Scheme refunds fuel tax to users of heavy vehicles, machinery and equipment, and vehicles used off public roads. These rebates don’t come cheap – often costing more than Federal spending on the Australian Army or the Royal Australian Air Force, and earning the Fuel Tax Credit scheme a spot on the top 20 most expensive programs list.

The biggest beneficiary of this scheme is the mining industry. Budget papers show the fuel tax credit scheme will cost $7.7 billion in 2022-23, expected to rise to $10.7 billion in 2025-26. Using ATO tax statistics from 2019-20, it is estimated that the mining industry will receive $3.5 billion in fuel tax credits for 2022-23. Of that, $1.1 billion will go to the coal mining industry.

The graph below estimates the Fuel Tax Credit benefit to different industries using ATO tax 2019-20 tax statistics.

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