Tax-Free Fuel for Sleeper Cab Air-Conditioning

By: Michael Cahill

Thanks to a lobbying effort by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA), people who use air-conditioning for the sleeper cab in their truck will now be able to claim back up to $300 per year on the fuel used to power it.

100 per cent of the tax on fuel that is used for this purpose can now be claimed when tax time comes around, amounting to a fuel tax credit of 38.143 cents per litre.

The decision hinged upon the fact that the fuel used for air-conditioning in a sleeper cab is not for the purpose of travelling, and so should not be subject to the Road User Charge.

Stuart St Clair, the Chief Executive of the ATA, said that "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."


People who want to take advantage of this tax credit should ensure that they keep accurate records of the amount of fuel used to run the air-conditioning unit. In most cases, sleeper cab air-conditioning is powered by an auxiliary motor, separate to the engine used to power the vehicle whilst using the same fuel tank.

 "If you're interested in claiming this fuel tax credit, you should talk to your accountant or tax agent about appropriate, reliable measures that you can use to work out and record your fuel use," said St Clair.

The Road User Charge was, in part, designed to account for the damage caused by the usage of heavy vehicles on the road.

Last year it was ruled that the fuel used to power refrigerated trailers should not be subjected to the charge as it was, again, not used for travelling and would not contribute to the deterioration of roads. It was this previous decision that ultimately paved the way for the current ruling.

"I'm very pleased we've been able to make sure they won't be taxed to stay cool and get a good night's sleep," said St Clair


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