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Linfox takes ATO to court

If successful, Linfox hopes to seek a refund of any fuel tax credits.
If successful, Linfox hopes to seek a refund of any fuel tax credits.

LOGISTICS giant Linfox has gone into battle the Australian Tax Office over the definition of a public roads, in a bid to claim more fuel tax credits.   

The company, launched a test case to clarify the term 'public road' under the Fuel Tax Act 2006 to ensure that they are claiming the correct number of fuel tax credits on fuel used for business activity.   

Linfox says the term 'public road' is not defined in The Act.   

The act which is critical to the application of the road user charge applied to all drivers, used to fund government repairs to public highways.   

Linfox argues a truck travelling on a toll road pays the road user charge for this journey, even though toll road repairs are not funded by the Government.  

However the Commissioner of Taxation takes the view that a toll road is a public road for the purposes of applying the road user charge.

Linfox has estimated that 10% of its journeys use a toll road, which could add up to a significant reimbursement if the case is successful.   

"We have worked with the Commissioner of Taxation on this issue. In these discussions it was agreed that a court judgement would be the best way to clarify this issue," a statement from Linfox read.   

"To illustrate our case, Linfox is contending that the M2 toll road in New South Wales does not meet the description 'public road' and therefore we have been incorrectly reducing the amount of fuel tax credits we have been entitled to through applying the road user charge."   

In the event of a win, Linfox will be entitled to seek a refund of any fuel tax credits that have been under-claimed.  

The decision would also have flow on effects for other transport companies which would also be eligible for refunds if they use fuel on any roads that do not meet the term 'public road'.  

Should toll roads be classed as public roads?

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Topics:  court linfox tax

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