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Fuel Tax Credits

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This programme dates from 1982 when the Federal Government replaced the old exemption certificate scheme - which was prone to abuse - with a new Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme. The scheme subsequently went through several changes in terms of coverage and rates, being first renamed the Energy Grants Credit Scheme (EGCS) in 2003, before it was given its current name in July 2006.


Payments under Australia's Fuel Tax Credits correspond to the full amount of excise paid for off-road users while on-road heavy transport only gets a partial rebate, with the shortfall representing a notional road-user charge. Most beneficiaries are businesses using diesel fuel in machinery, equipment, or heavy vehicles (vehicles weighing more than 4.5 tonnes), though certain emergency vehicles and households generating their own electricity are also eligible.


The mining sector is a prime beneficiary of the Fuel Tax Credits, accounting for about a third of all transfers in recent years. As such, the measure could arguably be considered producer support since it lowers the cost of inputs used in the coal-mining and hydrocarbon sectors. However, this inventory treats the Fuel Tax Credits as consumer support given the general applicability of the measure's eligibility criteria for businesses.


The annual amounts reported under the Fuel Tax Credits also include those reported under the Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants Scheme starting in 2003, and those reported under the Energy Grants Credits Scheme (on-road) starting in 2006.

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FY starts on 1 July; Includes old EGCS payments

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start date: 1982

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Australian Dollar
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Users of tax expenditure estimates should bear in mind that the Inventory records tax expenditures as estimates of revenue that is foregone due to a particular feature of the tax system that reduces or postpones tax relative to a jurisdiction’s benchmark tax system, to the benefit of fossil fuels. Hence, (i) tax expenditure estimates could increase either because of greater concessions, relative to the benchmark tax treatment, or because of a raise in the benchmark itself; (ii) international comparison of tax expenditures could be misleading, due to country-specific benchmark tax treatments.


Measures appearing in the Inventory are classified as support without reference to the purpose for which they were first put in place or their economic or environmental effects. No judgment is therefore made as to whether or not such measures are inefficient or ought to be reformed.

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The measure is active

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The data for Australia are dominated by the inclusion of the country’s Fuel Tax Credits, which accounts for the high total estimates for the country. This measure, in certain circumstances, serves to rebate the fuel tax embedded in the price of fuel that businesses have purchased. Fuel Tax Credits do not apply to fuel used in vehicles under 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass.

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Data for 2020 are preliminary and in some instances contain OECD-generated estimates.

AUS_te_177.......Name of collection/source

Fuel Tax Credits

Source metadata

This programme dates from 1982 when the Federal Government replaced the old exemption certificate scheme - which was prone to abuse - with a new Diesel Fuel Rebate Scheme. The scheme subsequently went through several changes in terms of coverage and rates, being first renamed the Energy Grants Credit Scheme (EGCS) in 2003, before it was given its current name in July 2006. <br \>

Payments under Australia's Fuel Tax Credits correspond to the full amount of excise paid for off-road users while on-road heavy transport only gets a partial rebate, with the shortfall representing a notional road-user charge. Most beneficiaries are businesses using diesel fuel in machinery, equipment, or heavy vehicles (vehicles weighing more than 4.5 tonnes), though certain emergency vehicles and households generating their own electricity are also eligible. <br \>

The mining sector is a prime beneficiary of the Fuel Tax Credits, accounting for about a third of all transfers in recent years. As such, the measure could arguably be considered producer support since it lowers the cost of inputs used in the coal-mining and hydrocarbon sectors. However, this inventory treats the Fuel Tax Credits as consumer support given the general applicability of the measure's eligibility criteria for businesses. <br \>

The annual amounts reported under the Fuel Tax Credits also include those reported under the Diesel and Alternative Fuels Grants Scheme starting in 2003, and those reported under the Energy Grants Credits Scheme (on-road) starting in 2006.

Unit of measure usedAustralian DollarPeriodicity

start date: 1982

Other data characteristics

FY starts on 1 July; Includes old EGCS payments

Key statistical concept

Users of tax expenditure estimates should bear in mind that the Inventory records tax expenditures as estimates of revenue that is foregone due to a particular feature of the tax system that reduces or postpones tax relative to a jurisdiction’s benchmark tax system, to the benefit of fossil fuels. Hence, (i) tax expenditure estimates could increase either because of greater concessions, relative to the benchmark tax treatment, or because of a raise in the benchmark itself; (ii) international comparison of tax expenditures could be misleading, due to country-specific benchmark tax treatments.


Measures appearing in the Inventory are classified as support without reference to the purpose for which they were first put in place or their economic or environmental effects. No judgment is therefore made as to whether or not such measures are inefficient or ought to be reformed.

Recommended uses and limitations

Data for 2020 are preliminary and in some instances contain OECD-generated estimates.

Quality comments

The data for Australia are dominated by the inclusion of the country’s Fuel Tax Credits, which accounts for the high total estimates for the country. This measure, in certain circumstances, serves to rebate the fuel tax embedded in the price of fuel that businesses have purchased. Fuel Tax Credits do not apply to fuel used in vehicles under 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass.

Other comments

The measure is active