Luxury Tax On Cars

The luxury car tax (“LCT”) applies to supplies of “luxury cars” which are over the luxury car tax threshold price.

LCT is payable on new cars and used demonstrator vehicles less than 2 years old. If LCT has already been paid on the vehicle, a credit is allowable.

The current luxury car tax rate is 33%

Luxury Car Tax Thresholds

2018-19$66,331$75,526LCTD 2018/1
2017-18$65,094$75,526LCTD 2017/1
2016-17$64,132$75,526LCTD 2016/1
2015-16$63,184$75,375LCTD 2015/1
2014-15$61,884$75,375LCTD 2014/2
2013-14$60,316$75,375LCTD 2013/1
2012-13$59,133$75,375LCTD 2012/1
2011-12$57,466$75,375LCTD 2011/1
2010-11$57,466$75,375 ATO
2008 & priorATO

A ‘Luxury Car’

A car is excluded from consideration as a “luxury car” if it is both a commercial vehicle and is not designed for the principal purpose of carrying passengers.

For guidance and examples of ‘principle purpose’, see Draft Luxury Car Tax Determination LCTD 2022/D1 Luxury car tax: how to determine the principal purpose of a vehicle.

Luxury Car Tax Other Key Points

  • Fuel efficient cars are vehicles with fuel consumption below 7 litres per 100 kms.
  • Deferrals of LCT payment are available for eligible dealers and importers, obtained by quotation of an ABN
  • Eligible primary producers and tourism operators can within limits obtain refunds of LCT up to a maximum of $10,000 from 1 July 2019, or $3,000 up to 30 June 2019).
  • The LCT collection and payment processes are administered through the GST and BAS returns systems at the ATO (see further info below).
  • LCT is determined on the car’s price which includes GST but excludes government fees and charges such as stamp duty, registration & CTP. The “price” does not include finance charges – see LCTD 2014/1
  • The LCT applies in addition to GST. It is determined by taking the GST inclusive excess of the price over the threshold, and then excluding GST on that excess amount before applying the tax percentage. The calculated LCT is then reduced by the amount of LCT already paid (if any).

The LCT only applies to supplies by entities registered for GST (typically a car dealership or importer), on vehicles less than 2 years old.

>> Note: For the luxury car depreciation limit go here <<

LCT Deferral

Deferral of GST (and therefore the associated LCT) is available in respect of a 3rd party vehicle incentive payment received or invoiced before the supply of the vehicle to the customer – i.e. before the total consideration for the taxable supply of the motor vehicle is known.

The deferral is until the tax period in which the consideration is known. Authority for the deferral is provided by a Legislative Instrument which takes effect from 1 January 2015. See Explanatory Statement here.

Deferral by Quotation of an ABN

LCT is validly deferred by car dealers (holding a license as such) making purchases for trading stock.

They do so by quoting their ABN number to the vendor dealer/wholesaler.

Parties are advised by the ATO to keep records supporting their actions.

Other instances when the quotation of an ABN is permissable include:

  • an entity conducting research and development (R&D) on the car for the manufacturer, or
  • intending to make a GST-free export.

See: Get your LCT right – ATO

[2 Nov 2021] The ATO has issued an alert warning against a Luxury Car Tax evasion practice implemented through a structured chain of entities.

Neither the brand dealer nor the end buyer at the beginning and end of the chain respectively may be aware of the illegality.

The kinds of example identified by the ATO include an entity within a chain of buy/sell transactions illegally withholding LCT from the Tax Office, whilst possibly at the same time also recovering LCT from the ultimate purchaser.

See: TA 2021/4 Structured arrangements that avoid luxury car tax

LCT calculation step by step

  1. Determine that the vehicle is a luxury car
  2. Determine the car’s supply price inclusive of GST, but excluding government charges such as stamp duty, registration & CTP
  3. Subtract the current LCT threshold from the supply price (to determine the excess, if any over the LCT threshold).
    1. If the result is positive, see Step 4; or
    2. Otherwise stop, there is no LCT payable.
  4. Divide the result of Step 3 by 1.1 (to determine the GST exclusive value of the excess)
  5. Multiply the result of Step 4 by the current LCT rate. This result is the LCT payable.

See also: Working out the LCT on a sale and Working out the LCT on an import

LCT removed on re-imported cars refurbished overseas

With effect from 1 January 2019 and announced as a part of the 2018-19 budget, LCT is removed from cars re-imported following service, repair or refurbishment overseas.

See further Importing a Luxury Car

Decision Impact Statement 13 Dec 2013 – GST treatment of incentive payments

The ATO has released a Decision Impact Statement which provides a response to the case AP Group Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation concerning the GST treatment of various incentive payments made by motor vehicle manufacturers to a motor vehicle dealer.

The ATO’s view is that the LCT value of a car includes payments like fleet rebates or run-out model support payments received from the manufacturer or distributor.

On that basis, the LCT value of the car may exceed the LCT threshold and be subject to LCT. The Commissioner of Taxation will enforce these changes to the LCT from 28 February 2014. Read the full impact statement here.

What is a ‘luxury car’?

‘luxury car’ is a motor vehicle with a carrying capacity of less than 2 tonnes and 9 passengers. It includes four wheel drives, passenger cars, station wagons, light trucks, limousines (regardless of the number of passengers).

LCT Luxury Car Tax Exemptions

A ‘luxury car’ does not include trucks and vans designed to carry a load of more than two tonnes, vehicles such as buses, designed to carry nine or more passengers, motorcycles or similar vehicles, unregistered racing and rally cars, prescribed emergency vehicles, cars more than 2 years old, campervans and mobile homes.

Primary producers

From 1 January 2020, primary producers can claim a refund of luxury car tax paid on one eligible vehicle per financial year, up to a maximum of $10,000, for vehicles delivered to them on or after 1 July 2019.

See further here.

People With Disabilities

Generally cars used for transporting people with a disability may be excluded from LCT if not GST-free.  

See more information for people with disabilities here and tax concessions on cars for people with a disability.

GST on Luxury Cars

Generally, the maximum amount of GST credit available is one-eleventh of the non-fuel efficient car limit (whether or not the car is fuel efficient).

No GST credit applies to any part of the Luxury Car Tax, regardless of business use.

Exceptional circumstances in which a full GST credit may be claimed, include:

  • car held as trading stock (other than hire or lease)
  • you carry out research and development for the car manufacturer
  • emergency vehicle
  • non-passenger (principle purpose) commercial vehicles
  • motor home or camper van
  • fitted out for wheelchair disabled (unless acquired GST-free)
  • vehicle lease payments (to the extent of GST included)

GST Act 1999 Sec 69-10

Further Information

This page was last modified 2023-05-29