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New Geotab telematics helps lower operator taxes

Ryan Tax Services was searching for a way to streamline its fuel tax credit offerings for the industry. It soon found success when it became an authorised reseller of Geotab’s reliable GPS and telematics solutions.

As a global tax services and software provider, Ryan was looking for ways to expand its offerings to customers in the transport industry. It became a valuable member of the Australian bus and coach industry when it officially became a Geotab reseller earlier this year.

It was a major boost for Ryan senior director of indirect tax Anthony Harmer. Having previously worked on a Linfox refrigerated trailer case ruling that fuel not used for travelling on a public road was entitled to a larger tax claim, Harmer has spent the past 12 years specialising in fuel tax credit claims for Australian operators. When he took his expertise in the area to Ryan in 2021, Harmer knew there was potential for the company to expand into the bus industry.

By partnering with Geotab as a reseller of its products in July this year, Ryan took a major step forward in the bus space.

“Over the years we’ve done a lot of work with the bus and coach industry,” Harmer told ABC. “We’ve assisted members with claiming fuel tax credits for fuel used in depots or on scheduled layovers.

“When we became a Geotab reseller, it allowed us to provide a wide encompassing service for our clients.”

The partnership between the global tax services provider and Geotab’s connected transportation solution has already made a difference. Through a subscription-based offering, Ryan’s clients are now benefiting from Geotab’s telematics insights. Under the deal, Ryan is providing clients with GPS devices from Geotab at a cheap price to collect valuable and accurate data for the calculating of fuel tax refunds.

Globally, customers have been purchasing Geotab’s award-winning devices through Ryan in a combined package that includes Ryan’s tax challenge solutions. Harmer says using Geotab’s reliable devices has resulted in a huge increase in data quality.

“Over the years we’ve worked with clients to get GPS data from their providers to calculate their fuel tax credit claim,” Harmer says. “We became aware that not all providers were equal in the data they supplied us with.

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“We looked to align ourselves with a single GPS partner in Geotab because its model works really well, the company is the largest global telematics provider in terms of connections, and it allows us to become a one-stop shop for fuel tax technology.”

Harmer says Ryan becoming a Geotab on seller has made the fuel tax process much easier.

Previously, other GPS providers wouldn’t allow Ryan to access certain client data, meaning it had to retrospectively download and filter through data every six or 12 months.

With Geotab, Ryan can access the data live and provide monthly services to clients, increasing the tax service provider’s business massively by allowing for monthly meetings rather than a session every year or half-year.

“It’s certainly helped us grow,” Harmer says. “Before this, we didn’t have many ongoing clients. We’d find we’d work with a client, get them a refund and strike a great relationship, but we didn’t have a reason to speak with them every month after our one-off retrospective work.

“Now, this allows us to grow our book where we can work with clients on a prospective basis more often. We get the chance to speak to them monthly and provide both full service telematics and fuel tax credit services. It’s transformed our business.”

Harmer says it’s exciting to see the scale of both companies working together to create a competitive price point for combined packages of GPS devices and fuel tax refunds. He says this new wave of using telematics has a gap in the market that proves telematics has a wide range of applications for the transport industry.

Whether it be moving forward to road user charging or continuing to help the bus and coach sector with fuel tax credit claims, Harmer says telematics has a major part to play in the industry. While on the cusp of a new era of tax advice, Harmer says the cutting edge nature of Geotab’s solution is a critical factor in this boom.

“Geotab’s data is the best quality we’ve ever seen,” Harmer says. “Geotab at heart is an engineering company that prides itself on its telematics device due to its low failure rate.

“We needed high data accuracy for the Australian Tax Office (ATO). Geotab is one of the only options we had to fulfil these requirements on a global level.”

Moving forward, Harmer says Ryan is looking at expanding its Geotab range that it is on-selling to customers.

The tax service company is intent on continuing to revolutionise the fuel tax credit space.

With Geotab by its side, Ryan is confident it will become a well-known global name in the bus and coach industry.

“Geotab is constantly localising its products and it’s committed to bringing new features into Australia that we previously didn’t get access to,” Harmer says. “We have a really healthy marketplace with Geotab where we can also bring in cameras and other software that bus companies might need.

“It’s all constantly expanding. We’re always looking to grow and offer more products to our customers. As long as Geotab brings these products out, we’ll assist by reselling them onwards.”

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