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Understanding Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) And What It Covers

Posted on April 14, 2024 by admin

For businesses in Australia, providing fringe benefits to employees can be a valuable way to attract and retain talent, as well as incentivise performance.

However, employers need to understand their obligations regarding Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) administers FBT, a tax on certain non-cash benefits provided to employees in connection with their employment.

Let’s explore the types of fringe benefits subject to FBT to help businesses navigate this complex area of taxation.

  1. Car Fringe Benefits

One common type of fringe benefit is the provision of a car for the private use of employees. This includes company cars, cars leased by the employer, or even reimbursing employees for the costs of using their own cars for work-related travel.

  1. Housing Fringe Benefits

Employers may provide housing or accommodation to employees as part of their employment package. This can include providing rent-free or discounted accommodation, paying for utilities or maintenance, or providing housing allowances.

  1. Expense Payment Fringe Benefits

Expense payment fringe benefits arise when an employer reimburses or pays for expenses incurred by an employee, such as entertainment expenses, travel expenses, or professional association fees.

  1. Loan Fringe Benefits

If an employer provides loans to employees at low or no interest rates, the difference between the interest rate charged and the official rate set by the ATO may be considered a fringe benefit and subject to FBT.

  1. Property Fringe Benefits

Providing employees with property, such as goods or assets, can also result in fringe benefits. This can include items such as computers, phones, or other equipment provided for personal use.

  1. Living Away From Home Allowance (LAFHA)

When employers provide allowances to employees who need to live away from their usual residence for work purposes, such as for temporary work assignments or relocations, these allowances may be subject to FBT.

  1. Entertainment Fringe Benefits

Entertainment fringe benefits arise when employers provide entertainment or recreation to employees or their associates. This can include meals, tickets to events, holidays, or other leisure activities.

  1. Residual Fringe Benefits

Residual fringe benefits encompass any employee benefits that do not fall into one of the categories outlined above. This can include many miscellaneous benefits, such as gym memberships, childcare assistance, or gift vouchers.

Compliance With FBT Obligations

Employers must understand their FBT obligations and ensure compliance with relevant legislation and regulations. This includes accurately identifying and valuing fringe benefits, keeping detailed records, lodging FBT returns on time, and paying any FBT liability by the due date.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is an essential consideration for businesses that provide non-cash benefits to employees.

By understanding the types of fringe benefits subject to FBT, employers can ensure compliance with tax obligations and avoid potential penalties or liabilities.

Seeking professional advice from tax experts or consultants can also help businesses navigate the complexities of FBT and develop strategies to minimise tax exposure while maximising the value of employee benefits. Why not start a conversation with one of our trusted tax advisers today?

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The Instant Asset Write-Off Continues To The 2024-25 Financial Year

Posted on May 28, 2024 by admin

In a move aimed at bolstering small business cash flow and reducing compliance costs, the Government has announced an extension of the $20,000 instant asset write-off for another 12 months.

This extension, part of the 2024–25 Budget released on 14 May 2024, will see the measure continue until 30 June 2025.

This initiative allows small businesses with an aggregated turnover of less than $10 million to immediately deduct the full cost of eligible assets costing less than $20,000. To qualify, these assets must be first used or installed and ready for use between 1 July 2023 and 30 June 2025.

Eligibility

Eligibility to use instant asset write-off on an asset depends on:

You are not eligible to use the instant asset write-off on an asset if your aggregated turnover is $500 million or more.

If temporary full expensing applies to the asset, you do not apply the instant asset write-off.

How Does It Work?

The $20,000 threshold applies on a per-asset basis, providing substantial flexibility for small businesses to acquire and immediately write off multiple assets. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses looking to upgrade equipment, invest in new technology, or make other capital improvements without the burden of prolonged depreciation.

The immediate deduction is unavailable for assets valued at $20,000 or more. However, these higher-cost assets can still be placed into the small business simplified depreciation pool. This method allows businesses to depreciate the asset at a rate of 15% in the first income year and 30% each year thereafter, providing a structured yet advantageous depreciation timeline.

The continuation of this measure is designed to aid small businesses by improving their cash flow and reducing the administrative burden associated with asset depreciation.

By allowing immediate deductions on lower-cost assets, the government aims to incentivise investment and growth within the small business sector. However, this will be dependent on the individual circumstances of businesses as to whether or not they may benefit from this measure.

What About The Legislation Of This Measure? 

It’s important to note that while these measures have been announced, they are not yet law. The Treasury Laws Amendment (Support for Small Business and Charities and Other Measures) Bill 2023, which includes provisions for the $20,000 instant asset write-off for the 2023–24 income year, is still before Parliament.

Once passed, this legislation will formalise the extension and ensure small businesses can continue to benefit from these deductions through to the new deadline of 30 June 2025.

The $20,000 instant asset write-off extension could be a significant boost for small businesses, providing immediate financial relief and encouraging ongoing investment in business growth and development.

Small business owners should monitor the legislative process to ensure they can take full advantage of these provisions once they become law.

Speak With Us

If you have any questions about this measure or if it would be suited for your business, why not speak with one of our trusted team for answers? We are here to assist you with any questions or enquiries you may have in the lead-up to the end of the financial year.

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