The FBT year runs from the 1st April 2018 to the 31st March 2019.  The main areas in which an employer will usually provide fringe benefits are the provision of a motor vehicle or entertainment expenses. The Tax Office is becoming more proactive in relation to FBT and as such we need to ensure that you are FBT compliant.  You may not need to lodge an FBT return but if you have any one of the expenses noted  below, you MUST have appropriate paperwork in place to explain why no FBT is payable.

Motor Vehicles

If your business owns vehicles that are provided to either you or employees of your business, then you must take down the odometer reading on 31 March 2019 and have the driver sign the declaration (click here). There must be a separate declaration for each vehicle that your business has owned during the year. (This includes vehicles sold during the FBT year.).

Logbooks completed?  Please indicate to us if you have a valid logbook (completed within the last 5 years) and we will contact you for further information.  Regardless, the motor vehicle declaration must still be completed. Please make sure your logbook contains :-

  • The odometer readings at the start and end of each journey
  • The date on which each journey begins and ends
  • The kilometers traveled
  • The purpose (or description) of each journey. The word “business” is not sufficient
  • Entries must be made at the end of each journey

If the vehicles are commercial vehicles (i.e. Van or Ute) and the private usage is only for home to work and other minor and infrequent usage then a further declaration (click here) must be completed and signed.  The ATO has recently issued a compliance guideline that defines minor and infrequent usage as:

  • Travel between home and work where any diversion adds no more than two kilometers to the ordinary length of that trip
  • no more than 1000 kilometers in total for each FBT year for multiple journeys taken for a wholly private purpose, and
  • no single, return journey for a wholly private purpose exceeds 200 kilometers.

Entertainment potentially includes meals provided to employees, including Friday night drinks.  It also includes accommodation, tickets to events, golf and gym memberships, the provision of gifts or gift cards etc.  These need to be looked at closely.  These items need to be correctly recorded as entertainment (and no GST claimed) in your files. Please advise us if you have any entertainment to be reviewed.

Other items caught by FBT
If your business has provided any of these, then please provide us with the details.

  • Debt Waiver Fringe Benefit:  The waiving or forgiving of an employee’s debt to the employer.
  • Loan Fringe Benefit:  A loan to an employee at less than a commercial rate of interest.
  • Expense Payment Fringe Benefit:  Arises in either of two ways:
    • an employer reimburses an employee for non business expenses; or
    • an employer pays a third party in satisfaction of expenses incurred by an employee. A typical example is payment of an employee’s private telephone costs.
  •  Housing Fringe Benefit:   An employee is provided with the right to use a unit of accommodation and that unit of accommodation is the usual place of residence of the employee.
  • Car Parking Fringe Benefit (Not applicable if the car is not parked at a commercial car parking station and the aggregate turnover is < $10 million):   Very broadly, this benefit may arise in relation to each day on which the employer provides a car parking space for the use of an employee.
  •  Property Fringe Benefit:  Arises when an employee is provided with property (i.e. goods), free or at a discount, by an employer.
  •  Residual Fringe Benefits:  Any fringe benefit provided to an employee that does not fall within one of the above fringe benefits categories.

No benefits provided
If you believe that you have not provided benefits to your employees and associates for the period 1stApril 2018 to 31st March 2019, you need to advise us in writing (email acceptable) so that we have appropriate documentation on file.

We would be pleased to receive documents (eg declarations) or an email advising no benefits provided by 21st April 2019.  Please contact us if this date is a problem.