A fringe benefit is a payment to an employee but in a different form to salary or wages. A fringe benefit is provided during the time of the employee’s employment. The Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is different from income tax and it is based on the taxable value of various fringe benefits that the employer or employers provide to their employees and their associates. The fringe benefits tax year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

When is Fringe Benefits Tax return due?

The deadline to lodge your FBT return is 21st May.

What are some Fringe Benefits?

Some eligible Fringe Benefits include:

•  Allowing an employee to use awork car for private purposes

•  Providing employees with cheap loans

•  Releasing an employee from an owed debt

•  Reimbursing an expense incurred, such as school fees

•  Providing accommodation

•  Providing living-away-from-home allowances

•  Providing entertainment by the way of food, drink or recreation (this may include any events that you had at Christmas time)

•  Providing salary package arrangement, or

•  Providing goods at a lower price than they are normally sold to the public

The Australian Tax Office requires you to report the total taxable value if an employee is receiving certain fringe benefits of greater total taxable value than $2,000 in an FBT year. Always keep records of fringe benefits that have been provided for employees to ensure that your business remains up to date with your FBT obligations. Also be aware that any costs incurred as a result of providing fringe benefits may be an allowable income tax deduction.

All records such as invoices relating to the provision of fringe benefits should be kept for a minimum of five years from the date of the transaction.

To ensure that you are handling your FBT obligations correctly and efficiently, always consult with an accounting and taxation professional.

If you have any questions or would like further advice in relation to your business’ FBT liabilities and obligations, contact the experienced team of tax accountants and tax lawyers here at The Quinn Group on 1300 QUINNS to arrange an appointment or submit an online inquiry today.