Benefits that attract FBT, but not the requirement to report them

Your employer clients may have heard now and then about certain fringe benefits that, while still subject to the tax, do not have the same reporting burden as other benefits.

There can be consequential or flow-on affects from this exemption from reporting, such as the influence this can have on adjusted taxable income (ATI).

Employers are not required to allocate the following excluded benefits to employees or report them on income statements (payment summaries). The benefits are excluded by provisions of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (FBTAA) and the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Regulations 2018 (the regulations).

Excluded by subsection 5E(3) of the FBTAA:

  • Entertainment by way of food and drink, and benefits associated with that entertainment, such as travel and accommodation (regardless of which category is used to value the benefit). However if these benefits are provided under a salary packaging arrangement on or after 1 April 2016, they are not excluded from the reporting requirements.
  • Car parking fringe benefits (not including car parking expense payment benefits (refer to section 9.9 of Expense payment fringe benefits).
  • Hiring or leasing entertainment facilities such as corporate boxes. However if these benefits are provided under a salary packaging arrangement on or after 1 April 2016, they are not excluded from the reporting requirements.
  • Remote area residential fuel where the value of the benefit is reduced in accordance with the conditions in section 19.2 of Reductions in fringe benefit taxable value.
  • Remote area housing assistance where the value of the benefit is reduced in accordance with the conditions in section 19.2 (as above).
  • Remote area home ownership schemes where the value of the benefit is reduced in accordance with the conditions as mentioned above.
  • Remote area home repurchase schemes (again, as above).
  • Costs of occasional travel (being that which occurs from time to time and not at regular intervals) to a major Australian population centre by employees and their families living in a remote area.
  • Freight costs for food provided to employees living in a remote area.
  • Fringe benefits provided to address certain security concerns relating to the personal safety of an employee, or an associate of the employee, arising from the employee’s employment.

Excluded by the regulations pursuant to paragraph 5E(3)(i) of the FBTAA:

  • Emergency or other essential health care provided to an employee or associate who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident, while the employee is working outside Australia and no Medicare benefit is payable.
  • Certain Australian government overseas living allowance payments, for example, cost of living adjustment, post adjustment, child supplement, child reunion supplement.
  • Certain benefits provided to Defence Force members — for example, particular forms of housing assistance, reunion travel, assistance provided for removing and storing household effects, allowances paid to families with special needs, education assistance for children in critical years of schooling, elements of overseas living allowances, and removal expenses of a spouse due to marriage breakdown.
  • Certain benefits provided to police officers, for example, particular forms of housing assistance, assistance provided for removing and storing household effects, certain relocation assistance and certain car benefits arising from travel between home and work by police officers using unmarked police vehicles that are fitted with a police radio and concealed or portable warning lights and sirens.
  • Certain car benefits arising from travel between home and work by police officers, ambulance officers and fire fighters using marked emergency vehicles.
  • From 1 April 2007, car benefits arising from an employee’s private use of pooled or shared cars.
  • Living away from home allowances provided to federal government employees on or after 1 April 2012
  • Taxable benefits provided on or after 1 April 2012 relating to accommodation provided to federal government employees whose duties of employment require them to live away from their normal residence.

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