FBT returns, employee declarations, and some looming deadlines

An employee declaration is written advice given to an employer by their employee containing information relating to the fringe benefits staff have received. A business needs to keep employee declarations to apply certain fringe benefit tax (FBT) concessions. They are not to be sent to the ATO, but retained as part of business records.

The requirements for record keeping that is required for FBT purposes can be found in chapter 4 of this ATO “Guide for employers”, with the specifics regarding declarations found at sections 4.8 and 4.9. These sections also have worked examples to further explain the role of declarations.

A business can also receive employee declarations electronically, however the declaration must still be signed by the employee using an electronic signature. Employees can provide employee declarations, in the approved format, electronically with their electronic signature if:

  • The employer consented to the method of electronic signature
  • the electronic declaration is readily accessible and understandable, and convertible into written English, in order to determine a business’s FBT liability.

An employer must obtain all employee declarations no later than the day on which their FBT return is due to be lodged. If an employer doesn’t have to lodge a return, they must have the employee declaration by 21 May. The lodgment deadline is also 21 May if using a paper return and/or for self-preparers, or 25 June if tax agents are lodging electronically.

For the declarations (shown in the screenshot below), see this Tax & Super Australia webpage.

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