Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax paid by employers on specific benefits provided to employees (and their families). Benefits commonly provided to employees include company vehicles, car parking, low interest loans, and living-away-from-home allowances. FBT places the tax burden on the employer rather than the employee, which can be an attractive arrangement for many workers.
Employers must calculate how much FBT to pay each FBT year (1 April to 31 March). They can claim an exemption for some items.
Changes to FBT for the 2018-19 FBT year
For the 2019 FBT year (1 April 2018 – 31 March 2019), the FBT rate will remain at 47%. The associated Type 1 and Type 2 gross-up rates will also be unchanged.
However, some rates and thresholds have changed for the 2019 FBT year. These are outlined below:
Record keeping exemption threshold
The record keeping exemption threshold will increase from $8,393 to $8,552
Motor vehicle (other than a car) – Cents per kilometre rate
The motor vehicle (other than a car) – cents per kilometre rate will increase from:
– $0.53 to $0.54 for 0-2500cc
– $0.63 to $0.65 for over 2500cc
However, motor cycles will stay at the same rate of $0.16
Car parking threshold
For the car parking fringe benefit, the commercial park threshold will increase from $8.66 to $8.83 a day.
Statutory/benchmark interest rate
The statutory/benchmark interest rate will reduce from 5.25% to 5.20%
Housing indexation for Tasmania will also change, from 1.025 to 1.040
Living away from home – in Australia – reasonable food and drink amounts
Below are the updated reasonable food and drink amounts for the living-away-from-home allowance (LAFHA). These are weekly amounts and include all food and drink expenses, including food and drink consumed at home.
Note: An adult, for this purpose, is a person 12 years or older before the beginning of the FBT year.
Reasonable food and drink amounts for employees living away from home – overseas – have not changed from 2018 to 2019.
- FBT lodgement (self-lodgement): 21 May 2019
- Appointment of tax agent (to be eligible for electronic lodgement extension): 21 May 2019
- FBT lodgement via tax agent (paper lodgement): 21 May 2019
- FBT lodgement via tax agent (electronic lodgement): 25 June 2019
Getting help with FBT
Over the past few years, there have been significant changes to our already complex FBT laws. Help from a business and taxation adviser will give you peace of mind that your FBT return is lodged correctly and you are paying the right amount of tax. It will also save you time and allow you to take advantage of the extended electronic lodgement period.
A business and taxation adviser can also help you consider employee benefits in your management plan and budgeting. This proactive planning can help you reduce FBT while helping you deliver benefits that matter to your employees.
If you would like support with FBT lodgement or planning for employee benefits in your business, speak to a Synectic adviser today.