This means that if you’re a business owner with employees, you will need to start thinking about fringe benefits reporting.

So what exactly is a fringe benefit?

Essentially if you are providing your employees with a benefit other than salary, superannuation and bonuses then you are likely to be deemed to be providing them with fringe benefits and you may need to pay tax on them. Examples of fringe benefits include:
  • allowing your employee to use a work car for private purposes
  • giving your employee a discounted loan
  • paying an employee’s gym membership
  • providing entertainment by way of free tickets to concerts
  • providing entertainment, food and drink e.g. Friday afternoon drinks, work Christmas party
  • reimbursing an expense incurred by your employee, such as school fees
  • giving benefits under a salary sacrifice arrangement with an employee.
  • giving gifts to your employees
Now just to complicate things further, some things that you may provide your employees will be taxed while others are exempt.

The Provision of entertainment

One particular area that is quite tricky is the provision of entertainment. The following table gives a simplified summary of the Fringe Benefits Tax and income tax results that generally arise from providing entertainment to employees and others.
Situation Income tax FBT
Employee takes two clients to lunch at a restaurant – cost $150 Employee’s portion $50 tax deductibleClient’s portion $100 non-deductible Employee’s portion $50 fringe benefitClient’s portionNo FBT
Employee has meal in restaurant while travelling on business trip Tax deductible No FBT (‘otherwise deductible’ rule)
Employee has meal in an ‘in-house canteen’ Tax deductible Exempt from FBT
Employer provides sandwiches and juice for working lunch in office (not entertainment) Tax deductible Exempt from FBT
Employer provides substantial lunch with wine for employees in office but not in ‘canteen’ Non-deductible Exempt from FBT
Employer provides social function for employees in office Non-deductible Exempt from FBT
Employer provides social function for employees and associates in office Cost per employee Non-deductibleCost per associate Tax deductible Cost per employee Exempt benefitCost per associate Taxable fringe benefit
Employer reimburses employee for cost of private party Amount reimbursed is tax deductible Taxable fringe benefit
Employer provides employee and associates with theatre tickets Tax deductible Taxable fringe benefit
  Putting together your documentation Odometer readings will need to be taken at close of business on 31 March 2016 for all vehicles provided to employees that are subject to FBT. It is also a good time to start gathering all the information and declarations needed to prepare your 2016 FBT obligations. If you have not already done so, you should consider the following as soon as possible:
  • Review general ledger accounts, salary packages, and staff policies to identify all possible benefits provided to employees and their associates
  • Request employees to provide details of days on which a vehicle was not available for private use
  • Request employees to provide invoices and receipts for unreimbursed expenditure relating to any fringe benefits provided (e.g. petrol, insurance and registration expenses)
  • Request employees to complete any declarations that may be required

Lodgement and payment dates for Fringe Benefits Tax

The due date for lodgement and payment is 21 May 2016.  If you lodge your FBT return electronically through our office, this extends the lodgement deadline to 25 June 2016. However, the due date for payment is only extended to 28 May 2016. If you have any doubt as to FBT being applicable or not or if you would like us to prepare your fringe benefits tax return, please contact us.