On 31 March 2018, the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year ended. With the ever-increasing budget deficit, the ATO will be reviewing whether all employers who should be paying FBT are, and that they are paying the right amount.
To help you meet your fringe benefits obligations, we’ve put together a list of essentials every employer needs to know about FBT and review every year, such as:
These questions are all answered for you below, as well as some log book management tips and new rules that have been introduced to salary sacrificed meal entertainment benefits.
1. FBT RATE CHANGES
On 1 April 2017, the FBT rates were decreased to:
FBT Rate 47%
Type 1 Gross Up Rate 2.0802
Type 2 Gross Up Rate 1.8868
2. SHOULD YOU BE REGISTERED FOR FRINGE BENEFITS TAX?
Generally, if you have employees, including directors and you provide them with cars, car parking, entertainment (food and drink), employee discounts, reimburse private expenses etc, then you are likely to be providing a fringe benefit and we will need to register your business for FBT.
It’s important you start gathering all the details of these provided benefits as soon as possible using our annual FBT Questionnaire and Schedules, so we can calculate any potential FBT liability and lodge your FBT return on time – due 25 June 2018 with payment to be made by 28 May 2018.
3. WHAT ITEMS ARE EXEMPT FROM FBT?
If you’re providing items like mobile phones, laptops, tablets, portable printers, protective clothing, tools of trade etc., or minor and infrequent benefits that are less than $300 in value, you are unlikely to have to worry about FBT.
The exemption only applies if the benefits are both minor and infrequent. To find out if you pass of these tests – check out our Applying the Minor & Infrequent Benefits Exemptions factsheet.
4. AN EASIER WAY TO MANAGE YOUR VEHICLE LOG BOOKS
For employers with 20 or more ‘tools of trade’ cars – a car required for the job, like for a sales rep travelling extensively for the business – the ATO has a new process for validating the business use percentage of the car.
It’s called the ‘simplified method’, and if you meet the access conditions, you can apply an average business use percentage to all ‘tools of trade’ cars in your fleet for the first log book year and the next 4 years. Conditions to be met are:
5. SHOULD YOU LODGE AN FBT RETURN EVEN IF NO FBT IS PAYABLE?
Where no FBT is payable there is legally no need to lodge an FBT return, but should you lodge one anyway?
Our answer to this question is… yes. We recommend that you, even where no legal obligation exists, lodge an FBT return regardless. The primary reason for this is that it then reduces the ATO’s audit window to only three years.
We have compiled a short factsheet that outlines some of the simple points that the ATO will review if you are selected for audit – How the ATO identifies potential audits. Together with some material that outlines why an FBT return is a good idea even where no FBT is payable – Why should you lodge a return.
The FBT year ended on 31 March 2018, so be sure to complete and return the FBT Questionnaire and Schedules as soon as possible so you don’t miss the lodgment date of 25 June 2018 and meet the payment due date of 28 May 2018.
We look forward to helping you meet your FBT obligations and are available anytime to answer any questions you have around reducing your FBT liability or creating effective salary sacrifice arrangements.
Our team are here to help you. For all inquiries or to find out how we can help you, Please go to our Contact Page for help from the Accumulus Advisory team.
We love helping you make smarter decisions for a better life!