It’s that time of the year again when businesses are required to review the benefits provided to employees throughout the FBT year (1 April – 31 March). As we have now entered a new fringe benefits year, business owners are reminded that not all benefits that can be provided to employees attract FBT.

There are minor benefits (valued at less than $300 and are provided on an irregular and infrequent basis) that may be exempt from FBT (for example, a gift or meal provided by the business owner at Christmas time).

However, there are other benefits that can be provided to your employees that are specifically exempt from fringe benefits tax. These are listed below for your benefit:

  • Portable Electronic Devices – as of 1 April 2016, small business owners can now provide their employees with multiple electronic devices without incurring FBT issues. These items bought prior to 1 April 2016 but supplied to employees after this date are eligible for exemption. Various devices that are FBT exempt are listed below:
    • Laptops
    • Tablets
    • Calculators
    • GPS Navigators; and
    • Mobile phones

It is important to note, that this exemption applies to small businesses that provide employees with more than one work-related portable electronic device in an FBT year – even if the devices have substantially identical functions.

  • Nutrition and Exercise – Where an employer has provided a wellness type program for its employees whereby they learn to eat better, exercise more and maintain better health, less stress and time is allocated during the day by the employer for this – the cost of this benefit is exempt from FBT (as long as the employer has a plan and policy in place).
  • Hands Across the Ocean – where an employer has an employee working overseas for an Australian business and is a temporary resident at the time, superannuation contributions to a foreign fund escape FBT liability (much like superannuation guarantee payments made for a resident).
  •  Cash Rewards in the Workplace – If an employer is handing out cash rewards to their employees it is good to note that there are certain types that are FBT exempt.
    • Genuine safety rewards under the value of $200 are FBT exempt (over this amount, the total is subject to FBT)
    • Long service rewards of more than 15 years providing the value of this item is under $1,000 and/or $100 for each additional year to be FBT exempt (such as watches, pens etc)
  • But Also – also exempt from FBT are the following benefits:
    • Did you know that newspapers and periodicals to employees for business use are FBT exempt?
    • Disabled person car parking
    • Compassionate travel by employees working and living away from home whilst on work duties – cost to attend a funeral of a close relative or to visit an ill relative

If you would like to discuss your FBT obligations or are uncertain whether these benefits will impact your business, reach out to your PJT Advisor for a discussion.