It’s that time of year for another 3-letter acronym! Yes, we’re talking FBT time or your Fringe Benefits Tax Return to give it its full name.

OMG, LOL, FBT acronyms in colourful speech bubbles.

Just to make things a little more complicated the FBT year is completely different to the income tax year and ends on 31 March. This means that if you’re a business owner with employees, you will need to start thinking about fringe benefits reporting.

What Exactly is a Fringe Benefit Tax Return?

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 will need to pay tax on them.

This includes things like:

  • allowing an employee to use a work car for private purposes
  • providing them with a mobile phone
  • paying for employee’s private health insurance
  • providing entertainment, food and drink e.g. Friday afternoon drinks, work Christmas party
  • 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.

Unfortunately, even if the benefits you supplied are exempt you will still have to lodge and complete a Fringe Benefits Tax Return, ensuring you provide all the necessary records to prove that you are exempt.

If you do provide fringe benefits you’ll need to register for FBT, lodge your FBT return and pay the amount owing by 21 May. However, your lodgement date may be different if your accountant does this for you.

It’s worth remembering, also, that the FBT rate increased from 47% to 49% on 1 April 2015.

So, now’s the time to start getting all your paperwork together including things like car expenses, motor vehicle log books, mobile phone records and entertaining records.

Interested in learning more?

If you’re unsure whether something would be classed as a fringe benefit or you’d like us to take care of your Fringe Benefits Tax Return, get in touch with a business tax accountant from Taggart & Partners on (07) 3391 1188 or email us on today!

Updated 18/02/2021

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