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  • What's new in FBT

    Read about recent events and changes affecting FBT.

    On this page:

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) impacts

    You must lodge your 2020 FBT return if you have a fringe benefits tax liability (also called a fringe benefits taxable amount).

    In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the due date to lodge your 2020 FBT return and pay any associated liability for self-preparers and tax agent paper lodgments has been deferred from 21 May 2020 to 25 June 2020.

    The FBT liability payment due date for 2020 FBT returns lodged electronically under a tax agent lodgment program has been deferred from 28 May 2020 to 25 June 2020.

    If you need a further extension of time to lodge and you are:

    • lodging through a tax agent – contact them
    • not lodging through a tax agent – phone us on 13 28 66.

    If you’re experiencing financial difficulty in meeting your FBT obligations because of the coronavirus, phone our Emergency Support Infoline on 1800 806 218, when you’re ready, to discuss your situation.

    For more information refer to COVID-19.

    Worker entitlement contributions

    Under changes proposed by the Fair Work Laws Amendment (Proper Use of Worker Benefits) Bill 2019, the exemption for worker entitlement contributions will only be available to an employer if the contribution is made to a fund either:

    • registered under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009
    • established by or under, and operating under, a law of the Commonwealth, a state or territory, for the purposes of ensuring long service leave is paid.

    Other existing conditions for exemption are unaltered by this measure.

    The proposed changes will apply from a date set by proclamation or six months and a day after the changes receive royal assent. Employers will need to confirm that any worker entitlement fund they make a contribution to is registered at the time of commencement, under either:

    • the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009
    • the register maintained by the Registered Organisations Commissioner as a transitioning approved or non-approved fund.

    Funds currently endorsed as an ‘approved worker entitlement fund’ for fringe benefits tax may be ‘transitioning funds’ for up to 12 months after commencement while they seek registration as a worker entitlement fund.

    At the time of publishing, this change had not yet become law.

    Worker entitlement funds

    There will be changes for funds that are currently endorsed, or seeking endorsement, as a worker entitlement fund for FBT purposes should the proposed amendments become law. They will be required to register under the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Act 2009 if they wish to continue to operate as a worker entitlement fund. Registration will involve considerations and obligations unrelated to FBT.

    Taxi travel

    The taxi travel FBT exemption was recently amended to include travel to and from the workplace on or after 1 April 2019 in a vehicle involving the transport of passengers for a fare (other than in a limousine). This includes travel in a ride-sourcing vehicle, or other vehicles for hire that don't have a taxi licence.

    Before this change became law, employers could decide whether to:

    • lodge and self-assess in line with the previous law, or
    • lodge and self-assess by anticipating the law change.

    Employers who lodged before the change became law and who didn't anticipate the law change can amend their return.

    See also:

    Car parking fringe benefits

    A Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2019/D5 was issued on 13 November 2019. This draft Ruling replaces Taxation Ruling TR 96/26 Fringe benefits tax: car parking fringe benefits. It addresses contemporary commercial car parking arrangements and the Federal Court decisions in Commissioner of Taxation v Qantas Airways Ltd [2014] FCAFC 168 and Virgin Blue Airlines Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2010] FCAFC 137.

    For instance, as a result of the Qantas decision, the view expressed at paragraph 81 of TR 96/26 (Withdrawn) that a car parking facility is not a commercial parking station if its primary purpose is not to provide all-day parking no longer applies. Car parking facilities that charge penalty rates significantly higher than the rates chargeable for all-day parking at commercial all-day parking facilities may be a commercial parking station if it charges a fee for all-day parking.

    Recognising that employers will require time to implement these changes following finalisation of the Ruling (which may be close to or after 1 April 2020), we have determined that when the final Ruling is published, any changes in view from TR 96/26 will apply from 1 April 2021.

    See also:

    Deductibility of employee travel expenses

    A Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2019/D7 issued on 13 December 2019. This draft Ruling sets out when an employee can deduct transport expenses under section 8-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, including for the cost of travel by plane, train, taxi, car, bus, boat or other vehicle. This draft Ruling also applies for the purposes of determining whether such expenses paid by the employer would have been 'otherwise deductible' for fringe benefits tax purposes if incurred by the employee.

    See also:

    Next steps:

    Last modified: 24 Jun 2020QC 61882