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  • FBT Working Group key messages 10 October 2018

    The FBT Working Group meeting was held on Wednesday 10 October 2018.

    The information below is a summary of topics discussed at the meeting.

    Home internet expenses

    A member presented an idea that the ATO issue a Practical Compliance Guideline (PCG) to help employers with the record keeping required when they reimburse home internet expenses to their employees. The group noted the following:

    • Working from home is becoming more common.
    • Employers are reimbursing home internet costs to attract and retain valuable staff and match what other employers are doing.
    • It is difficult to get employees to maintain the required 4-week diary, given they don’t need to include the amounts in their income tax return. The FBT obligation rests with the employer.
    • If a PCG were to be issued, it would be limited in scope to FBT only and not cover the income tax deduction at the individual level.
    • Employers want to be compliant but need a practical solution to address this issue.

    The ATO noted that guidance provided in this area will need to be considered in the context of employees claiming work related expenses.

    Action item:

    ATO to review what improvement can be made to current guidance on how to determine the business use percentage for home internet expenses

    Due date:

    Next meeting

    Responsibility:

    ATO

    No taxable fringe benefits provided to employees declaration

    A member suggested the introduction of a declaration to be completed by employers that do not provide fringe benefits to their employees as a way to reduce the risk of being audited by the ATO.

    This idea was discussed at a high level. The group will review this proposal once further details are provided by the member.

    Action item:

    ATO to review submission and determine whether this proposal can be utilised to build confidence within the FBT space.

    Due date:

    Next meeting

    Responsibility:

    ATO

    TR update

    • Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2018/D2 Fringe benefits tax: benefits provided to religious practitioners – comments were due by 24 August 2018. No comments in fundamental disagreement with the draft ruling were received. The technical area is considering how to incorporate comments received via the submissions.
    • Draft Taxation Ruling TR 2017/D6 Income tax and fringe benefits tax: when are deductions allowed for employees' travel expenses? Members were advised that following feedback received during the consultation on TR 2017/D6, we have revisited our approach to a number of aspects of the draft Ruling. A revised version of the ruling was presented to the Public Advice and Guidance Panel on 19 September 2018. Members were advised to refer to the Advice under development program for further updates ([3756] Deduction for work related travel expenses).
    • Rewrite of Taxation Ruling TR 96/26 Fringe benefits tax: car parking fringe benefits. Members were advised that we progressed our rewrite of the ruling. We have also substantially redrafted Chapter 16 of Fringe benefits tax - a guide for employers to complement the draft update. Further updates will be provided on the Advice under development program ([3863] Fringe benefits tax – car parking fringe benefits).
      Last modified: 26 Apr 2019QC 58680