• Living away from home – food provided

    Legislative reference: section 63External Link of the FBTAA.

    Rather than paying a cash living-away-from-home allowance to an employee whose duties of employment require them to live away from their normal residence you may reimburse the employee's food costs (giving rise to an expense payment fringe benefit), or provide food to the employee (giving rise to a property fringe benefit).

    You may reduce the taxable value of the expense payment fringe benefit or property fringe benefit to the equivalent of $42 a week for each adult and $21 a week for each child (an adult is a person who had attained the age of 12 years before the beginning of the FBT year). You apply this particular reduction to the taxable value before applying the employee contribution.

    Food provided because the employee is living away from home from 1 October 2012 onwards

    To apply this reduction, the following requirements must be met.

    If: then:

    the employee works on a fly-in fly-out or drive-in drive-out basis

    • the employee must have residential accommodation at or near their usual place of employment; and
    • the employee must give you the appropriate declaration about living away from home.

     

    the employee does not work on a fly-in fly-out or drive-in drive-out basis and is not eligible for the transitional rules

    • the employee must maintain a home in Australia at which they usually reside and it is available for their use and enjoyment at all times
    • the fringe benefit must relate to the first 12 month period at a particular work location; and
    • the employee must give you the appropriate declaration about living away from home.

     

    Attention

    The declarations provided to you must be in a form approved by the Commissioner (refer to Declarations).

    End of attention

    Transitional rules may apply which affect the requirements above. These transitional rules are outlined below.

    If your employee is: then this employee:

    a temporary or foreign resident who:

    • had an employment arrangement
      • in place before 7.30pm (AEST) on 8 May 2012 and
      • that was not materially varied or renewed between 7.30pm on 8 May 2012 and 1 October 2012, and
       
    • maintained a home in Australia for their immediate use and enjoyment at all times during the period their duties of employment required them to live away from it.

     

    is not limited to the LAFHA concessions for 12 months until the earlier of:

    • 1 July 2014, or
    • the date of a material variation in the employment arrangement.

     

    neither a temporary or a foreign resident and had an employment arrangement:

    • in place before 7.30pm (AEST) on 8 May 2012, and
    • that was not materially varied or renewed between 7.30pm on 8 May 2012 and 1 October 2012.

     

    • is not required to maintain a home in Australia, and
    • is not limited to the LAFHA concessions for 12 months until the earlier of
      • 1 July 2014, or
      • the date of a material variation in the employment arrangement.
       

     

     

    Attention

    The terms temporary resident and foreign resident have their meaning given by section 995-1 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997. The meaning of temporary resident can also be found by referring to Foreign income exemption for temporary residents – introduction.

    Declarations are still required where the transitional rules apply. The declarations provided to you must be in a form approved by the Commissioner (refer to Declarations).

    End of attention

    Find out more

    • For the transitional rules, see section 11.10 of Living-away-from-home allowance fringe benefits.
    • For who is a fly-in, fly-out or drive-in drive-out employee, see section 11.9 of Living-away-from-home allowance fringe benefits.
    • For maintaining a home in Australia, see section 11.7 of Living-away-from-home allowance fringe benefits.
    • For the first 12 months the employee is required to live away from home, see section 11.8 of Living-away-from-home allowance fringe benefits.
    End of find out more

    Food provided because the employee was living away from home before 1 October 2012

    Where the food was provided, or the employee's food costs were reimbursed, because the employee was living away from home before 1 October 2012, the taxable value could be reduced by the equivalent of:

    • $42 a week for each adult
    • $21 a week for each child.

    An adult is a person who was 12 years old before the beginning of the relevant FBT year and this particular reduction was applied to the taxable value before applying the employee contribution.

    To apply this reduction, the employee was required to give the employer a Temporary accommodation relating to relocation declaration in a form approved by the Commissioner (refer to Declarations) setting out their usual place of residence and actual place of residence during the period of the allowance.

    Declarations were not required from employees employed under 'fly-in fly-out' arrangements or on offshore oil rigs.

      Last modified: 25 Jan 2016QC 17819