Changes to the tax treatment of living-away-from-home allowances and benefits


Changes have been made to the concessional tax treatment of fringe benefits tax (FBT) for living-away-from-home allowances and benefits. If you are an employer and you provide any living-away-from-home allowances and/or benefits to your employees, or are considering doing so in the future you need to be aware of these changes.

Living-away-from-home allowance

A living-away-from-home allowance is an allowance you (the employer) pay to your employee to cover additional expenses incurred and any disadvantages suffered because their duties of employment require them to live away from their normal residence.  The term 'additional expenses' does not include expenses the employee would be entitled to claim as an income tax deduction.

Living-away-from-home benefit

You are providing a living-away-from-home benefit when you directly provide accommodation or food or drink to your employee, or you reimburse your employee for these expenses, instead of providing them with a cash allowance.

Normal residence

Table 1: Meaning of normal residence

If your employee's usual place of residence…

Then your employee's normal residence is…

is in Australia

their usual place of residence.

is not in Australia


  • the place in Australia where they usually reside while in Australia
  • their usual place of residence.
    Last modified: 15 Feb 2013QC 26545