This information may not apply to the current year. Check the content carefully to ensure it is applicable to your circumstances.
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Individual tax return instructions questions 1–12 and Individual tax return instructions supplement questions 13–24 deal with income. This section of the guide tells you how to include on your tax return:
- reportable fringe benefits
- reportable employer superannuation contributions.
Employee journalists commonly get one or more of the following allowances:
- motor vehicle (based on a cents-per-kilometre basis)
- overtime meals
- telephone or mobile phone.
If any allowance is shown as a separate amount on your payment summary, include it as income at item 2 on your tax return.
Remember, you cannot automatically claim a deduction just because you received an allowance. See questions D1 to D5 in Individual tax return instructions to work out whether you can claim a deduction.
If your employer or any other person reimburses you for expenses you have actually incurred, the payment is called a reimbursement.
Generally, you do not include a reimbursement as part of your income, so you cannot claim a deduction for the expense that was reimbursed.
However, you must show as income at item 2 on your tax return amounts that you received as:
- allowance for car expenses, or
- reimbursement for car expenses (worked out on the distance the car travelled).
You may be able to claim car expenses in these circumstances. For guidance on the rules relating to deductions for car expenses, see Car expenses.
Reportable fringe benefits
Your employer must report on your payment summary the total pre-tax value of fringe benefits (the 'grossed-up' amount of certain fringe benefits) which they provided to you (or to your relatives). when these benefits exceed $2,000 for you. For example, the grossed-up amount for $2,001 worth of benefits is a pre-tax value to you of $3,738.
You do not include this grossed-up amount in your total income or loss amount and you do not pay income tax or Medicare levy on it. However, we use the grossed-up amount to determine:
- surcharges, if any, that apply to you
- deductions that you can claim
- tax offsets and other government benefits for which you are eligible.
See question IT1 in Individual tax return instructions for more information on reportable fringe benefits.
Reportable employer superannuation contributions
Your employer must report on your payment summary the amount of reportable employer superannuation contributions.
If your payment summary shows an amount at reportable employer superannuation contributions and you do not salary sacrifice amounts to superannuation, then you should ask your employer to confirm that the amount of reportable employer superannuation contribution on your payment summary does not include compulsory contributions such as super guarantee or award contributions.
We will not include reportable employer superannuation contributions in your income and you will not pay income tax or Medicare levy on it. However, we use reportable employer superannuation contributions to determine:
- your eligibility for some tax offsets
- the government super contribution and other government benefits
- whether the Medicare levy surcharge applies to you.
See question IT2 in Individual tax return instructions for more information on reportable employer superannuation contributions.