• Volunteers and FBT

    Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax payable by employers who provide fringe benefits to their employees or to associates of their employees.

    For the purposes of FBT, an employee is a person who receives (or is entitled to receive) salary or wages, or a benefit that has been provided for their employment. A volunteer is not paid for work. Reimbursing a volunteer for out-of-pocket expenses does not make them an employee.

    Giving volunteers non-cash benefits

    Generally benefits provided to volunteers do not attract FBT.

    If a not-for-profit organisation provides non-cash benefits to workers in lieu of salary and wages, FBT can apply.

    Examples: no FBT

    Qiaoli volunteers her time with an environmental group planting trees along waterways. While planting in country areas she is provided with accommodation and basic meals. Qiaoli is not considered to be an employee and no FBT will arise on these benefits.

    Jorge provides his services to the local volunteer bushfire brigade. He is reimbursed for travel and other minor expenses he incurs in carrying out his duties. Jorge is not considered to be an employee as the reimbursement he receives does not amount to salary or wages. No FBT will arise on these reimbursements.

    End of example

    See also:

    Fringe benefits tax

    Last modified: 20 Jul 2015QC 46373