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Engage with stakeholders

Ensure your organisation's stakeholder engagement supports its FBT obligations.

Last updated 11 January 2023

Communicating with internal stakeholders


Obtaining information from employees

Government organisations should ensure that all benefit information is collected, reconciliations performed and adjustments made before an employee leaves the organisation and before the end of each fringe benefits tax (FBT) year. This includes collecting closing odometer readings of a salary packaged car on the date that the employee is taken to have ceased employment or at the end of the FBT year.

Your organisation will also need to ensure that it obtains all employee declarations from employees no later than the day on which its FBT return is due to be lodged.

Reportable fringe benefit amounts (RFBAs)

RFBAs are recorded on employees' payment summaries and can impact their financial positions. For this reason, it is important that employees are fully informed of the RFBA implications of receiving fringe benefits. This is particularly relevant where they home garage your government organisation's car or are required to live away from home. The nature and extent of the information provided will vary depending on the types of benefits provided and whether salary packaging is provided in-house or by an external provider.

FBT information could be provided through:

  • induction training
  • newsletters
  • the intranet
  • other communication methods generally used by your organisation.

Organisations that provide a large number or different types of fringe benefits should consider establishing an FBT issues database, or assigning a staff member (such as the FBT manager) to be an FBT contact to provide employees with detailed information relating to FBT.

RFBAs will need to be available in time to enable your organisation to report through Single Touch Payroll no later than 14 July. Government organisations should establish arrangements for notifying employees of their RFBA as early as possible (preferably by mid-June), so that once RFBAs are finalised, employees can be notified promptly. This enables employees to review the amount and if necessary, seek clarification. It also acts as an additional review of the FBT data.

New information should be prepared and reported as soon as possible after an error is identified. It is the employee's responsibility to amend, as necessary, their tax return or advise relevant government agencies based on their income statement.

For more information on reportable fringe benefits, see:

Single Touch Payroll and payment summaries

Single Touch Payroll does not change your government organisation's obligation regarding FBT returns and payments.

It is optional for government organisations to report RFBA via Single Touch Payroll either throughout the year through a payroll event report, or by 14 July using the update service.

If your organisation does report these amounts and has made a declaration to the Commissioner by 14 July that its reporting for the year is final, your organisation will not have to provide payment summaries to its employees or a payment summary annual report to the ATO.

Other work areas

A number of work areas within your government organisation may make decisions that impact on your organisation's FBT liability or administration. The needs and expectations of these areas should also be managed to ensure that your organisation is compliant with its FBT obligations.

Finance area or managers responsible for budgets

FBT can effectively double the cost of providing a fringe benefit. It is important this is factored into budgets developed by your finance area or by different work area managers who are responsible for their own individual budgets.

Human resources work area

Your government organisation's human resources work area, or managers of different work areas, may make decisions regarding remuneration and the provision of benefits that have an FBT impact. Your organisation should ensure that these areas and managers recognise any potential FBT implications of their decisions and have a process for obtaining assistance on FBT issues.

For state and territory governments, ultimate responsibility for FBT obligations remain with the relevant state or territory. However, states and territories can transfer the administration and payment of FBT to a departmental level. Therefore it is important that your organisation is aware of any changes at the departmental levels or other structural changes that result in new departments being created or departments merging, as this could impact on your organisation's FBT liability. Regular communication with your organisation's human resources work area and other work areas is important in order to know when such changes are likely to occur.

Fleet management work area

The work area responsible for managing your organisation's vehicle fleet needs an understanding of the FBT implications of providing a vehicle for private use (such as home garaging a car) and the classification of journeys. It should be able to explain these implications to other employees within your organisation. There should be a process available for the fleet management work area to engage with those responsible for FBT within your organisation frequently to resolve potential issues and exchange information.

Communicating with external organisations

Other government organisations

It may be necessary to communicate with other government organisations to:

  • provide details of fringe benefits provided to the employees of an associated entity
  • clarify responsibilities where structural changes have resulted in employees being transferred between organisations during the year.

Service providers

Government organisations generally rely on information provided by a number of external service providers in preparing their FBT return. This may include fleet providers and salary packaging providers.

Before the start of each FBT year or at the time of entering into contractual arrangements with an external service provider, your organisation should:

  • understand the processes and controls used by these providers to ensure that the information received from them is correct
  • agree with the service provider on the form that data should take to enable it to be easily imported into your government organisation's FBT return preparation process
  • obtain an outline of the processes and associated controls the external service provider has and assess whether they are adequate to produce accurate data
  • agree with the service provider on a timetable for data to be provided to enable the timely preparation of the FBT return.

Technical advisers

Government organisations may seek advice from an external tax adviser on FBT issues. In addition, technical advisers may be engaged to ensure that any changes to legislation, ATO views or case law that impacts on your organisation's FBT administration are identified, and to assist in your organisation's interactions with us in seeking advice or responding to our requests.

When an external service provider is engaged to provide advice, or to help your organisation meet its FBT obligations, the exact nature of the services to be provided, the costs, and the timeframes should be discussed and included in a contract.

Communicating with the ATO

Government organisations interact with us in various ways in respect of their organisation's FBT compliance.

Your organisation should identify a key person (for example, the staff member with overall responsibility for FBT) to have authority to interact with us. This staff member should take a proactive approach to building an effective relationship with us. They should have input into steering committees or other networks we sponsor (for example, the States and Territories Industry Partnership) and provide comments in response to consultation matters that impact on your organisation's administration of FBT.

Where the FBT treatment of an item is unclear, your organisation should take steps to clarify the position as soon as possible by engaging with us early. Your organisation should also engage with us if it is unclear how an ATO view applies to your specific facts and circumstances, or if the facts and circumstances described in your private or class ruling have changed.

Where your organisation identifies a mistake or leaves something out on the FBT return, it should request an amendment from us. If your organisation disagrees with a decision we have made about its FBT obligations, you can object to our decision. Alternatively, our in house facilitation service can help with resolving less complex disputes and can be used at any stage from audit up to litigation.

We need specific documents from you where an objection you make relates to taxable value of car parking fringe benefits.

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