A number of fringe benefits tax (FBT) concessions are available to employers who provide benefits to employees in remote areas.
Each concession has its own requirements. In addition, to qualify for a concession you must meet the following shared conditions:
- The employee's usual place of employment and usual place of residence is in a remote area.
- The employee is a current employee of your business.
- It's reasonable for you to provide housing assistance for the employee because either
- the nature of your business is such that employees have to move frequently from one residential location to another
- there is insufficient suitable residential accommodation otherwise available at or near the place where the employee is employed
- it is customary for employers in your industry to provide free or subsidised accommodation for employees.
- You don't give the benefit to the employee under either
- a non-arm's length arrangement
- an arrangement that was entered into just to obtain the housing exemption.
For more information about these shared conditions, including when a benefit is considered 'customary for employers in your industry', see FBT guide: 19.2 Remote area reductions.
If you provide remote area accommodation to an employee and it meets the eligibility conditions above, it is exempt from FBT. The accommodation must be in a dwelling, such as a house or unit. A caravan is not considered a dwelling.
If you subsidise certain costs your employees incur in acquiring accommodation in remote areas, you may be able to reduce the taxable value of the fringe benefit by 50%. For more information, see FBT guide: 19.2 Remote area reductions.
This concession is different from the remote area housing benefit exemption, which applies when you provide accommodation. Different requirements apply to the reduction in FBT when you subsidise the costs incurred by your employee.
If you provide residential fuel (including electricity) to your employee in conjunction with an accommodation-related fringe benefit in a remote area, you may be able to reduce the taxable value of the fringe benefit by 50%. For more information, see FBT guide: 19.2 Remote area reductions.
When you pay for an employee to travel from and return to a remote area for the purpose of having a holiday, you may be able to reduce the taxable value of the fringe benefit by 50%. For more information, see FBT guide: 19.2 Remote area reductions.Housing assistance and holiday transport you provide to employees in remote areas may qualify for FBT concessions.