The accommodation component is the amount of the LAFHA fringe benefit that it is reasonable to conclude is compensation for expenses to be incurred by the employee for accommodation while the employee is living away from home. The accommodation expenses are for both the employee and any eligible family members, such as the employee’s spouse and children.
The exempt accommodation component is so much of the accommodation component that equals the accommodation expenses actually incurred by the employee. Where a family member incurs these expenses on behalf of the employee, that family member is considered to be acting as an agent of the employee and, therefore, the employee is still the person incurring those expenses. The employee must substantiate all accommodation expenses.
If an employee does not spend all of the LAFHA provided in respect of the accommodation component, the excess is not an exempt accommodation component and is taxable.
End of attention
Steve receives a LAFHA from his employer which includes an accommodation component of $450 while he is seconded to Perth for 12 months. His normal residence is in Melbourne, and his Melbourne home continues to be available for his immediate use during his secondment. Steve resides with his wife, Helen, who rents a house in Perth for 12 months at a cost of $450 per week. The exempt accommodation component in this case is $450, provided the substantiation requirements are met.
End of example
Steve and his wife Helen both work for the same employer and receive a LAFHA. Each LAFHA includes an accommodation component of $450 while they are seconded to Perth for 12 months. Steve and Helen's normal residence is in Melbourne, and their Melbourne home continues to be available for their immediate use during their secondment. Steve and Helen rent a house together in Perth at a cost of $450 per week.
Steve and Helen's separate exempt accommodation components in this case are $225 each per week, provided the substantiation requirements are met.
As Steve and Helen are each receiving an accommodation component of $450 per week, but are only spending $225 each per week, the excess of $225 each per week ($450 - $225) is not an exempt accommodation component. This excess of $225 each per week will form part of the taxable value of their respective LAFHA fringe benefits.
End of example