Fringe benefits tax: what is the benchmark interest rate to be used for the fringe benefits tax year commencing on 1 April 2019?
Please note that the PDF version is the authorised version of this ruling.For information on the exemption threshold for future fringe benefits tax years, refer to Fringe benefits tax - rates and thresholds.
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1. The benchmark interest rate for the fringe benefits tax (FBT) year commencing on 1 April 2019 is 5.37% per annum. This rate replaces the rate of 5.20% that has applied for the previous FBT year commencing on 1 April 2018.
2. The rate of 5.37% is used to calculate the taxable value of:
- a fringe benefit provided by way of a loan, and
- a car fringe benefit where an employer chooses to value the benefit using the operating cost method.
3. On 1 April 2019 an employer lends an employee $50,000 for five years at an interest rate of 5% per annum. Interest is charged and paid six-monthly and no principal is repaid until the end of the loan. The actual interest payable by the employee for the current year is $2,500 ($50,000 x 5%). The notional interest, with a 5.37% benchmark rate, is $2,685. The taxable value is $185 ($2,685 - $2,500).
Note: FBT does not apply to a loan in relation to a shareholder in a private company, or an associate of such a shareholder, that causes (or will cause), the private company to be taken under Division 7A of Part III of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 to pay the shareholder or associate a dividend.
Date of effect
4. This Determination applies to the FBT year commencing 1 April 2019.
Commissioner of Taxation
27 March 2019
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