Fringe benefits tax - a guide for employers

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Chapter 18 - Residual fringe benefits

Remember, a fringe benefit may be provided by another person on behalf of an employer. It may also be provided to another person on behalf of an employee (for example, a relative).

18.1 What is a residual fringe benefit?

The term fringe benefit has a very broad meaning. It includes any right, privilege, service or facility provided in respect of employment.

Any fringe benefit that is not subject to the rules outlined in one of the preceding chapters of this guide is called a residual fringe benefit . Essentially, these are the fringe benefits that remain, or are left over, because they are not one of the more specific categories of fringe benefit.

A residual fringe benefit could include you (the employer) providing services such as travel or professional or manual work, or the use of property. It could also include providing insurance cover - for example, health insurance cover you take out for employees under a group policy.

Supply of goods integral to services

Generally, where a benefit consists of providing both goods and services, the goods component and the services component are valued separately. The goods component is valued as a property fringe benefit and the services component as a residual fringe benefit.

However, in certain circumstances the benefit is valued solely under the rules contained in this chapter. These circumstances are where you (or other provider) are in a business where goods and services are supplied together (for example, carrying out repairs that involve supplying spare parts) and the benefit is of that kind. Where such a benefit is treated as a residual fringe benefit, it is excluded from the property fringe benefit rules.

18.2 When a benefit is received

As a general rule, residual fringe benefits are treated as having been received when, or over the period during which, the particular benefits are provided. For example, where a benefit consists of a licence to use particular property for six months, the benefit is treated as having been received over that period.

An exception to this applies where you provide the benefits in return for regular payments, generally on receipt of a periodic account. Where you provide benefits (such as discounted services) to an employee on the basis of regular billing, and you provide identical services to members of the public on the same basis, the services provided during each period are treated as a benefit provided when the periodic payment is due. For example, if electricity is supplied at a concessional rate on the basis of quarterly billing, the benefit is taken to have arisen for each quarter at the relevant billing due date.

18.3 Taxable value

For valuation purposes, there are two types of residual fringe benefits: in-house residual fringe benefits and external residual fringe benefits . Each type has specific valuation rules.

The taxable value of a residual fringe benefit is the goods and services tax (GST)-inclusive value of the residual benefit (determined according to the appropriate valuation rule), less any employee contribution.

You calculate the taxable value of a residual fringe benefit in accordance with the valuation rules explained in sections 18.4 to 18.6 . These rules are summarised in the following table:

If..

Then..

The benefit is an in-house residual fringe benefit provided under a salary packaging arrangement

The taxable value is:

  • the amount the employee could reasonably be expected to pay to obtain the benefit under an arm's length transaction

less (minus)

  • any employee contribution

Note: Transitional rules may apply

The benefit is an in-house residual fringe benefit, but it is not provided under a salary packaging arrangement

The valuation rule depends on whether the identical benefits were provided by the benefit provider:

  • In the ordinary course of business to members of the public under arm's length transactions
  • in similar circumstances; and
  • subject to identical terms and conditions.

The benefit is an external residual fringe benefit

The valuation rule depends on whether you, or an associate (rather than a third party), incurred expenditure in relation to the provision of the benefit.

Where the 'otherwise deductible' rule applies, you reduce the taxable value, as explained in section 18.7 .

If a residual fringe benefit is of a type that attracts any of the concessions listed in section 18.10 , you may reduce the taxable value further. In some instances, special conditions may have to be satisfied before the concession applies - for example, keeping certain records.

For more on GST and fringe benefits tax (FBT), refer to What is fringe benefits tax?

18.4 In-house residual fringe benefits

A residual fringe benefit is valued as an in-house residual fringe benefit if you (or an associate) provide the benefit and it is identical or similar to rights, services or facilities you (or an associate) provide to the public in the ordinary course of business. Examples include professional advice provided free or at a discount by a law firm to its employees, and video recorders hired out to employees of a television rental firm at a discount.

A benefit provided under a contract of investment insurance doesn't qualify for valuation under these rules. Such a benefit is valued under the rules detailed below for external residual fringe benefits . A contract of investment insurance means a contract of life assurance under which a payment of money will be made if the person whose life is insured is alive on a specified date, whether or not the contract also insures the payment of money in any other event.

Taxable value of in-house residual fringe benefits - not accessed under a salary packaging arrangement

The taxable value of an in-house residual fringe benefit is 75% of the lowest arm's length price charged to the public at the time for identical benefits, less any amount paid by the employee.

Identical benefits are the same in all respects except for any differences that are minimal or insignificant, or that relate to the value of the benefits.

Example

An employer who operates a television rental store allows an employee the use of a video recorder for three months during the FBT year.

The normal arm's length cost of an equivalent rental granted to a member of the public at that time is $100.

The employee is charged $50.

The taxable value is (75% $100) - $50 = $25

Where no identical benefits are provided to the public, the taxable value is 75% of the amount the employee could be expected to pay to acquire the benefit under an arm's length transaction, less any amount paid by the employee.

An example might be where an employer who charters boats to the public provides a boat for a trip by the employee's family under significantly different conditions of use from those that ordinarily apply to the public, such that there is a material difference in the value of the benefit.

Where the period during which the benefit is provided extends past the end of the FBT year, you apportion the taxable value between the two years on a pro rata basis.

Taxable value of in-house residual fringe benefits - accessed under a salary packaging arrangement

Changes have been made to the FBT law so that from 22 October 2012 onwards, the taxable value of an in-house residual fringe benefit provided under a salary packaging arrangement is its notional value at the comparison time, reduced by any recipients contribution. However, transitional rules may apply that affect the commencement date of the changes.

Example: Taxable value of an in-house residual fringe benefit

Cecilia works for an appliance rental franchise. As part of her remuneration, she agreed to salary package the rental of a flat screen television and video gaming console for a six month period.

Ordinarily her employer values the rental for the purposes of FBT at 75% of the lowest price paid by other customers.

However, from 22 October 2012, the employer would instead determine the taxable value on the basis of its notional value (which is its market value) and is therefore determined to be the retail price of the rental contract.

Salary packaging arrangements

Salary packaging arrangements (also commonly referred to as salary sacrifice or total remuneration packaging) are arrangements where either:

  • You enter into an agreement with your employee to have their salary and wages reduced (or sacrificed) in order to receive a benefit; or
  • A reduction in salary is not negotiated, but you give your employee a benefit as part of their employment contract, and it is reasonable to conclude that the salary and wages they would have received would have been greater if the benefit wasn't provided.
Example: Negotiated salary packaging arrangement

Felicity has just started working for a car company. In negotiating her remuneration package she agrees with her new employer to forego $25,000 of her yearly salary in order to receive the use of a car.

As she has entered into an agreement to reduce her salary and wages, Felicity would be taken to have entered into a salary packaging arrangement.

Example: Non-negotiated salary packaging arrangement

McKenzie has started employment with an IT firm. His job was previously advertised as having a total remuneration package of $100,000 per year.

McKenzie only receives $95,000 in salary and wages but is given by his employer, free of charge, gaming and photography software with a retail value of $5,000.

In this case, while McKenzie has not entered into a separate agreement to reduce his salary and wages, the salary and wages he would have received would clearly have been greater if the benefit had not been provided. Therefore, McKenzie has entered into a salary packaging arrangement.

Transitional rules

Transitional rules apply where an existing salary packaging arrangement was entered into before the 22 October 2012.

Table: How the transitional rules apply

If..

Then..

The benefit was provided before 22 October 2012

The previous valuation rules apply.

  • An existing salary packaging arrangement was entered into before 22 October 2012, and
  • The reduction of salary and wages occurred on or after 22 October 2012 and/or
  • The benefit was provided on or after the 22 October 2012

The previous valuation rules continue to apply up to, and including, the earlier of:

  • 31 March 2014
  • The date of a material variation to the existing salary packaging arrangement

A salary packaging arrangement was entered into on or after 22 October 2012

The transitional rules do not apply.

Meaning of 'existing salary packaging arrangement'

An existing salary packaging arrangement means a salary packaging arrangement that, before the 22 October 2012, was both:

  • agreed to (that is, the employer and employee agree to conditions of arrangement) and
  • entered into (that is, the arrangement was given legal force).

There is no requirement for the actual reduction of salary or wages of the provision of the benefit to occur before 22 October 2012, only that the arrangement to do so was entered into and had legal force before 22 October 2012.

Example: Existing salary packaging arrangement where salary deductions start after 22 October 2012

An employer offers a salary packaging arrangement to employees which must be taken up before 22 October 2012. The benefits will be available to employees during the months of December 2012 and January 2013. However, the pre-tax salary deductions do not start until the employee has submitted a claim for expenses incurred during the relevant period.

An employee accepted the offer before 22 October 2012 and the employee receives the reimbursement for expenses before 1 April 2014. This arrangement would be covered by the transitional provisions.

Example: Existing salary packaging arrangement where employer offers arrangement and employee takes it up before 22 October 2012

A retail employer provides its employee with the option to salary package certain in-house property fringe benefits. There is no end date for the offer to salary package and no details on the terms or conditions that apply to particular employees.

Harold works for the retail employer and has previously used the salary packaging offer to purchase a coffee machine that his employer sells. He is now deciding whether to take up the offer to salary package a kayak which his employer sells. On 18 October 2012, he decides to take up the offer and fills in the requisite forms that lock him into the salary packaging arrangement.

As he has entered into the pre-existing offer for salary packaging (in respect to the kayak) and has an agreement that is binding before 22 October 2012, Harold's benefits would be covered by the transitional provisions.

Example: Existing salary packaging arrangement where employer offers arrangement and employee does not take it up before 22 October 2012

As per the example above, with the exception that Harold delays his decision and decides on 24 October 2012 that he wants to take up the salary packaging offer.

In this case, while his employer has offered a salary packaging arrangement before 22 October 2012 and despite the fact that he entered into a previous arrangement for the purchase of the coffee machine, Harold does not have a binding agreement in place in respect to the packaging for a kayak. For that reason, Harold's benefits would not be covered by the transitional provisions.

Material variation to an existing salary packaging arrangement

Where an existing salary packaging arrangement is materially altered or varied on or after 22 October 2012, it will no longer be subject to the transitional arrangements.

In determining whether an alteration or variation is material to the existing salary packaging arrangement, regard must be had to the particular wording of the agreement. What is considered material will often depend on the facts and circumstances of the arrangement.

Alterations or variations of an existing salary packaging arrangement that would more than likely be considered material include, but are not limited to:

  • change of employer
  • alteration of the fixed end date of the arrangement; and
  • variation to the types of benefits covered under the arrangement.

18.5 External residual fringe benefits

Any residual fringe benefit that is not an in-house residual fringe benefit is an external residual fringe benefit.

Commonly, an external residual fringe benefit arises where:

  • you provide the residual fringe benefit but the benefit is not of a kind provided to the public in the ordinary course of business - for example, a hairdresser provides his employees with health insurance cover under a group policy taken out for the benefit of the employees
  • you arrange for the residual fringe benefit to be provided by a third party - for example, a solicitor arranges for an accountant to provide discounted services to the solicitor's employees.

Taxable value of external residual fringe benefits

Where you purchased the service, right or privilege under an arm's length transaction, the taxable value is the cost price to you, less any employee contribution.

If the above rule doesn't apply, the taxable value is the amount the employee could reasonably be expected to pay to obtain the benefit under an arm's length transaction, reduced by any amount paid by the employee.

Where the period during which the benefit is provided extends past the end of the FBT year, you apportion the taxable value between the two years on a pro rata basis.

18.6 Taxable value of motor vehicles other than cars

If the private use of the vehicle other than a car exceeds the limits set out in section 7.6 of Car fringe benefits, the right to use the vehicle is a residual benefit.

The legislation doesn't require the same level of detail as is required for valuing car benefits. This takes into account the type of vehicles involved, their expected high business use, and their general lack of suitability for significant private use.

Detailed log book requirements of the kind specified for calculating the value of car benefits are not required for vehicles other than cars. However, many businesses would maintain some form of log book records and these should be used, where possible, in determining the extent of private use of the vehicle.

In the absence of such records, soundly based estimates of the number of private kilometres travelled are acceptable. For example, you could determine the home-to-work component of private use by multiplying the number of journeys during the year by the distance between the employee's residence and place of employment.

There are two methods for valuing the benefit:

  1. Operating cost method - this is the same as the calculation for cars outlined in section 7.5 of Car fringe benefits.
  2. Cents per kilometre basis - this method can be used only where there is extensive business use of the vehicle.

The following rates are for the 2010 to 2014 FBT years:

Engine capacityRate   per kilometre

2010
Rate   per kilometre

2011
Rate   per kilometre

2012
Rate   per kilometre

2013
Rate   per kilometre

2014
0 to 2,500cc4445464849
Over 2,500cc5354555759
Motor cycles1314141415

The methods assume that you provide the vehicle on a fully maintained basis, including fuel. Where it is the employee's responsibility to provide fuel, the value of the benefit is based on the operating costs, excluding fuel. If the cents per kilometre method is used and there are no specific records, it is acceptable to multiply the number of private kilometres travelled by the estimated fuel costs per kilometre (based on average fuel costs and average fuel consumption of the vehicle) and reduce the value of the benefit accordingly.

A reduction for business travel applies only where you obtain a Residual benefit declaration - vehicles other than cars from the employee (refer to Declarations ). The declaration must be in a form approved by the Commissioner of Taxation, specifying the deductible percentage of the operating costs - that is, the business proportion of total kilometres travelled. If using the cents per kilometre method, it is acceptable for the declaration to state the number of private kilometres travelled rather than the deductible percentage.

Example

An employee takes their employer's one-tonne utility with an engine capacity in excess of 2,500cc home each day and has private use of the vehicle in the evenings and on weekends. The employee has estimated his home to work, evening and weekend travel at 100 kilometres a week (5,200 kilometres a year) and has provided a declaration to the employer. The employee doesn't make any employee contributions.

The vehicle travelled a total of 52,000 kilometres during the FBT year ending 31 March 2014 and the operating costs, including deemed interest and depreciation, were $20,080.

Cents per kilometre method

Taxable value = A x B - C

Where:

A = number of private kilometres travelled

B = rate per kilometre

C = the employee contribution (direct contributions only, not fuel)

Taxable value = (5,200 km x 59 cents per km) - $0

= $3,068

Operating cost method

Taxable value = A x B - C

Where:

A = the total operating costs

B = the percentage of private use

C = the employee contribution (direct contributions only, not fuel)

Taxable value = ($20,080 x 10%) - $0

= $2,080

18.7 Reduction in taxable value where expenditure would have been deductible to the employee

The taxable value of a residual fringe benefit may be reduced in accordance with the otherwise deductible rule, but only if the recipient of the benefit is the employee. Broadly, this means that you may reduce the taxable value by the amount the employee would have been entitled to claim as an income tax deduction if both of the following conditions are satisfied:

  • the residual benefit has not been provided as a fringe benefit
  • the employee acted as a consumer or member of the public in purchasing the service or privilege that comprises the residual benefit.

For example, if an employee hired an item of property and used it only to perform employment-related duties, the hire cost would be wholly deductible for income tax purposes. Under the otherwise deductible rule, if you hired the same item and made it available to the employee to use in performing their employment-related duties, the taxable value of this residual fringe benefit would be nil, regardless of the amount of employee contribution you required.

There are special rules where the expenditure that would have been deductible to the employee is incurred in relation to a car (refer to section 18.9 ).

Applying the otherwise deductible rule produces different results depending on whether any employee contribution was intended to be for the private element of the residual fringe benefit. This is because the employee is entitled to an income tax deduction for expenditure incurred on the portion of the residual benefit used to derive their assessable income, but not for expenditure incurred on the portion used for private or domestic purposes.

You can apply the otherwise deductible rule using the following steps:

StepAction
1

Disregard any employee contribution and calculate the taxable value of the residual fringe benefit as if there was no employee contribution.

2

Now suppose that the employee had purchased the service or privilege for an amount equal to the amount of the taxable value calculated in step 1. How much of this hypothetical purchase price would have been income tax deductible to the employee?

3

Now look at the actual fringe benefit situation. If the employee made a contribution towards the residual fringe benefit, how much of this contribution is allowable as an income tax deduction to the employee? That is, how much of the employee contribution relates to the business use component of the residual fringe benefit?

4

Subtract the actual deductible amount (step 3) from the hypothetical deductible amount (step 2). The result is the amount by which you may reduce the taxable value of the residual fringe benefit.

Therefore, where the otherwise deductible rule applies, the taxable value of a residual fringe benefit is:

  • the amount that would have been the taxable value if no employee contribution had been made
less
  • the amount of any actual employee contribution
less
  • the amount obtained at step 4 of the otherwise deductible rule.
Example: contribution set without regard to employee's use of property

An employee is provided with the use of goods (hired by the employer) to the value of $500. The employee contribution of $250 is set without regard to how the employee intends to use the property.

The employee uses the hired property 80% for employment-related (and income tax deductible) purposes and 20% for private purposes.

The taxable value of the residual fringe benefit (without the otherwise deductible rule) is $250 (that is, $500 reduced by the employee contribution of $250).

Apply the otherwise deductible rule as follows:

StepActionResult
1

Disregard any employee contribution and calculate the taxable value of the residual fringe benefit as if there was no employee contribution.

$500
2

Now suppose that the employee had hired the goods for an amount equal to the amount of the taxable value calculated in step 1. How much of this hypothetical hiring cost would have been income tax deductible to the employee?

$500 80%

= $400
3

Now look at the actual fringe benefit situation. If the employee made a contribution towards the residual fringe benefit, how much of this contribution is allowable as an income tax deduction to the employee? That is, how much of the employee contribution relates to the business use component of the residual fringe benefit?

$250 80%

= $200
4

Subtract the actual deductible amount (step 3) from the hypothetical deductible amount (step 2). The result is the amount by which the taxable value of the fringe benefit may be reduced.

$400 - $200

= $200
5

Finally, the taxable value of $250 may be reduced by $200.

$250 - $200

= $50
Example: contribution set with regard to employee's use of property

An employee is provided with the use of goods (hired by the employer) to the value of $500. The employee intends to use the hired property 50% for employment-related (and income tax deductible) purposes and 50% for private purposes.

The employee contribution of $250 is set by the employer after considering how the employee intends to use the goods. (That is, the employer knows that under the otherwise deductible rule there will be no FBT liability on that part of the fringe benefit used to produce income, so the employer calculates an employee contribution sufficient to avoid incurring FBT on that part of the fringe benefit used for a private or domestic purpose).

At the end of the FBT year, the employee finds that the hired property has been used 80% for employment-related (and income tax deductible) purposes and 20% for private purposes.

The taxable value of the residual fringe benefit (without the otherwise deductible rule) is $250 (that is, $500 reduced by the employee contribution of $250).

Apply the otherwise deductible rule as follows:

StepActionResult
1

Disregard any employee contribution and calculate the taxable value of the residual fringe benefit as if there was no employee contribution.

$500
2

Now suppose that the employee had hired the property for an amount equal to the amount of the taxable value calculated in step 1. How much of this hypothetical purchase price would have been income tax deductible to the employee?

$500 80%

= $400
3

Now look at the actual fringe benefit situation. If the employee made a contribution towards the residual fringe benefit, how much of this contribution is allowable as an income tax deduction to the employee? That is, how much of the employee contribution relates to the business use component of the residual fringe benefit?

If the employer, in setting the amount of the employee contribution, had not allowed for the intended use of the hired goods, the employee would have paid a contribution of $500 and would have been entitled to a deduction for business use.

$500 80% business usage

= $400
 

However, because the employer calculated the amount of the employee contribution after taking into account the intended business use and the effect of the otherwise deductible rule, the employee's income tax deduction is limited to the amount calculated as follows:

The amount that would have been allowed as a deduction to the employee if no allowance had been made for the income-producing purpose for which the hired property was to be used, reduced by the amount of the allowance that was made.

= ($500 x 80%) - ($500 x 50%)

= $400 - $250

= $150
4

Subtract the actual deductible amount (step 3) from the hypothetical deductible amount (step 2). The result is the amount by which the taxable value of the fringe benefit may be reduced.

$400 - $150

= $250
5

Finally, the taxable value of $250 may be reduced by $250.

$250 - $250

= 0

18.7A The otherwise deductible rule and jointly provided residual fringe benefits

As described at 18.7, the 'otherwise deductible' rule only applies if the recipient of a benefit is the employee. The FBT law also contains a design feature so that residual fringe benefits provided jointly to an employee and an associate are deemed to be provided solely to the employee. In cases where the otherwise deductible rule also applies, it will only apply to the employee's share of any deductible amount and specifically excludes the associate's share of any deductible amount.

If :then :
the residual fringe benefit was provided or a salary sacrifice arrangement relating to the benefit was entered into before 7.30pm (AEST) on 13 May 2008the previous law will continue to apply until 1 April 2009.
the residual fringe benefit was provided or the salary sacrifice arrangement relating to the benefit was entered into from 7.30pm (AEST) on 13 May 2008the amended law applies.

Previous law

An employer could reduce the taxable value of a residual fringe benefit provided jointly to an employee and their associate in relation to an income producing asset owned by both the employee and their associate, to the extent that the asset is applied to produce assessable income by both persons (unadjusted notional deduction).

Amended law

You must adjust the taxable value of a fringe benefit determined under the previous law (unadjusted notional deduction) by only allowing the employee's share of the deduction.

That is, the otherwise deductible amount is calculated as:

unadjusted notional deduction x employee's percentage of interest

Where:

  • the unadjusted notional deduction is the deduction calculated as if the amended law did not apply
  • the employee's percentage of interest is the employee's (not the associate's) interest in the asset that
    • the residual fringe benefit relates to
    • is applied or used for the purpose of producing assessable income of the employee.
Example: previous law applies

An employer provides an employee with tradesman services (not in-house) worth $2,000 to do repairs on their rental property. The rental property is owned jointly by the employee and their spouse for the full FBT year and is rented during this time. The tradesman services are an external period residual benefit. There is no employee contribution.

If the tradesman services were provided in April 2008, the otherwise deductible rule would apply and the taxable value can be reduced to nil.

Example: amended law applies

If the tradesman services were provided in June 2008, the otherwise deductible rule would still apply, but the taxable value could only be reduced by the employee's share in the income producing asset - that is $2,000 x 50% = $1,000. Therefore, the taxable value of the property benefit would be $2,000 - $1,000 = $1,000.

18.8 Substantiation requirements

Where you use the otherwise deductible rule, you must have documentation to substantiate the extent to which the purchase price of the residual benefit would have been 'otherwise deductible' to the employee. You must obtain the documentation from the employee before lodging the relevant FBT return. Where the documentation is a Residual benefit declaration by the employee, it must be in a form approved by the Commissioner of Taxation (refer to Declarations ).

Travel diary

A 'travel diary' is a diary or similar document that you must obtain from an employee where the residual benefit is provided:

  • for travel within Australia for more than five consecutive nights and the travel is not exclusively for performing employment-related duties (the fact that the business travel requires the employee to stay away over a weekend will not, in itself, mean the trip is not undertaken exclusively in the course of their employment)
  • for travel outside Australia for more than five consecutive nights.

In determining whether a travel diary needs to be kept, you need to look at the number of nights the employee is away from home. The number of nights away from home includes transit time.

A travel diary shows where the activity took place, the date and the approximate time when the activity commenced, and the duration and the nature of the activity.

If the provision of the residual benefit is covered by an annual 'no private use declaration - residual benefits' (refer section 20.3 of Fringe benefits tax exempt benefits), the requirement to obtain a travel diary is waived. That is, if the residual benefit arises from the use of property which is subject to a consistently enforced prohibition on private use and would result in a taxable value of nil, you will then be able to make an annual no private use declaration.

Such a declaration would state that the benefits were provided only for employment related purposes and that there was no private portion.

Employee declaration

You must obtain a Residual benefit declaration in a form approved by the Commissioner except where:

  • the residual benefit is used exclusively in the course of performing employment-related duties (for example, protective clothing and tools of trade)
  • there is a requirement to keep a travel diary
  • the requirement to keep a travel diary is waived because the employee is a member of an international aircrew
  • the provision of the fringe benefit is covered by a recurring fringe benefit declaration.

Recurring fringe benefit declaration

The requirement to obtain an employee declaration is waived if the provision of a fringe benefit is covered by a Recurring residual fringe benefit declaration (refer to Declarations ).

A fringe benefit is covered by a recurring fringe benefit declaration if:

  • it is provided no later than five years after the day on which the declaration was made
  • the deductible proportion of the benefit is not significantly less than the deductible proportion of the benefit for which the declaration was first provided (a difference of more than 10 percentage points is regarded as being significant)
  • it is 'identical' to the fringe benefit for which the declaration was first made.

Benefits are to be treated as being identical if they are the same in all respects, except for any differences that:

  • are minimal or insignificant
  • relate to the value of the benefits
  • relate to the deductible proportion of the benefits.

A recurring fringe benefit declaration is automatically revoked by a later recurring fringe benefit declaration made for an identical benefit. This means that the earlier declaration applies to the first benefit and to any identical benefits provided before the later declaration was made. The later declaration applies to the benefit for which it was provided and to any identical benefits provided subsequently.

The declaration must be in a form approved in writing by the Commissioner. The employee must give you the declaration before the due date for lodging your FBT return or, if you are not required to lodge a return, by 21 May.

Example

An employee lives in a house provided by the employer. The telephone service to the house is in the name of the employer and the employer pays each telephone bill. Use of the telephone is a residual fringe benefit.

The employee gives the employer a recurring fringe benefit declaration which specifies that the deductible proportion of the use of the telephone is 80%. The declaration covers all further use of the telephone over the next five years, providing that the employment-related use of the telephone is not less than 70%. If the employment-related use of the telephone drops to less than 70%, another declaration is required.

18.9 Reduction in taxable value where an expense that would have been deductible to the employee is incurred in relation to a car

Where you provide a residual benefit in relation to a car owned or leased by the employee, there are special rules for determining how much (if any) of your expenditure would have been 'otherwise deductible' to the employee.

These special rules are actually three different methods of calculating the amount of the expense that hypothetically would have been income tax deductible to the employee (that is, step 2 in the four-step procedure explained in section 18.7 ). The differences arise from the extent to which the car is used for business or employment-related purposes, and/or the type of evidence available to substantiate that use.

The first method is substantiated by means of log book records and/or odometer records. The second and third methods are substantiated by an employee declaration only. For full details and the appropriate declaration, refer to Employee cars - applying the 'otherwise deductible' rule . The employee declaration shown in section 18.8 is not suitable for an expense incurred in relation to a car.

18.10 Other reductions in taxable value

A number of fringe benefits attract concessional treatment. The concession is a reduction in the taxable value of the fringe benefit that results in a reduced amount of FBT, or even no FBT, being payable.

The following is a list of reductions that may apply to residual fringe benefits:

  • remote area residential fuel
  • remote area holiday transport
  • overseas employment holiday transport
  • relocation - temporary accommodation
  • in-house fringe benefits - tax-free threshold
  • overseas employees - education of children.

For more on the reductions, refer to Reductions in fringe benefit taxable value .

18.11 Exempt residual benefits

The following is a list of exemptions that may apply to residual fringe benefits:

  • use of motor vehicles
  • use of public transport
  • use of recreational or child care facilities that are located on employer's business premises
  • use of property that is located on employer's business premises
  • living away from home - leasing of household goods
  • accommodation where employee lives away from home
  • 'fly-in fly-out' transport for oil rig and remote area employees
  • priority of access to child care facility
  • no-private-use declaration
  • incidental benefits arising from use of employer's motor vehicle
  • employment interviews and selection tests - transport
  • relocation - removal and storage of household effects
  • relocation - sale or acquisition of dwelling
  • relocation - connection or reconnection of certain utilities
  • relocation - transport
  • parking facilities for motor vehicles
  • small business car parking
  • newspapers and periodicals
  • compensable work-related trauma (including workers' compensation insurance cover)
  • in-house health care facilities
  • travel in a foreign country to obtain medical treatment
  • travel for compassionate reasons
  • occupational health and migrant language training
  • emergency assistance
  • minor benefits
  • long service awards
  • safety awards
  • Australian Traineeship System
  • live-in domestic employees - religious institutions
  • live-in help for elderly or disadvantaged persons
  • provision of certain work-related items
  • taxi travel
  • remote area - certain meals provided to employees in primary production.

For more on the exemptions, refer to Fringe benefits tax exempt benefits .

More information

  • Miscellaneous Taxation Ruling
    • MT 2024 - Fringe benefits tax : dual cab vehicles eligibility for exemption where private use is limited to certain work related travel .
    • MT 2034 - Fringe benefits tax : private use of vehicles other than cars .
  • Taxation Ruling TR 1999/6 - Income tax and fringe benefits tax : flight rewards received under frequent flyer and other similar consumer loyalty programs .
  • Taxation Determination
    • TD 2013/7 - Fringe benefits tax : what are the rates to be applied on a cents per kilometre basis for calculating the taxable value of a fringe benefit arising from the private use of a motor vehicle other than a car for the fringe benefits tax year commencing on 1 April 2013 ?
    • TD 2012/6 - Fringe benefits tax : what are the rates to be applied on a cents per kilometre basis for calculating the taxable value of a fringe benefit arising from the private use of a motor vehicle other than a car for the fringe benefits tax year commencing on 1 April 2012 ?
    • TD 93/90 - Income tax : does the 'otherwise deductible' rule apply to reduce the taxable value of fringe benefits provided to associates of employees ?

Changes and updates

The following tables detail any major changes and updates made to this chapter.

November 2013

Section

Changes and updates

18.3 Taxable valueAddition of information summarising the valuation rules
18.4 In-house residual fringe benefits

Addition of information regarding the valuation rules for goods provided under a salary sacrifice arrangement

18.6 Taxable value of motor vehicles other than cars

Updated rates to cover 2010 to 2014.

More information

Most recent tax determinations included.

Removed reference to older tax rate determinations.

Last Modified: December 2013

ATO references:
NO NAT 1054

SAV/FBTGEMP history
  Date: Version:
  30 March 1997 Original document
  13 December 2013 Updated document
  1 July 2014 Updated document
You are here 7 December 2016 Updated document
  22 May 2017 Updated document
  11 July 2017 Updated document
  17 August 2017 Updated document
  4 September 2017 Updated document
  11 April 2018 Updated document
  9 June 2018 Updated document
  13 July 2018 Current document
Chapters 5 , 6 , 14 and 15 have been updated. See the Changes and updates sections in the relevant chapters for details.

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