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What Are The Impacts Of Covid-19 To The Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)?

What Are The Impacts Of Covid-19 To The Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)?

Because of covid-19, many things have been changed, and many things are affected because of that. When it comes to the company and their employees, so many things have been changed because the company has to provide some benefits to their employees that they usually do not provide to them. That means you have to pay for the items that will help your employees to work from home in a better way.

If you do not have any idea about what fringe benefits taxes are, then you can just check out this article, and you will learn about some exciting things that you may not be aware of.

What is Fringe benefits tax?

Fringe benefits tax or FBT are the benefits provided to the company’s employees in addition to the wages or salaries. These benefits can include- car parking facilities, reduce the rate of public transport facilities, health insurance, a subsidized cafeteria, and many more. It is the type of tax that increases the burden of the company. A company has to do a lot of paperwork, and that is why people in Australia hate this tax.

Because of Covid-19, it affected the companies in many ways as they have to provide much more benefits to their employees that have just reduce their profits. If you also want to learn about how these taxes have affected the companies, then check this out!

Work from home- In this situation of the pandemic, employees are now allowed to work from home, and it is important to provide them with all the things that they need such as a laptop, printer, and other minor things such as keyboards, a mouse that they use in the office. All these things ahs increase the cost of maintenance and are counted under the FBT that the company has to pay to their employees.

Things that protect the employees from Covid-19- A company also has to pay the FBT on the items used to protect the employees from Covid-19. Those items include many things such as masks, sanitizers, gloves, anti-bacterial spray, and many more. A company has to include these things, and if an employee has to go somewhere, then it is the company’s responsibility to take care of the employee because they are going for the work purpose.

Car parking- There are many car parking where the employees parked their car, but because of covid they are not placing their car there, but the company is still paying. There are many car parking places which offer the wifi service and many other things too. And the company has to offer these benefits to their employees and pay for their car parking bills.

Accommodations, transportation, and food- These are some of the benefits that are provided to the employees by the company. In Australia, the companies have to bear all the employees’ expenses to relocate the employees, which also include the payments for flights. The company has also incurred the expenses of the food and the accommodation for the employees who are not able to go home because of covid-19 problem or restrictions, and many benefits are also offered to the employees who are self-isolated. They have also paid for the transportation or the car that is hired to transport the employees to the accommodations offered to them for a temporary purpose.

Covid-19 testing- A company also has to pay for the benefits to their employees if they have to go for the covid yes. If some of your employees are doing the covid test, then you do have to pay, but a company does not have to pay in the situation such as-if the covid test is done by the medical practitioner who is legally qualified and if the testing is available for all the employees in the company. The company does not have to pay for the benefit only if both of the situations applied to the employees.

The Final Words

Well, you may have got the idea that what are fringe benefit taxes and how covid-19 has affects the company’s FBT. A company has suffered a lot and paid for any extra expenses that are not even in use, but they have done many things for their employees and offered them many benefits.

ATO’s ‘ new call on company cars might be “rude awakening” for the employers

With the instigation of ATO’s (Australian Taxation Office) new guidelines, near time might be traumatizing for the employers. It’s expected to be a more amplifying compliance after the modifications made in FBT (Fringe Benefit Tax) rule.

There is a myriad of guidance released for the personal utilization of salary-packaged conveniences incorporating the usage of utes. The taxation office also elucidated about the true meaning of “exceptional and minimal use of official vehicles”.

Formerly the taxation authority clarified that it’s completely admissible if the “official vehicles are utilized sporadically for clearing domiciliary rubbish”.

But the advanced guidance, that is said to be implied from 2019 FBT (Fringe Tax benefit) states that “the employees are now allowed to utilize work or official vehicles for about 1000 Kilometers of personal travel every year, but an individual trip should not exceed 200 Kilometers.

If exceeded, there will be a FBT charge applied which will stand about 20% on the total value of the car.

The current modifications concur with the arrangements made by ATO to fissure the exorbitant claims on the dodgy works, it will also make sure to shut the $8.7 billion crevice for the 9.6 million taxpayers of the country.

This 1000 Kilometers hindrance for the employees will finally result in termination of holiday or weekend utilization of official vehicles, which is commonly known as utes in Australia.

The general use of four wheel drives and sedan cars belonging to the employer incorporating travel from and to work is totally covered-in as a fringe benefit, henceforth sustains tax. Nevertheless, there is a certain criterion for some utes vehicles which are consolidated as a tax-free perquisite.

Mr. Tony Greco, the general manager of IPA (Institute of Public Accountants) disclosed that ATO can finally thrust the compliance activities taking care of the changes made.

“Because of the load bearing capacity, passenger or ordinary vehicles are treated distinctly as compared to utes, which categorized them in the exempted vehicles” Tony Said.

“The rationale why sedan cars are exempted because previously utes were not treated as passenger vehicles. And were also not much considered socially”.

“Old times have changed and now utes are the new face of fashionable vehicle and are considered among all Australians”.

Subjected to employers, not employees:

The ATO finally cognized the feedback and realized the irregularities in the methodologies the employers were using associated with the compliance of car-related indemnities, which resulted in overall increment in compliance costs.

Mr. Tony also clarified, “This is completely not subjected to employees, as Fringe Tax benefit is related and paid by the employers”.

“Fuel monitoring can also assist you determining the total usage of the official vehicle happening in a period of time”.

Further, to curtail the private utilization of vehicles by employees, Mr. Tony revised the workplace policies and clinched that the FBT should be paid if the vehicle is used par the 1000 kilometer guidance.

“I believe that there is yet a rude awakening about to happen. The personal utilization made by the employees is thwacking employers to restrain the private usage of official cars”.

He also described that “There is a constant threatening by ATO to surveil the use. As they already took the license plates down by participating in several sporting and similar events”.

“Wherever non-compliance will be pinpointed, the officials work along with the employers to get the things flow in a right manner”, said the ATO spokesperson.

He further narrated that “We have an in place FBT engagement program which incorporates education components and significant communication to notify and help employers about the FBT responsibilities”.



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