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Fringe benefit tax (FBT)
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Fringe benefit tax (FBT): Fringe benefit tax overview

Fringe benefit tax

If, as an employer you provide fringe benefits (perks) to your employees, shareholder-employees, or other people associated with your business, generally you must pay fringe benefit tax on the value of these benefits.

What is FBT?

FBT is ... Benefits include ...
a tax on benefits that employees receive and enjoy as a result of their employment.
  • provision of a motor vehicle for the private use of the employee. FBT is calculated on the availability rather than actual usage
  • provision of a loan as a result of an employee's employment, that incurs less interest than the commercial rates available to another individual
  • receiving goods and services because of the employee's position at favourable rates not available to non-employees
  • subsidised transport resulting from employment
  • contributions to funds, insurance and superannuation schemes.


Note
  • Employees may be past, as well as present or future employees. For example, your liability continues if your employer status changes, but you continue providing a fringe benefit (for example, a low-interest loan) to a former employee.
  • Liable benefits include benefits that someone gives to employees or shareholder-employees on behalf of the employer.

Tax exemptions for employees

The following exemptions are available on free, subsidised, or discounted goods and services.

For ... the exemption is ... or the maximum exemption is ...
quarterly filers $300 per employee per quarter $22,500 per annum for all employees.
annual and income year filers $1,200 per employee per annum $22,500 per annum for all employees.

What are my responsibilities?

If you are liable for FBT, you must file regular FBT returns. These may be:

  • for each quarter
  • for the income year, or
  • annually.

If you choose an alternative filing option, eg from quarterly to annual or income year, you can:

  • complete the online FBT election, or
  • phone us on 0800 377 772.
Note

For any type of FBT return, where fringe benefit tax is not paid by the due date, late payment penalties will be charged.

When do my responsibilities not apply?

As an employer, you are not liable for filing an FBT return if you:

  • do not provide fringe benefits, and
  • do not intend to provide them.

What are my responsibilities when my employer status changes?

When your employer status changes, you must file FBT returns until you stop providing fringe benefits.

If you stop employing ... and ... then you must ...
  also stop providing fringe benefits

 

  • let us know
  • file a final return to cover the period up to the date you stopped employing.

 

or discontinue your business but still provide benefits to past employees or shareholder-employees  

 

  • continue to file FBT returns
  • file returns for low-interest loans until the total loan is repaid.

     

For more help

Please call us on 0800 377 772.

 

 


Date published: 31 Mar 2009

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