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Calculate GST adjustments on fringe benefits

This adjustment applies to GST registered persons who are employers and are liable for fringe benefit tax (FBT). It's entered separately on your FBT return.

Example

A company allows shareholder-employees to use its vehicles for private use. Fringe benefit tax will need to be paid, as well as the GST (previously claimed).

Important - GST rate change affecting time of supply

You account for GST on the transaction at the time that the fringe benefit is or is deemed to be provided or granted

Example: Ad's are Us Ltd account for FBT on an annual basis and supply the unlimited use of a motor vehicle to two employees.

They will need to apportion the value of the benefits with GST at 12.5% till 30 September 2010 and then at 15% from 1 October to 31 March 2011.

Example: Ad's are Us Ltd supplies three staff with a travel benefit worth $2,100 each on 15 October 2010.

The benefit would be accounted for in the FBT return which covers the October period. The GST rate that applies would be 15%.

When to use it

Sometimes you may want to use business assets for private use. If you do this, you'll need to make a GST adjustment for the private use, because GST must be paid on assets used for private use. In addition, if an employee has received fringe benefits, you'll need to account for fringe benefit tax (FBT).

GST on fringe benefit is also an adjustment, but it is entered separately on your fringe benefit tax return. This adjustment applies to registered persons who are employers and are liable for FBT.

  • If you're a sole trader, partner, trust member, or an associated person, and you have used business assets for private use, you account for the adjustment in Box 9 on your GST return.
  • If an employee (including shareholder-employee) has used business assets for private use, you account for the GST in your fringe benefit tax return for the period.

How to calculate it

The GST on fringe benefits adjustment is made in the FBT return period in which the benefits are provided.

Scenario:

The total taxable value of all fringe benefits for the FBT quarter ending 31 December 2010 is $2,657. This amount includes the following details:

  • motor vehicles  $2,605
  • low-interest loans  $425
  • magazine and newspaper subscriptions  $52
  • subsidy on employee's honeymoon trip to Fiji  $600
Step What to do Example
1

Take the total taxable value of all fringe benefits from your FBT return. (This is the amount of the benefits, not the FBT itself.)

$3,682

2

Subtract the value of any benefits which are exempt or zero-rated supplies for GST. The most common ones would be:

  • low-interest loans
  • other financial services
  • international travel
  • contributions to employee superannuation and life insurance policies.

The result is the fringe benefits which are liable for GST.

$3,682 - $425 - $600 = $2,657

3

Multiply the result from Step 2 by 3 and divide by 23. This is the GST adjustment to include in your FBT return.

 

Note

The adjustment amount is payable at the same time as the underlying FBT for the quarter.

$2,657 x 3/23 = $346.56

Direct payment towards a fringe benefit

If an employee makes a payment directly to the employer towards a fringe benefit, this counts as a separate supply and is liable for GST. Include this payment as income in Box 5 on the GST return. The time of supply is the same as for any other sale by the business.

Example: cash payment

An employee has paid $100 cash directly to the employer. The $100 should be added to the sales in Box 5 on the GST return. The GST to pay on the $100 is $13.04.

Example: gift to employee

Sara runs a door-to-door beauty supply business and operates as a sole trader. She has one employee. Sara purchases stock in January and June and claims back the GST content in the relevant returns. In December, Sara gives her employee a gift of cosmetics. These cost $1,000 including GST. Sara also takes cosmetics of the same value for her private use.

The table below shows the tax treatment.

Cosmetics used by... Private use of business goods? GST adjustment required? Is this a fringe benefit? GST to be accounted for in...

Sara

yes

yes

no

GST return

Employee

yes

yes

yes

FBT return

The GST adjustment is 3/23rd's of the GST-inclusive cost price. ($1,000 multiplied by 3 and divided by 23 = $130.43)

Sara's use will be accounted for in Box 9 on her GST return, and the employee's use will be accounted for in Sara's FBT return, as GST payable on the FBT taxable value.

The FBT taxable value of the employee's cosmetics is $1,000 including GST. This is equal to the amount that the employee would have paid, if she'd bought the cosmetics herself.

Example: private use of motor vehicle

Mark is an employee, and the company car is available for his private use on the weekend.

Purchase price of vehicle including GST $40,000

IRD single calculation to cover revenue and capital adjustments in one go (as this is a quarterly return 20% is divided by 4)

5%

Days Mark had the car available for private use/days in quarter

45/90

Taxable value

$1,000

GST content of the taxable value

$130.43

The benefit Mark has received is equal to $1,000. This is the taxable value to be included in the company's FBT return. GST payable on the fringe benefit taxable value of the car is $130.43 and must also be included in the FBT return.

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Date published: 29 Sep 2010

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