Fringe Benefits Tax exemptions are now available for Australian businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To provide certainty and relief to businesses at this time of pandemic, the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has introduced various tax measures, and of these relieve business owners of paying Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT).

The Fringe Benefits Tax Exemptions may apply to additional expenditures like accommodation assistance, transport, and emergency health care that typically attract Fringe Benefits Tax.

Additionally, if employers provide their employees and associates with work-related equipment and devices like laptop or phone, and the employees and associates choose to work from home at this time, employers may also expect Fringe Benefits Tax exemption for these.

Fringe Benefits Tax Exemptions

These common scenarios may help you.
1.    The FBT emergency assistance exemption applies to:

  • help you provide to an employee who’s been relocated from a high-risk area and has to self-isolate
  • paying for temporary emergency meals, food supplies and accommodation for employees stranded overseas due to travel restrictions
  • paying for flights for overseas employees to return to Australia.
  1.  Emergency health care: depending on certain factors, if you pay for transporting an employee from the workplace to seek medical assistance, the cost is exempt from FBT.
  2.  Working from home: if you provide your employees with a laptop, portable printer, or other portable electronic devices to enable them to work from home or another location, these will usually be exempt from FBT – if they’re primarily used for work.

Remember, the minor benefits exemption may apply for minor, infrequent, and irregular benefits of under $300. The due date for lodging and paying the 2020 FBT return has been deferred from 21 May 2020 to 25 June 2020 due to COVID-19.

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