Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is often a forgotten tax and oddly many benefits supplied by employers to employees are given generously in order to assist employees.  Some of the benefits are subject to FBT such as non-work-related hotel stays or loaning them a car for their private use but some benefits are exempt from FBT.

Benefits supplied by employers in emergency situations like natural disasters or where immediate relief is given to employees who are victims (or potential victims) are exempt from FBT where the assistance is for:

  • first aid or emergency health care,
  • emergency meals, food supplies, clothing, accommodation, transport or use of household goods,
  • temporary repairs,
  • any similar benefit.

These exemptions also apply where your employee has been affected by:

  • an accident,
  • serious illness,
  • armed conflicts,
  • civil disturbances.

Other fringe benefits supplied to employees that might be exempt from FBT are:

  • expenses incurred in relocating an employee including the costs of trips for employees and their families to become used to a new location after a transfer has been accepted, phone and utility connection costs at the new location, advances of bond monies for rental properties and utility suppliers, home sale and purchase costs if the previous home was sold within two years of relocating,
  • food and accommodation given to trainees under the Australian traineeship scheme.
  • travel, accommodation and meal costs of an employee at times of serious illness or death in the family,
  • travel costs for attending a job interview or selection test for a current or future employee,
  • employee’s costs of subscribing to a trade or professional journal, membership fees for a corporate credit card or for an airport lounge membership,
  • infrequent and irregular fringe benefits worth less than $300,
  • newspapers and periodicals used by employees for business purposes,
  • taxi travel for sick employees to go home or to attend a medical clinic/hospital,
  • work related medical tests and counselling.

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