FBT record keeping relief for employers – ATO draft changes
For employers lodging fringe benefits tax (FBT) returns, the volume of declarations and record keeping documentation is arduous and ongoing. Last week the Australia Taxation Office (ATO) issued four draft instruments that aim to reduce this.
The draft legislative instruments specify acceptable alternative record-keeping obligations (other than an employee declarations) in respect of expense payment fringe benefits. Whilst they are still in draft, they are intended to apply for the year ending 31 March 2023.
This is welcome news for many employers, as the changes will significantly reduce the volume of record duplication and the ever-challenging task of chasing employees for declarations to calculate FBT liability.
Draft FBT instruments
Following a review of record keeping requirements last year, proposed changes to travel diary and relocation transport records were released, and the ATO has now issued the following four draft instruments for consultation:
- LI 2023/D3 in respect of overseas employment holiday transport
- LI 2023/D4 in respect of travel to an employment interview or selection test
- LI 2023/D5 in respect of remote area holiday transport
- LI 2023/D6 in respect of car travel for a work-related medical examination, work-related medical screening, work-related preventative health care, work-related counselling or migrant language training
The draft instruments propose that employers be able to maintain alternate records to reduce the taxable value of transport benefits.
It has been clarified that this information can come from different records, but must be in English. This will allow employers to rely on existing corporate records, including travel calendars.
- details of the employee and associates, including the number of family members who travelled in the car (if applicable)
- the make and model of the vehicle driven
- departure and arrival location, including the address
- the dates of travel, and
- the total number of whole kilometers travelled, not excluding any kilometers travelled whilst at the destination.
How can SW help?
With the intended date of application to be from 1 April 2023, it is an ideal time for employers to review their current FBT processes, with a view to adjustments for these alternative records from 31 March.
The majority of FBT lodgments are due by 21 May.
Assisting employers to ease the FBT return preparation process is a key service of the SW Tax team. Our experts are on hand to advise you, and our proprietary CTSplus FBT software is highly automated to assist employers. Please reach out to the team for a complimentary exploratory conversation.
If you have any thoughts or suggestions regarding the draft legislative instruments, please contact your SW advisor or the contacts here.