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Tax & AccountingLegalCorporateComplianceFebruary 22, 2022

Are you prepared for another Fringe Benefits Tax reporting year?

With the current FBT year-end almost upon us, CCH Learning recently hosted its highly popular  Fringe Benefits Tax 2022 - Annual FBT Compliance Update with the ATO webinar.

Presented by Assistant Commissioner Jenny Lin and a panel of experts, a wide range of topics relating to FBT and compliance were covered, including:

  • the continued impact of COVID-19 on employers’ FBT liabilities concerning the provision of work-related items and office equipment to allow employees to work from home (WFH)
  • FBT liabilities for employers providing COVID-19 testing and proposed changes to the law, and
  • 2022 FBT returns. 

WFH during COVID-19 … and beyond

An employer’s FBT obligations may be affected if they have provided a benefit to their employees to allow for WFH arrangements during COVID-19 restrictions.

Specific work-related items, e.g. a portable electronic device, computer software, protective clothing, a briefcase, and a tool of trade, may be exempt from FBT where specific requirements are met. 

During periods of temporary WFH arrangements due to COVID-19, the provision of office equipment to employees will be exempt from FBT if it is property that is ordinarily located on a business’s premises and wholly or principally used directly in connection with business operations. It is important to note that with the trend to ongoing rather than temporary WFH arrangements, the equipment may no longer meet the test for this exemption, i.e. in terms of “being ordinarily located in the office”.

FBT on COVID-19 testing

Where an employer provides a COVID-19 test to their employee or reimburses the cost of a test, they may be providing a fringe benefit. Currently, the test may be exempt from FBT under the work-related medical screening or minor benefits exemptions, but only where specific requirements are satisfied. For example, the minor benefits exemption will only apply where the tests are provided infrequently and irregularly, and the cumulative value of the tests provided to an employee during the FBT year is less than $300. 

The government has recently announced measures to ensure that COVID-19 testing (Polymerase Chain Reaction and Rapid Antigen Tests) are tax-deductible and exempt from FBT for businesses, where they are purchased for work-related purposes. The ATO will provide further guidance once the measures are enacted.  

2022 FBT returns

The ATO is asking employers registered for FBT to complete a Notice of non-lodgment – Fringe benefits tax form if they do not need to lodge an FBT return for the year.

This year's statutory due dates for lodgments and payment are still 21 May 2022 for self-preparers and tax agents who lodge by paper, or 25 June 2022 for agents who lodge electronically. However, as both these days are Saturdays, the ATO will accept the due date for lodgement and payment on the next business day, i.e. Monday, 23 May 2022 and Monday, 27 June 2022, respectively.

There will be no bulk lodgment concessions or deferrals this year.

To learn more about your FBT reporting and lodgement obligations this year, download our 2022 FBT Report or watch our on-demand webinar.

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