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ATO outlines common FBT mistakes

Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax an employer pays on certain benefits they provide to their employees, including their employees’ family or other associates. The benefit may be in addition to, or part of, their salary or wages package. Fringe benefits tax is separate to income tax and is calculated on the taxable value of the fringe benefits provided.

Recently, the Australian Tax Office has released information for business owners which outlines some of the most common FBT mistakes made over recent financial years, as there are some misconceptions surrounding FBT exemptions of certain benefits provided to employees.

A condition of an FBT exemption is that the benefit provided is primarily used to enable the employee to do their job. In determining a benefit’s primary use, the Tax Office considers the employee’s ‘intended use’ at the time the benefit is provided.

There are also benefits that an employer can provide that are already deemed FBT exempt, such as work-related items like laptops, computer software and mobile phones.  

Some of the circumstances the ATO has advised businesses to be wary of include:

Posted on 19 September '16 by , under Tax.

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What to consider when consolidating your super

The ATO reported that 45% of working Australians were not aware that they had multiple super accounts in 2016. Having multiple super accounts is particularly common for individuals who have had more than one job. If this is you, it is important to identify and manage your super accounts because having more than one can be costly as a result of account fees from multiple funds.To combat this, you may want to consolidate your super, which moves all your super into one account. Not only does this save on fees, but it also makes your super easier to manage and keep track of.

Before consolidating your super, it is important to do the following:

Research your funds' policy
Compare your active super accounts so you can make the right choice about which one you should close. Things to assess include:

  • Exit fees
  • Insurance policies
  • Investment options
  • Ongoing service fees
  • Performance of the funds

Check employer contributions
Changing funds may affect how much your employer contributes, as some employers contribute more to certain funds. Check your current accounts to see if changing funds will affect this. Once you have selected a super fund, regardless of whether you choose a new super fund or one of your existing ones, provide your employer with the details they need to pay super into your selected account.

Gather the relevant information
When consolidating your super, you will need to have the following details ready:

  • Your tax file number.
  • Proof of identity. This could include your driver's license, birth certificate or passport.
  • Your fund's superannuation product identification number (SPIN).
  • Your fund's unique superannuation identifier (USI).
  • Details of your previous fund.

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