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Salary sacrificing

While many employees can sacrifice salary in exchange for most work-related purchases, it is essential that employers are aware of FBT when working out the expense that will replace the income in a salary sacrifice arrangement. Employees should also be wary that if their employer has to pay FBT, that cost will most likely be passed on to them under a salary sacrifice arrangement.

If an employee needs to purchase equipment for their work, they can work out a salary sacrifice with their boss to buy the equipment and reduce their personal tax bill if:

There are particular types of benefits an employer can provide to their employee that may trigger an FBT liability if provided under a salary sacrifice arrangement. These include cars, property and expense payments.

However, there are certain fringe benefits that are specifically exempt from FBT under the law. These work-related FBT exemptions can be beneficial to employees under a salary sacrifice arrangement. To be exempt, a purchased item must be:

Posted on 23 September '15 by , under Tax.

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Superfund categories and what they mean

There are four different categories of super funds. These have different primary features and are more applicable to certain people than they are to others.

Retail super funds

Anyone can join retail funds. They are mostly run by banks and investment companies:

  • Allow for a wide range of investment options.
  • Financial advisors may recommend this type of fund as they receive commissions or might get paid fees for them.
  • Although they usually range from medium to high cost, there may be low-cost alternatives.
  • The companies that own these funds will aim to keep some of the profit they yield

Industry super funds

Anyone can join bigger industry funds, but smaller ones may only be open to people in certain industries i.e. health.

  • Most are accumulation funds but some older ones may have defined benefit members
  • Range from low to medium cost
  • Not-for-profit, so all profits are put back into the fund

Public sector super funds

Only available for government employees

  • Employers contribute more than the 9.5% minimum
  • Modest range of investment choices
  • Newer members are usually in an accumulation fund, but many of the long-term members have defined benefits
  • Low fees
  • Profits are put back into the fund

Corporate super funds

Arranged by employers for employees. Large companies may operate corporate funds under the board of trustees. Some corporate funds are operated by retail or industry funds, but availability is restricted to employees

  • If managed by bigger fund, wide range of investment options
  • Older funds have defined benefits, but most are accumulation funds
  • Low to medium costs for large employers, could be high cost for small employers

Self-managed super funds

Private super fund you manage yourself. Many more nuances to this type of fund. Most prominent feature is the autonomy over investment.

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