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February Newsletter
Fringe Benefits Tax Return - Action Checklist

Gross-up Rates
To ensure the neutrality be-tween an employee receiving a fringe benefit or cash salary within the context of the GST system, employers need to allocate taxable fringe benefits into either type 1 fringe benefits or type 2 fringe benefits.
Which gross-up rate to apply depends generally on whether the provider of the fringe benefit (the employer) was entitled to input tax credits for the acquisition of the benefit.
Type 1 Gross-up Rate
If the provider is entitled to an input tax credit the type 1 gross-up rate will apply (2.1292).
Type 2 Gross-up Rate
If no input tax credits are available to the provider then the type 2 gross-up rate will apply (1.9417). This was the only gross-up rate that applied before the introduction of the GST.
After applying the correct gross-up rate, the FBT rate for the year ending 31 March 2002 is 48.5%.
Only the type 2 gross-up rate will apply for reporting amounts on employees? PAYG payment summaries (formerly group certificates), regardless of the gross-up rate used for the FBT return.
Checklist ? Types of Benefits
Motor Vehicles
?    Was the employer entitled to input tax credits for the purchase of the vehicle?
Statutory Formula Method
?    What is the cost price of the vehicle (or lease value), excluding stamp duty (if applicable) and on-road costs?
?    What are the costs of any fitted accessories?
?    What were the opening and closing odometer readings for the current FBT year?
?    How long has the vehicle been owned or leased? (If owned for more than four years on 1 April 2001, the cost base can be reduced by one-third.)
?    Were there any days during the year when the vehicle was unavailable for private use? If so, have kilometres been annualised?
?    What running costs have been paid by the employee? Are appropriate evidentiary documents maintained?
?    Confirm the vehicle is a car as defined (see Miscellaneous Tax Ruling MT 2024).
Statutory Car Rates
Kilometres travelled              Statutory %
Less than 15,000                    26
          15,000 ? 24,999            20
          25,000 ? 40,000            11
    Above 40,000                     7
Operating Cost Method
?    Is this the first year the
car was held? If so, has
a log book been kept
for a minimum continuous period of 12 weeks?
?    What were the opening
and closing odometer readings for the current FBT year?
?    Have you made an estimate of the business kilometres travelled and the business use percentage? (This must be in writing.)
?    Where the employer already owned the vehicle at the start of the FBT year what is its written down value on 1 April 2001?
?    What are the total running costs of the vehicle?
Log Book Records
These records must be main-tained for a minimum continuous period of 12 weeks (this will generally be in the first year of the vehicle?s use).
A new log book will need to be kept every five years. The log book must at least include:
?    the date the business journey began and ended;
?    the odometer reading at the beginning and end of the business journey;
?    the purpose of the journey; and
?    the number of kilometres travelled in the course of the journey.
It is imperative that all entries in the log book are made at the end of the journey or as soon as reasonably practicable after the journey.
Car Parking
?    Where car parking benefits have been provided you will need to consider five different methods for valuing the taxable car spaces.
?    For 2001/02 the car parking threshold is $5.79 per day.
?    Was the employer entitled to input tax credits for providing the car parking?
Loans and Debt Waivers
?    For 2001/02 the bench-mark interest rate is 7.55%. What is the interest rate charged on the loan?
?    Has the loan been used for income-producing pur-poses by an employee?
?    What is the loan balance at the beginning of the FBT year and has the balance changed during the year?
?    What documentation is available for the loan?
?    When was the loan granted and was the loan wholly for private purposes?
?    Have any employee debts been waived or released since 1 April 2001?
Expense Payments/ Reimbursements
?    Have any expense pay-ments/reimbursements been made on behalf of or to employees?
?    Would any of the expenses or reimbursements have been tax deductible to the employee had they been paid for by the employee? If so, have appropriate dec-larations been obtained to substantiate the reduction in taxable value?
?    Was the employer entitled to input tax credits for the expense?
Housing and Board
?    Has the employee been granted a right to occupy a unit of accommodation as the employee?s usual place of residence?
?    Is board provided to employees where two or more meals per day are cooked on the employer?s premises and provided to employees?
?    Was the employer entitled to input tax credits for providing housing and meals?
Living-Away-From-Home-Allowances (LAFHA)
?    What is the value of LAFHAs paid to employees?
?    Has the employee provided a declaration confirming that they are living away from their usual place of residence housing and meals?
Property Fringe Benefits
?    Property includes goods, shares and real property.
?    What goods are provided to each employee, excluding goods provided for business purposes?
?    What amounts are paid by the employee for goods provided?
?    Would the goods have been tax deductible to the employee had they been purchased by the employee?
?    Identify employer-provided goods and those provided from other sources.
?    Have you allowed for the $500 exemption for in-house benefits?
?    Was the employer entitled to input tax credits for providing the property?
The provision of employee entertainment may result in a number of fringe benefits, e.g. a property, expense payment or residual benefit with the taxable value calculated as per the rules of the benefit concerned.
Employers who provide meal entertainment benefits can calculate their FBT liability using three different methods, being the 50/50 split method, 12-week register method and actual expenditure method.
Residual Benefits
?    If there are any additional benefits provided to employees, determine the value and amount, if any, paid by the employee.
?    Would any of these benefits have been tax deductible to the employee had they been paid for by the employee?
?    Was the employer entitled to input tax credits for providing the benefit?