Fringe benefits tax (FBT) is a tax payable by employers on benefits provided to employees in respect to their employment. This can apply to both MOP(S) Act employees and parliamentarians.
For tax purposes, a parliamentarian (including a former parliamentarian) is deemed to be an ‘employee’ under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997, the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 and the Fringe Benefits Tax (Application to the Commonwealth) Act 1986.
FBT is assessed on an annual basis, with the FBT year beginning 1 April and ending 31 March. The rate of tax may vary from year to year and is currently 47 per cent of the value of the fringe benefit.
MaPS will send you notification after 31 March on any reportable benefits you receive during the FBT year. This will be in the form of a 'statement of reportable fringe benefits.
It is important you review the statement and inform MaPS Help Desk of any changes to the information. This will affect the reportable benefit shown on your income statement and the FBT liability paid by MaPS.
‘Benefits' are broadly defined in the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 to include any right, privilege, service or facility. The definition of a fringe benefit specifically excludes the following:
- a payment of salary or wages
- the provision of exempt benefits
- a payment of superannuation to a complying fund for an employee
- an employment termination payment.
Examples of benefits provided by MaPS include:
- residential telephones, faxes, internet connection
- domestic and overseas travel for dependents
- Studies assistance (HECS - HELP payments).
More information on fringe benefits, its uses and tax calculations can be found on the Australian Tax Office (ATO) website.
The following forms may be required depending on which fringe benefit you receive. Complete the forms (see related resources) and submit to MaPS Help Desk:
- Form 161: Request to vary information - required if any changes to our record of your vehicle’s odometer reading are required
- Form 162: Declaration of availability of private-plated vehicle - required if you wish to declare a number of days in the FBT year that your vehicle was not available for private use
- Form 163: Expense payment benefit declaration: residential phone benefits and/or dedicated data line benefits - to report the percentage of business use for phone or data benefits
- Form 164: Expense payment benefit declaration: travel benefits - to report the percentage of business use for travel benefits
- Form 165: Pooled or shared car certification - to declare a vehicle is not a reportable fringe benefit since it was used as a pool or shared car (provided to two or more employees for private use).