Do You Owe Fringe Benefit Tax For Your Staff Christmas Party and Gifts?

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Do You Owe Fringe Benefit Tax For Your Staff Christmas Party and Gifts?

Perhaps one of the most famous accountants in literature is Bob Crachitt of Charles Dicken’s ‘A Christmas Carol’. Ebenezer Scrooge is his boss, a miserly moneylender. He underpays Bob who can’t afford proper health care for the lovable little scamp Tiny Tim, let alone a wonderful Christmas feast.

No one wants to follow in the footsteps of Scrooge at this giving time of year. Because A) getting visited by three Christmas ghosts is scary and B) poor Tiny Tim! As a business owner now is the time to say thank you to your staff for all of the hard work they do throughout the year.

Before you start planning your Christmas party and/or gifts there are a few things you need to consider, such as Fringe Benefits Tax.

What Is Fringe Benefits Tax?

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) is tax employers pay 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, your employee’s salary or wages package.

Only certain businesses are required to pay FBT, so it is best to speak to a trusted accountant or financial advisor to check if it applies to you.

Planning Your Party

If the amount you spend per employee for your party is less than $300 per head it does not attract FBT. So without being an Ebenezer it is important to consider the total cost per person. FBT is an extra tax and most small businesses will avoid paying it.

Planning Your Christmas Gifts

When you provide Christmas gifts, you’ll need to consider a few different components. One is the amount you spend, the type of gift and who the gift is for. Then consider the type of gift. Items such as wine or hampers are treated differently to gifts like tickets to a movie or sporting event. It is also important to consider who your gift is for, there are different rules for employees and clients/suppliers.

The Things Money Can’t Buy

There is an extra benefit of not being a Scrooge. It is important to have a fun time during the holiday season. A kind gesture of a party of gift helps to keep employee morale and loyalty high, resulting in low turnover of staff.

If you have questions about your choice of gift or party for the holiday season, you can have a look at the ATO site or book a free consultation to learn the best option for your business.