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Five ways to pay less FBT

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Small businesses can achieve real dollar savings by efficiently managing and calculating the Fringe Benefits Tax on meals and entertainment. However, the challenge is often finding the best calculation. Many organisations struggle to identify which calculation method is best for them and, as a result, have to pay more FBT than necessary.

Here are five FBT strategies that may help small businesses get ahead:

1. Automate the expense management process
Automating the process allows a business to determine the lowest FBT liability automatically. It saves time, provides full visibility into expenses and enforces policies to optimise the expense management process.

2. Use clear, descriptive definitions for the expenses
Over-complicated definitions can confuse employees and impact on the quality of data (from a calculation and compliance perspective).

3. Train employees
Make sure employees understand the difference between the travelling and non-travelling employee status, as this impacts the FBT liability.

4. Use an employee master list
An employee master list simplifies the search for employee data and prevents the creation of multiple versions of the same attendees.

5. Review the RBT reporting annually
Don’t assume a specific calculation method will always equate to the lowest FBT liability. Make sure you are using the right method to avoid overpayments occurring.

Making tax-deductible super contributions

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There are two types of super contributions individuals can make: non-concessional (after-tax) and concessional (before-tax).

From 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2016, eligible individuals can make concessional contributions of up to $30,000 per year if they are 48 years of age or under on 30 June 2015. Eligible individuals who are 49 years of age or over on 30 June 2015 can make concessional contributions of up to $35,000 for the year.

Those who are self-employed or not employed can claim a tax deduction for their super contributions as they are treated as concessional contributions.

Individuals who are under the age of 18 can only claim a tax deduction for super contributions when their income comes from gainful employment, such as carrying on a business.

In most circumstances, those who are classified as employees cannot claim a tax deduction for making a super contribution. However, they can receive a similar tax benefit through salary sacrifice contributions.

Although the rules for claiming tax deductions on super contributions can be complex depending on the type of work an individual does, generally speaking, an individual can claim a tax deduction for super contributions if they:

  • are self-employed and not working under a contract principally for your labour.

  • are not employed

  • can satisfy the 10% income test rule. To satisfy this test, individuals need to prove that they receive part of their income as an employee but less than 10% per cent of their assessable income (including salary sacrifice contributions and reportable fringe benefits) are attributable to employment as an employee.

Rolling over your CGT

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A capital gain or capital loss is the difference between the cost of an asset and the profit or loss made when it is disposed of. In certain circumstances, a capital gain from a CGT event can be deferred, or ‘rolled over’, until another CGT event happens which involves an asset in the following events:

Marriage or relationship breakdown
If an asset, or a share of an asset, is transferred from one spouse to another upon their marriage or relationship breaking down, any CGT is usually deferred until another CGT event takes place i.e. one spouse sells the asset to someone else.

Loss, destruction or compulsory acquisition
Individuals can defer a capital gain when their CGT asset is lost, destroyed or compulsorily acquired.

Mining lease
Those who dispose of their land to an entity who holds a compulsory mining lease over it that would significantly affect the use of the land can defer a capital gain.

Scrip for scrip
Individuals can defer a capital gain if they dispose of their shares in a company or interest in a trust as a result of a takeover.

Demergers
Individuals can defer a capital gain or capital loss if a CGT event happens to their shares in a company or their interest in a trust as a result of a demerger.

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