Tax Update – December 2018

Client Update - December

Merry Christmas to Everybody!

Christmas is only two weeks away and it is that time of the year to understand how Christmas parties may affect your business’ tax obligations.

Fringe benefit tax may arise when a business provides benefits to its employees, however there’s a catch, if the benefits provided falls within the exemptions below, there will be no fringe benefit tax payable.

Exempt benefits – minor and infrequent benefits exemption

The provision of a Christmas party to an employee may be a minor benefit and exempt if the cost of the party is less than $300 (GST Inclusive) per employee and certain conditions are met. The benefit provided to an associate of the employee may also be a minor benefit and exempt if the cost of the party for each associate of an employee is less than $300.The threshold of less than $300 applies to each benefit provided, not to the total value of all associated benefits.

Exempt property benefits

The costs (such as food and drink) associated with Christmas parties are exempt from FBT if they are provided on a working day on your business premises and consumed by current employees. The property benefit exemption is only available for employees, not associates.

 

 

Tax Scam Alerts

 

To enjoy a fantastic Christmas holiday, please be aware of the continuous scams pretending to be calling from the ATO demanding outstanding tax debts.

We are now seeing an evolution of this tactic where the scammers are using technology to make it look like the calls originate from a legitimate ATO phone number. This number may appear on caller ID, be left on voice mail messages for call backs, or directed by *69 for call back functionality. Scammers do this to make the calls seem more valid when they call people a second time.

Most frequently the number appearing is 6216 1111, but other numbers have been used as well.

While these scam calls may appear to be from the ATO with a spoofed caller ID, it is important to remember that a legitimate caller from the ATO will never:

  • threaten you with arrest
  • demand immediate payment, particularly through unusual means such as bitcoin, pre-paid credit cards or gift cards
  • refuse to allow you to speak with a trusted advisor or your regular tax agent
  • or present a phone number on caller ID

Never call a scammer back on the number they provide. If you are in any doubt about an ATO, call hang up and contact the ATO on 1800 008 540 to check if the call was legitimate or report a scam.

 

Best Wishes Everyone and Have An Amazing Holiday

See You All Next Year!

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