26 Mar 2024

2024 Fringe Benefits Tax obligations

Before you switch off for the Easter long weekend, we have something to put on (and tick off) your to-do list. This year one of the big accounting dates falls smack bang on Easter Sunday – 31 March 2024. If you don’t know why 31 March should be in your calendar, this email is for you! Read on to find out everything you need to know about the end of the Fringe-Benefit-Tax year (not quite as exciting as Easter – we know)

If you’ve never heard of Fringe-Benefits-Taxes (FBT) or need a quick refresher; FBT refers to a ‘payment’ made to an employee outside of their wage/salary. Some common examples include the personal use of a work vehicle, discounted loans, reimbursed expenses, and entertainment items like tickets to concerts.

To help you meet your FBT obligations, we’ve put together a hit list of essentials every employer needs to know about FBT and review every year. These include:


  • Should I be registered for FBT?
  • Should I lodge a FBT Return even if no FBT is payable?
  • Key things you MUST do on 31 March 2024
  • What is exempt from FBT?
  • Electric vehicles and FBT?
  • How can I reduce my FBT liability?


You’ll find all this and more below. We’ll be honest with you – it’s a long read, but it’s an important one. If you love the detail and you’d like to know more, we also have a number of specially prepared FBT Factsheets that you can request from us to help you better understand your FBT obligations as a business owner.




Generally, if you have employees (including Directors) and you provide them with cars, car parking, entertainment (food and drink), employee discounts, loans, or reimburse private expenses, then you are likely to be providing a fringe benefit and we will need to register your business for FBT.

It’s important you start gathering all the details of these provided benefits as soon as possible, so we can calculate any potential FBT liability and lodge and pay (if applicable) your FBT return on time – due 25 June 2024.




Where no FBT is payable there is legally no need to lodge an FBT return, but should you lodge one anyway?

Our strong recommendation to you is yes!

This restricts the ATO’s audit window to only three years from the date of lodgement. Otherwise, the ATO is entitled to go back an unlimited number of years and audit your business and possibly find areas where they will charge you FBT and penalties.

See our FBT Factsheet outlining why an FBT return is a good idea even where no FBT is payable here.




While we’ve been pretty clear that we recommend you register for FBT and if applicable lodge a Nil FBT Return, if you decide not to there’s still key information that we need you to record as at 31 March 2024. We’ll rely on this information when we complete your 2024 annual Financial Statements. Here’s a summary of what you need to do:

  1. On Sunday 31 March 2024 (Easter), when your employees have finished their travel for the day request your team each take a photo of their vehicle odometer readings using their phones and email it the photo to you, or to a nominated person in your business. Having vehicle odometer readings for all business vehicles is vital to us being able to examine ways your FBT can be reduced.
  2. Carefully manage the private use of business cars, including the travel between home and work. The ATO conducts a data matching program aimed at motor vehicles to capture benefits that aren’t currently being reported through FBT. If you are selected for a review, the ATO will review your vehicle odometer readings and calculate the distance between your employee’s home and your office.  If significant variances are identified a full ATO audit may follow.
  3. Review all meal entertainment expenses provided to employees, associates and clients and prepare a register that outlines the following for every event:
    • The total cost (GST inclusive)
    • How many employees were present and their names
    • How many employees’ associates were present and their names
    • How many clients were present (names not needed)
    • The nature of the event (dinner, lunch, coffee, drinks, etc.)




If you provide items like mobile phones, laptops, tablets, portable printers, protective clothing, tools of trade etc, or minor and infrequent benefits that are less than $300 in value, it’s unlikely that you’ll have to worry about FBT.

The exemption only applies if the benefits are both minor and infrequent. To find out if you pass of these tests – please ask us to send you our Applying the Minor & Infrequent Benefits Exemptions factsheet.




From 1 July 2022 employers do not pay FBT on eligible electric cars and associated car expenses. This incentive encourages Australians to purchase zero or low emission vehicles and allows employers and employees to support the environment too!

So, what is required to be eligible?

  1. The car meets the ATO’s criteria of a zero or low emission vehicle
    • Including, battery electric, hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles or plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. We note, plug-in hybrid vehicles will not be considered zero or low emission vehicles from 1 April 2025
    • It meets the definition of a ‘car’, being designed to carry a loan of less than 1 tonne and fewer than 9 passengers (including the driver)
  2. The first time the car is both held and used is on or after 1 July 2022
  3. The car is used by a current employee or their associates (i.e. Family)
  4. Luxury car tax (LCT) has never been payable on the importation or sale of the car
    • The LCT threshold for the 2022-2023 financial year is $89,332 for fuel efficient vehicles or $76,950 for all other vehicles


Other important factors to consider:

  1. Associated car expenses relating to electric vehicles which are exempt include:
    • Registration
    • Insurance
    • Repairs and maintenance
    • Fuel (including electricity to charge and run electric cars)
  2. So what costs are not included in the exemption?
    • A home charging stations
  3. Reportable fringe benefits
    • Whilst the private use of eligible electric cars is exempt, employers are required to include the total taxable value of the benefit on their employees payment summary via a reportable fringe benefit
    • This inclusion, does not increase an employees taxable income, but will be included in the calculation of Medicare Levy Surcharge liability, incomes tests for family assistance, child support assessments and some other government benefits and obligations


You can find out more on our Electric Vehicles & Fringe Benefits Tax factsheet.




We love helping our clients reduce their FBT liability. Here are some ways to do that:

  • replace your fringe benefits with cash salary;
  • provide benefits that your employees would be entitled to claim as an income tax deduction if they had to pay for the benefits themselves;
  • look at providing benefits that are exempt from FBT; and
  • use employee contributions, for example, an employee paying for some of the operating costs of car fringe benefit such as fuel that you don’t reimburse them for. You need to be aware that employee contributions will be deemed assessable income to you and subject to GST.




If you are already registered for FBT, a separate information pack will be provided to you for review, completion and return to our office. That means there’s nothing more to do until you receive this material.

If you’re not registered for FBT (and believe you should be) or if you have any further questions, please reply to this email or phone 03 5442 2966.