Helping employees in emergencies
Normally, benefits you provide to your employees such as non-work-related hotel stays or loaning them a car for their private use would be considered fringe benefits, and subject to fringe benefits tax (FBT).
However, in emergency situations like natural disasters, providing immediate relief to employees who are impacted (or potentially impacted) is exempt from FBT where the assistance is for:
- First aid or emergency health care
- Emergency meals, food supplies, clothing, accommodation, transport or use of household goods
- Temporary repairs
- Any similar matter.
These exemptions also apply where your employee has been affected by:
- An accident
- Serious illness
- Armed conflict
- Civil disturbances
There are specific requirements when it comes to providing health care, and exemptions don't apply to long-term benefits like providing a new house or car to replace one destroyed as a result of an emergency.
If you or your business are affected by a disaster it is likely that tax is the last thing on your mind. There is a hotline available that you can call for assistance in getting your tax back on track once the emergency has passed.
Call the natural disasters' hotline on 1800 806 218 or contant your registered tax or BAS agent for further assistance.
The Money Edge | Bundaberg