Christmas Party Claims Explained in Simple Terms, Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) Tips Released by Liverpool Accountancy Alliance Accounting

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Many business owners still get confused about when to claim fringe benefits tax (FBT), especially during the holiday season when they’re likely to hold end of year festivities. Liverpool based Alliance Accounting has just released tips explaining the tax in simple terms.

George Germanos of Alliance Accounting

Generally speaking a Christmas party is considered an entertainment expense, not a fringe benefit. So in short, it is not tax deductible.

Fringe benefits tax, or FBT, has been a cause of confusion for many business owners in Australia. Especially at this time of the year where Christmas parties are held for employees, working out whether these festivities can be claimed under this tax category often perplexes employers. To help entrepreneurs better understand FBT, Mr. George Germanos, Director of Liverpool-based Alliance Accounting, recently released simple tips to demystify the subject matter.

“The fact of the matter is, despite all the information that is readily available, whether online or print, most businesses do not fully comprehend what FBT is and how they can take advantage of the benefits it offers” remarks Mr. Germanos.

With Christmas is fast approaching, one of the main concerns for the Liverpool Accountant was to make business owners aware about the pros and cons of holding a company holiday party, and whether those expenses are applicable to the FBT. Mr. Germanos said in his newsletter, “Generally speaking a Christmas party is considered an entertainment expense, not a fringe benefit. So in short, it is not tax deductible.”

The helpful tips go on to clarify that FBT “in a nutshell is a tax you pay on certain benefits you supply to your employees, or family members or associates of your employee, in place of – or in addition to – their normal salary.”

“But don’t fret yet if you want to hold a company Christmas gathering,” says Mr. Germanos, “You may be able to claim what we call a minor benefit, which is when you give a benefit on an infrequent basis that’s not a reward for services rendered, and costs less than $300 including GST.” He adds, “I highly recommend you give your employees non-entertainment type gifts which fall into this category.”

Alliance Accounting’s principal accountant also clarified salary sacrificing in the same newsletter of FBT tips. As one of the most popular varieties of FBT, he says that salary sacrifice is “an agreement between the employer and the employee wherein part of the latter’s salary will be paid in the form of non-cash benefits.” Included, but not limited to, the non-cash benefits are items such as car leases, loan repayments, school fees, home phone bills, health or child care costs, and expense reimbursement.

The recipients of Mr. Germanos' exclusive email reminded subscribers that to avail of the FBT, the business will have to register with the Australian Taxation Office, lodge returns and ensure the tax is included in the employees’ payment summaries. To receive valuable tips about FBT or with tax planning, visit the Alliance Accounting website: http://www.allianceaccounting.com.au/pages/tax-planning-adviser/

About Alliance Accounting

Established in 2010, Alliance Accounting is proud to be a key business ‘partner’ for many of their clients. Specialising in matters of Business and Investing, the forward-thinking company not only assists clients in maintaining their business, but growing it to achieve their goals.

What’s more, they’re a Chartered Accounting firm backed by an industry leading membership body. Their office is further complimented by having a Director of Business who’s a Chartered Tax Adviser, Fellow of the Taxation Institute of Australia and a Justice of the Peace.

Alliance Accounting’s key strength is their ability to work as if they were in your position. They are business advisers from Liverpool who go to great lengths to understand your business fully, in order to always offer the best possible advice.

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George Germanos
@A_Accounting
since: 09/2010
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