Fringe Benefits Tax Audits on the Rise: Don’t Get Caught Out!

Hello Chasers,

We all know that running a small business is tough enough at the moment without the added stress of an ATO audit. However, fringe benefits tax (FBT) audits are becoming increasingly common, and many businesses are getting caught out.

Here’s why you need to be aware of the ATO’s increased focus on FBT:

  • Big Tax Gap: The ATO estimates a whopping $1.3 billion gap between what businesses owe and what they pay in FBT. That’s a significant amount, and they’re taking steps to close it.
  • Focus on Registrations: Many businesses aren’t even registered for FBT when they should be. The ATO is actively checking registrations and identifying businesses that need to comply.
  • Data-Matching Frenzy: The ATO uses data-matching programs to compare business registrations with vehicle registrations. If you’re using a company car and not paying FBT, they’re likely to find you.
  • Novated Lease Scrutiny: The ATO is also looking closely at novated lease arrangements. They’re requesting detailed data from fleet managers to ensure everything is above board.

How to Avoid an FBT Audit Nightmare

Don’t let FBT become a tax headache for your business. Here are some steps you can take to stay compliant:

  • Review Your FBT Registration: Make sure you’re registered for FBT if you need to be. Don’t wait for the ATO to come knocking.
  • Keep Detailed Records: Maintain meticulous records of all fringe benefits you provide to employees, and that includes yourself if you are on the business payroll. This includes car usage, meal allowances, and any other benefits.
  • Scrutinise Documentation: Don’t blindly accept paperwork from employees claiming deductions, especially snacks appearing on the petrol receipts!. Review everything carefully to ensure accuracy.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce your risk of an FBT audit. Remember, a little preparation now can save you a lot of trouble (and money) down the track.

If you need clarification on FBT rules or have complex fringe benefit arrangements, contact our expert team on 03-55612643. We can help you navigate the regulations and ensure compliance.

Have a great day!

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