DECEMBER 2022 – On-boarding employees for the holiday rush, single member SMSF’s, FBT exemption for electric vehicles and more…..

Christmas is traditionally a time of giving, including employers showing gratitude to their workers for a job well done throughout the year, also to customers, contractors, and suppliers. However, depending on the nature and value of the gift, and also who the gift recipient is, such magnanimity can attract unwanted income tax, fringe benefits tax and also GST consequences. So how as an employer do you gift most tax-effectively this festive season? Aside from gifts, cash bonuses and leave bonuses are quite common at this time of year. These too have flow-on impacts for employers and employees alike.
Electric vehicles are set to become more affordable after the government sealed a deal with crossbench Senators. The new law introduces an electric car discount in the form of an FBT exemption. This allows for car fringe benefits comprising the use or availability for use of an eligible car that is a zero or low emissions vehicle to be exempt from FBT where certain conditions are met. Employers are the other big winner from the changes, which will remove the FBT liability on company-owned electric vehicles provided as part of a salary package for personal use by employees.
Meanwhile, in a recent speech, the ATO’s assistant Commissioner outlined the ATO’s latest compliance issues it is focusing on for those who operate an SMSF. Identity fraud and investment scams, illegal early release of benefits, non-lodgment of SMSF annual returns, the adequacy and independence of audits, as well as the obtaining of director identification numbers for directors of corporate trustees are just some of the issues on the ATO’s radar. 

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