FBT and work from home: what it means for your clients

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The huge shift towards work from home throughout the past 12 months has been a big change in the lives of workers. Commutes, daily schedules, meetings and work style have all changed radically. It’s also created changes in the world of tax that go beyond what you can claim on your next tax return.

Paul Hockridge, CTA, leads the Tax Advisory practice at Mutual Trust, Australia’s leading multi-family office. He has been a member of and regular presenter for The Tax Institute since late last century and in that time has sat on various committees including the FBT and Employee Taxes committee.

From a start assisting one client with salary packaging, he’s built his expertise to become a specialist on the topic and will be presenting on it at the upcoming 2021 Yarra Valley Tax Retreat on 3 – 4 June.

“My interest in FBT and salary packaging started in the 1990s when I helped a client establish a salary packaging service. From there, my interest grew and that client is still a client all these years later,” Paul told us.

His session at the event, titled, FBT and tax consequences of new working arrangements, delves into the tax considerations arising from the new trend towards work from home. Topics covered will include:

  • FBT fundamentals
  • the rates and dates
  • What has changed and what the Commissioner has had to say on FBT
  • FBT answers that we are still waiting on
  • Victorian Payroll Tax in the COVID era
  • Working from home deductions
  • the Commissioner’s views
  • Travelling from home (your usual place of work)

“FBT and salary packaging is crucial because neither the opportunities nor the traps tend to be well understood and many of the principles are quite counter-intuitive. The FBT issues lead us to the related income tax issues and WFH has raised a number of complex issues,” Paul said.

“WFH has changed the rules. If your client’s tax return looks like last year’s, stop, reflect and ask why?”

About the 2021 Yarra Valley Tax Retreat

When: 3–4 June 2021

Where: RACV Healesville Country Club & Resort, Yarra Valley

CPD hours: 12

What to expect: Unwind and take in all the idyllic Yarra Valley has to offer while connecting with industry-leading experts on a range of hot topics for SMEs and private clients. The current issues being encountered by tax practitioners are truly unique. Connecting with your peers is a fantastic opportunity to share experiences whilst helping ensure you are best equipped to navigate the year ahead.

While in the Yarra Valley, be sure to check out the great facilities and activities at our venue, including a full 18-hole golf course, onsite spa and our not-to-be-missed Retreat dinner on Thursday night.



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