Fringe benefits as taxable wages
You may need to include your employees’ fringe benefits as taxable wages in your payroll tax return.
In general, a fringe benefit is a non-monetary benefit that you give an employee in return for their services—for example, when you allow your employee to use a work car for private purposes, give them a low-interest loan or pay their gym membership.
Taxable wages include fringe benefits as defined in the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (Cwlth) (FBT Act). Fringe benefits do not include:
- car parking fringe benefits
- tax-exempt body entertainment fringe benefits.
From 1 July 2011, any benefit that is exempt under the FBT Act is also not taxable for payroll tax purposes.
Read the public ruling on fringe benefits (PTA003) for more information.
When calculating your taxable wages, include these payments.
When you lodge your:
- periodic return, include these payments as part of your Queensland taxable wages
- annual return, enter these payments separately in the ‘Fringe benefits’ field as part of your Queensland taxable wages.
Your taxable wages will not change where an employee receives a fringe benefit and is required to make payments towards, or reimburse you for, the associated fringe benefits tax.
These payments are treated as wages for payroll tax purposes because they are subject to the direction of the employee, and the employee is still legally entitled to the wages.
It doesn’t matter if the employee has made the payment as a lump sum or had the payments periodically deducted from their wages.
The taxable wages figure will be equal to the following, with no reduction for the employee payments:
- the wages paid or payable
- the grossed-up value (the value of a fringe benefit after the initial value has been multiplied by the Type 2 gross-up rate).
We do not consider salary sacrificing an employee contribution for fringe benefits. When an employee salary sacrifices, the employee gives up a claim to future wages by doing so—they cannot contribute something that never existed.
The taxable wages figure will be equal to:
- the wages paid or payable, being those wages reduced by the salary sacrifice
- the grossed-up value, with no reduction for the salary sacrifice.