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Can Christmas Parties Be Tax-Deductible?

While your business may not necessarily be planning an extravagant bash after the events of this year, a Christmas party may be on the menu for your hard-working employees.

Planning out your Christmas party in a COVID-safe manner with a little knowledge of the tax deductions you might be able to claim back can make the giving a little sweeter this year.

The Venue

You can take advantage of the $300 (including GST) minor benefit and exemption rule to hold a Christmas function for your current employees and their spouses. To do so, the party would need to be held on the premises of the business, and during a business day. If your costs are below $300 per person, FBT will not be incurred but you will not be able to claim tax deductions or GST credits.

However, if you provide benefits to your employees over $300, it will incur fringe benefits tax (FBT). This means if the Christmas party that you hold is priced at over $300 per person (for the cost of food and drink consumed by employees and spouses) at your in-house party, you will incur and need to pay FBT on the expenses of your employee’s spouse or family members only.

If the party is being held at a restaurant or venue, you will not need to pay FBT if the costs remain under $300 as it is considered a minor benefit. If the costs rise to over $300, you will need to pay FBT for your employees, their spouses and their family.

Transportation

You may also choose to provide your employees with transportation to the Christmas party. Taxis provided to an employee will attract FBT unless the travel is to or from the employee’s place of work. If the party is held off-premises and you pay for your employee to travel by taxi to the venue and to their home after the event, only the first trip is FBT exempt.

The second trip may be exempt under the minor benefits exemption if you adopt its meal entertainment on an actual basis.

You can also provide other types of transportation to the venue, such as buses. These costs will form a part of the total meal entertainment expenditure and will be subject to FBT. If the threshold is not breached, then it may fall under the minor benefits exemption.

What About Meal Entertainment?

If your Christmas party does not include recreation, you may choose the value of food, drink, associated accommodation or travel as ‘meal entertainment’. This allows staff to pay less tax by claiming meals and drinks consumed in a restaurant/cafe or provided at a social gathering.

The taxable value of the meal entertainment can be made using a 50:50 method, 12-week method or actual method.

Want to know more about how you can make this merry time of the year more tax-friendly to your business? Consult with us about how we can make your Christmas parties and employee benefits work for your tax.

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Super Guarantee Change – Deadlines, Payments & Everything Your Business Needs To Know Before The EOFY

Posted on May 23, 2022 by admin

It is easy to get caught out with superannuation, particularly when you are the owner of a business. With so many things to occupy your mind, superannuation may slip from the forefront.

But as a business owner, you must pay the superannuation guarantee for your staff, and you must pay it on time. A failure to pay it on time will mean that you are no longer able to receive a tax deduction for the payment for that financial year. 

On top of that, you can face hefty penalties (which you won’t get a tax deduction for either!). Now imagine being five days late on a $10,000 super payment, losing the tax deduction on that payment and then copping a $20,000 penalty as well. 

The first thing is to make sure that your super is paid well before the time it is due. This should be a priority payment (a payment that you make before anything else).

As the end of the financial year approaches, it is time to be thinking about the June Super Guarantee payment. You may have until July 28 to make the payment but leaving it until then will not net you a tax deduction until the next financial year. From a tax perspective, this may not be what you want to do (unless you know that in the next year, you will need more tax deductions).

Superannuation also has a few strange rules when it comes to claiming a tax deduction.  For employee superannuation, it is critical that it is paid on time.  More than that, the money has to actually be in the bank account of the super fund for you to claim a tax deduction.  

Unlike other expenses where you can show the money coming out of your bank account, this money needs to be present in your super fund for you to make the claim. If your super guarantee payment hits the bank account of the super fund on June 30th then you can claim a tax deduction for that year.  If, however, it hits the bank account on July 1st then the tax deduction is claimed in the financial year after.

Problems arise when you are paying your super through a clearing house, which takes a number of days to clear your payment and get it to the super fund. For example, you may pay the clearing house on the 25th of June, but your super fund does not receive it into their bank account until the 1st of July. 

The ATO’s Small Business Superannuation Clearing House usually has some concessions in these instances.

If you want to get a tax deduction for your June Super Guarantee payment, you need to work out with your clearing house the latest day that they can guarantee that the super fund will then receive the payment this financial year.  Some of these clearinghouses are quoting that you should be paying as early as the 14th of June.

Finally, with regards to Super Guarantee, remember that the rate increases to 10.5% from 1st July.  This rate applies to wages paid on or after July 1st so make sure your payroll system either automatically updates the rate or that you have updated it to reflect the increase.

Employers who fail to meet their Super Guarantee obligations may also be liable for a range of penalties or charges on top of the super guarantee charge. 

Paying super is an important part of being an employer. To ensure your business remains compliant, remember to: 

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