In February 2018, the Australian Government wrote to the Board of Taxation requesting that the Board conduct a comprehensive review of the compliance costs associated with obligations under Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) legislation. The Board will also examine the approach in comparable countries to the taxation of fringe benefits provided by employers to their employees. As part of the review, a number of research initiatives have been conducted as outlined below to estimate and identify reasons for compliance costs. The Board is now considering the feedback provided through these initiatives along with information collected on the approach in comparable countries and is intending to provide its advice and recommendations on compliance cost improvements to the Government in early 2019.
The Board has appointed Board member, Mrs Rosheen Garnon, to lead the work on this review. Mrs Garnon is assisted by a number of other Board members including Ms Karen Payne (CEO) and Mr Neville Mitchell. In addition, the Board has formed a working group made up of representatives from the Australian Taxation Office, Treasury, academia and the G100.
The Board conducted a number of research initiatives as part of the review. This included conducting:
- focus groups
- online surveys and
- case study interviews.
The focus groups provided feedback on the design of the online surveys and questions proposed to ensure the survey design was appropriate. The survey was used to collect data on the cost of complying and the sources of these costs. The case study interviews were used to gain an in-depth understanding of the compliance costs experienced by employers; what drives these costs and what could be done to reduce these costs.
The Board thanks those that participated in these initiatives. Your participation will help the Board formulate its recommendations by identifying areas where we can reduce the cost associated with complying with their FBT obligations.
For further information about the Board’s work on FBT compliance costs, please contact the Board of Taxation Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org or 02 6263 4366.