New Living Away From Home Declarations Released
An employee who lives away from his/her normal residence during a fringe benefits tax (FBT) year is required to provide his/her employer a declaration, in a form approved by the Commissioner, by the date of lodgement of the FBT return, containing the following details:
• the employee's normal residence; and
• the place at which the employee resided during the period he/she received the LAFHA.
To that end the ATO has released the following types of LAFH declarations, to be completed according to the circumstances of the employee:
• The employee received a LAFHA before 1 October 2012 or is a permanent resident qualifying for the transitional rules from 1 October 2012;
• The employee works on a fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in drive-out (DIDO) basis;
• The employee received a LAFHA from 1 October 2012 and maintains an Australian home.
It should be noted that unlike the previous versions of the declarations, the employee is also required to complete a declaration setting out the accommodation expenses incurred as well as food and drink expenses that are not considered reasonable.
Where the employee provides a declaration to the employer, the employee must retain the relevant documents to substantiate the expenses incurred for a period of five years from the declaration date.
Copies of the declarations and further details can be found using the following link:
Employers should ensure that appropriate measures are in place to enable their employees who are receiving LAFHAs to complete the correct declarations. However, it remains uncertain as to whether the ATO would exercise any discretion with respect to scenarios where employers has taken reasonable care in requiring employees to complete the appropriate declarations but subsequently found to be incorrect by the ATO during an audit.
Please do not hesitate to contact Michael van Schaik, Associate Director, Employment & Remuneration Services on + 61 3 8635 1835.