Beware of who you share your benefits with
Where some businesses have tripped up in the past is where the source of benefits provided is not clear cut - that is, where non-cash components of remuneration are sourced not directly from an employer, but from an associate, a related company or from a third-party provider.
For fringe benefits tax (FBT) to apply, the conventional wisdom is that the benefits involved are provided instead of cash salary, and further that such benefits are usually paid in respect of an employment relationship. Hence the pool of accepted FBT-attracting items — laptops, cars, entertainment expenses and so on. But as mentioned, it has often been the case that employer taxpayers have made the mistake of assuming that because a benefit is provided by “someone else”, they are not liable for FBT — that is, where non-cash components of remuneration are sourced from an associate, a related company or from a third-party.