Common sense development on Ubers and FBT

17 September 2019

Judy White , Associate Director, Tax |

We finally have some good news on the Fringe Benefits Tax (‘FBT’) front, with the exemption for taxi travel being extended to Ubers.

The Australian Taxation Office recently confirmed that the FBT exemption relating to taxi travel only applied to taxis, and not other ride-sharing providers such as Uber.  In an unanticipated but welcome move, Treasury has released Miscellaneous amendments Exposure Draft legislation, which contains measures to ensure that travel by Uber and other ride sharing providers will also be covered by the existing taxi travel exemption for FBT purposes.  The proposed amendments to the FBT law will bring the meaning of taxi travel in line with the GST Act.

The FBT exemption refers to taxi travel, being a single trip beginning or ending at the workplace; or travel resulting from sickness or injury.

It is proposed that these new measures will apply for fringe benefits provided after Royal Assent of the legislation.  In the meantime, employers may be able to rely on the Minor Benefits exemption, or the Otherwise Deductible Rule in relation to travel by ride sharing providers other than taxis.

Want to know more?  Please contact your BDO adviser.

Reference:  Treasury Laws Amendment (Measures for a later sitting) Bill 2019: miscellaneous amendments – Exposure Draft legislation. (Part 2 - Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986)