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FBT and GST 24 June 2008 Organised by the Office of Chief Accountant. Salary Packaging at the University. Future direction is to continue to outsource provision of benefits to external service providers Examples are novated car leases and laptops

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FBT and


24 June 2008

Organised by the Office of Chief Accountant

salary packaging at the university
Salary Packaging at the University

Future direction is to continue to outsource provision of benefits to external service providers

Examples are novated car leases and laptops

However University still must determine its FBT and GST compliance on expense reimbursements – mainly entertainment


entertainment expenditure
Entertainment Expenditure
  • FBT year 2008 University spent $1.6M on entertainment
  • The FBT cost associated with this was $0.7M
  • About 1,000 transactions per month
why is entertainment important to identify
Why is “Entertainment” important to identify?
  • University is liable to FBT on the provision of entertainment as a tax exempt body
  • As a tax exempt body some exemptions that are available to private sector bodies do not apply to the University
fbt exemptions not applicable to the university
FBT exemptions not applicable to the University

Where “entertainment” can be identified -

  • Minor benefits <= $300 e.g. Xmas party
  • “At Work” provision of food and drink
there must be entertainment
There must be “Entertainment”
  • “Entertainment” v “Sustenance”
  • Food and drink is not always entertainment e.g. business travel, light meals
  • Entertainment may also include ancillary costs and non-food and drink items e.g. taxis to venue, gym membership etc
why is entertainment important to identify7
Why is “Entertainment” important to identify?
  • University is able to calculate its FBT liability on meal entertainment on a deemed basis e.g. 50/50 split between non-employees and employees
  • University currently uses an actual “per head” method
example of actual per head basis
Example of Actual “Per Head” basis

Business Lunch is attended by 2 employees and 5 visitors. University reimburses its employee for entire cost of the meal. FBT portion is 2/7th of the expenditure on the lunch.

finance and accounting manual non allowable expense procedures 4 december 2007
Finance and Accounting Manual“Non-Allowable Expense Procedures”4 December 2007
  • Monetary limits on social functions
  • Restriction on entertainment to legitimate University business e.g. business travel
  • Light meals at staff meeting e.g. sandwiches and non-alcoholic drinks
  • Training seminars and work retreats
  • Correct use of classification codes
  • Classification codes reflect Taxation Office administrative guidelines
  • We still need to make thresholds decisions about what is “entertainment” and what is not – we’ll run through some examples
  • We cannot be descriptive about this –some judgment must be exercised!
social functions
Social Functions
  • Regarded as meal entertainment
  • Non-food and drink expenditure ancillary to the social function e.g. taxis, venue hire
  • Minor benefit exemption (<=$300 per head) will not apply to University
  • Friday night drinks
  • Staff meetings at cafes, restaurants

Staff meeting takes place at a restaurant or café outside the University – does this involve the provision of entertainment? Staff member seeks reimbursement of meal costs.

What happens if staff meeting takes place at the University and alcohol is provided?

coding social function16
Coding – Social Function


When we say “NO GST” on non-employee entertainment we mean no entitlement to a GST input tax credit whether GST is on the invoice or not

social functions other costs
Social Functions – other costs
  • Transport expenses and other non food and drink costs e.g. venue hire can be included in entertainment
  • Code these costs to Entertainment and Meal Entertainment
  • Taxi travel from work to venue is FBT exempt
promotional events
Promotional Events
  • Food and drink is normally regarded as being provided by way of entertainment
  • Promotional events e.g. cocktail parties that are not open to the general public
business dinners example
Business Dinners Example
  • University of NSW employee is invited to dinner by a University of Sydney staff member and his wife
  • Neither person is travelling on business
  • The entire meal cost is treated as meal entertainment
business travel
Business Travel
  • Food and drink is regarded as being provided by way of “self-entertainment” even if two or more employees dine together
  • Remember “substantiation” requirements
  • Contrast to Per Diem Allowances

Two staff members travel to Brisbane to meet Uni Qld staff.

If the employees dine in the evening alone or together this is not entertainment.


Two staff members travel to Brisbane to meet Uni Qld staff. While there, they meet up with a Uni Melb employee who is also travelling on business

If all three dine together this is not entertainment.


Two staff members travel to Brisbane to meet Uni Qld staff. While there they meet up with a Uni Melb employee who is also travelling on business.

In the evening all three dine with a Uni Qld employee who is not travelling. Syd Uni picks up the tab. The Qld Uni staff member’s meal is entertainment. The other meals are not entertainment.


A Uni Qld staff member travels on business to Sydney to meet with a Uni Syd employee.

The Uni Qld employee is invited to lunch. Wine is served with the meal.

Uni Syd employee pays for the meal and seeks reimbursement.

The portion of the meal costs attributable to the Uni Qld employee is not entertainment. The meal cost attributable to the Uni Syd employee is entertainment.

  • What if I travel to Melbourne and back within the day?
  • I pay for a business lunch while I’m there. Is this regarded as travelling on business?
  • Taxation Office uses a rule of thumb that travel must involve an overnight stay.
light meals off campus
Light meals off campus

What happens if I invite someone for coffee or a light lunch? I invite a Uni NSW employee for coffee and muffins in a local café.

light meals off campus34
Light meals off campus

What happens if I invite someone for coffee or a light lunch while travelling? I’m travelling in Paris and I invite a French academic for brunch.

light meals off campus35
Light meals off campus



staff meetings
Staff Meetings
  • Light meals are regarded as sustenance or refreshment in this instance – and not as entertainment
  • Examples are sandwich lunches even if served with moderate amounts of alcohol
staff meetings39
Staff Meetings


Staff farewell – if on premises and consists of a cake, maybe some drinks, this is not entertainment

But if at a restaurant or held on premises with more than moderate alcohol – then it is meal entertainment

award presentations
Award Presentations
  • Large number of attendees. How do we apportion?
  • A light meal served at an award presentation is not regarded as meal entertainment
training seminars
Training Seminars

Not subject to FBT

  • Seminars > = 4 hours duration
  • Work retreats held off premises

Subject to FBT

  • Other seminars but only if entertainment is provided e.g. would not include a light meal provided at the seminar
training seminars cont
Training Seminars (cont.)
  • Food costs e.g. light breakfast at a morning seminar or a light meal with alcoholic drinks at an evening seminar
  • These costs are normally not separated from training costs and are not considered to be entertainment – relevant to external training
  • Entertainment will exist if seminar <= 4 hours duration and a substantial meal with alcohol is served – rarely the case these days!
training seminars cont49
Training Seminars (cont.)
  • If the training seminar is held at the University and is catered, identifying and separating meal expenditure is an issue
  • But again – light breakfasts and other meals will not be seen as entertainment
work retreats
Work Retreats

The key is that the work retreat must:

  • involve some discussion of business matters/policy and/or training
  • is held at an external conference centre
coding training
Coding - Training

Business Seminars FBT exempt

Remember that it is unlikely that food and drink served at seminars will be regarded as meal entertainment!

coding training52
Coding - Training

But what about dinner provided at an outside restaurant during the conference/retreat?

This is a social function

recent fbt changes
Recent FBT changes
  • Increase in Reportable Fringe Benefit reporting exemption limit to $2,000 taxable value from 2008 FBT
  • Budget announcement to reduce scope of work related items exemption to one item per employee e.g. one laptop per employee
question 1
Question 1

Please explain the GST treatment of grants and appropriations received by the University

grants appropriations and transfers
Grants, Appropriations and Transfers

These are subject to GST:

  • Transfer of funds from another Uni
  • Grants from a private sector business
grants appropriations and transfers57
Grants, Appropriations and Transfers

These are NOT subject to GST:

  • Appropriations from DEEWR
  • Private grants and bequests

The University receives appropriation money from DEST which is to be disbursed to Uni NSW.

The funds received from DEEWR by the University are not subject to GST.

Uni NSW will need to raise a GST tax invoice for the transfer from Uni Sydney.

Uni Sydney is entitled to a GST input tax credit.


The University receives grant money from ARC – advice from ARC that these grants are not subject to GST

NHMRC grants are not subject to GST

Remember we receive RCTI’s from NHMRC


question 2
Question 2

How do we know if a course charge is GST-free?

gst free education
GST Free Education
  • GST Ruling 2000/27 Adult and Community Education
  • GST Ruling 2001/1 Tertiary Education Courses
  • GST Ruling 2003/1 Trade and Professional Courses
gst free education62
GST Free Education

Fee for Tertiary Education Course (“TEC”)

Admin services related to a TEC

Not Accommodation or Lease of Goods associated with a TEC

Excursions or field trips related to a TEC

but not food and accommodation


education courses
Education Courses


Bachelor, Master and Doctor

Adult and Community

can be offered by a University

adds to employment related skills

Professional or Trade

Tertiary Residential College


tertiary education courses
Tertiary Education Courses

What are administrative services?

Includes in the view of the Taxation Office:

program changes

enrolment services, including the processing of late enrolments

late issue or replacements of student cards

examination arrangements and assessments of students including re-assessment of results where a student has failed

processing academic results including duplicate degree copies

overdue charges or late payment charges


administration of the library

administration of a textbook scheme

administration of the supply of course materials

graduation certificates

course reinstatement

charges for HECS statements


tertiary education courses65
Tertiary Education Courses

What are NOT administrative services?

Student hall application fees

Foreign student application fees

Graduation dinner

Hire of academic dress



The University of Sydney is providing On-line writing support in English for students at University of Hong Kong?

Is the supply subject to GST?

Where services are being provided to a non-resident who is not in Australia and the effective use/enjoyment is outside Australia, the supply is not subject to GST. It is treated as a export of services.


If the University is to assemble an equipment in Australia for an overseas client will the supply be subject to GST?

The supply for consideration would not attract GST because the effective use or enjoyment is not within Australia even though the goods have been assembled in Australia.


University hosts a career development day for students. An external organisation agrees to donate some funds to the Uni provided they are allowed to set up a stall for their marketing purposes.

Is it subject to GST?

Donations with material benefit by the donor is subject to GST. If the donor was not receiving a material benefit then GST would not apply. But in this instance the donor is receiving a material benefit.


Food and drink provided at a staff function is generally funded from staff contribution. However in some instances University may make some contribution.

Is the University contribution subject to FBT?

The University contribution is subject to FBT.

For more information
  • GST -
  • FBT -
  • FBT (summary)


if in doubt

Contact Nilesh Chand