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Can Christmas Parties Be Tax-Deductible?

Posted on December 5, 2021 by admin

While your business may not necessarily be planning an extravagant bash after the events of this year, a Christmas party may be on the menu for your hard-working employees.

Planning out your Christmas party in a COVID-safe manner with a little knowledge of the tax deductions you might be able to claim back can make the giving a little sweeter this year.

The Venue

You can take advantage of the $300 (including GST) minor benefit and exemption rule to hold a Christmas function for your current employees and their spouses. To do so, the party would need to be held on the premises of the business, and during a business day. If your costs are below $300 per person, FBT will not be incurred but you will not be able to claim tax deductions or GST credits.

However, if you provide benefits to your employees over $300, it will incur fringe benefits tax (FBT). This means if the Christmas party that you hold is priced at over $300 per person (for the cost of food and drink consumed by employees and spouses) at your in-house party, you will incur and need to pay FBT on the expenses of your employee’s spouse or family members only.

If the party is being held at a restaurant or venue, you will not need to pay FBT if the costs remain under $300 as it is considered a minor benefit. If the costs rise to over $300, you will need to pay FBT for your employees, their spouses and their family.

Transportation

You may also choose to provide your employees with transportation to the Christmas party. Taxis provided to an employee will attract FBT unless the travel is to or from the employee’s place of work. If the party is held off-premises and you pay for your employee to travel by taxi to the venue and to their home after the event, only the first trip is FBT exempt.

The second trip may be exempt under the minor benefits exemption if you adopt its meal entertainment on an actual basis.

You can also provide other types of transportation to the venue, such as buses. These costs will form a part of the total meal entertainment expenditure and will be subject to FBT. If the threshold is not breached, then it may fall under the minor benefits exemption.

What About Meal Entertainment?

If your Christmas party does not include recreation, you may choose the value of food, drink, associated accommodation or travel as ‘meal entertainment’. This allows staff to pay less tax by claiming meals and drinks consumed in a restaurant/cafe or provided at a social gathering.

The taxable value of the meal entertainment can be made using a 50:50 method, 12-week method or actual method.

Want to know more about how you can make this merry time of the year more tax-friendly to your business? Consult with us about how we can make your Christmas parties and employee benefits work for your tax.

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SME Recovery Loan Scheme Rules Amended To Cope With Impact

Posted on December 19, 2021 by admin

Are you an SME who has been impacted economically by COVID-19, and who could use financial assistance to get back on their feet?

The SME Recovery Loan Scheme has been extended to 30 June 2022 with a reduced Government guarantee of 50 per cent. This is known as the 2022 Scheme expansion, where loans will be available from 1 January 2022 at the new Government guarantee.

Earlier this year (April 2021), the Government announced the SME Recovery Loan Scheme (also known as the Scheme), which was designed to support economic recovery and provide continued assistance to small and medium enterprises dealing with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Scheme was initially slated to be available from 1 April 2021 through to 31 December 2021 at a Government guarantee of 80 per cent of the loan amount.

The scheme is open to small and medium-sized businesses with up to $250 million turnover including self-employed and non-profits. The Scheme has been open to (so far) eligible SMEs that were:

These loans that are issued under the Scheme are able to be used to refinance existing loans, or for a broad range of business purposes, including to support investment. They cannot be used to:

These loans may be used to refinance any pre-existing debt of an eligible borrower, including those from the SME Guarantee Scheme.

Participating lenders are offering guaranteed loans on the following terms under the SME Recovery Loan Scheme (2022 Scheme expansion):

Loans that are backed by the scheme will be available through participating commercial lenders. The decisions to extend credit and the management of the loan remains with the lender.

The SME Recovery Loan Scheme may be a viable option for your business if it has been impacted by financial hardship. If you would like to know more about this scheme, you can begin that conversation with us or a participating lender.

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