The fringe benefits of Christmas

The FBT of Christmas The FBT of Christmas

The fringe benefits of Christmas

Christmas Fringe Benefits and Christmas in July

Christmas in July? or in December? Either way Christmas party planning is a regular past of business life and employers may be considering gifts for staff and their families. The key is to ensure that your Christmas cheer does not leave you with a FBT hangover.

Christmas Parties

The general position is that if a Christmas party is not held on your premises and the cost per employee is less than $300 per head ($150 per head if partners attend), it is classed as a minor benefit and no FBT is payable. The function is, however, classed as 'entertainment' and as such no GST or tax deduction will be claimable.

  • If the function is held on your premises on a work day for employees and it includes a light meal but no alcohol then no FBT is payable and GST and a tax deduction can be claimed.
  • If however, the function is held on your premises on a work day with the employees' families and alcohol is supplied (with the cost per employee being less than $300 per head), no FBT will be payable but no GST or tax deduction can be claimed either.
  • If this style of function exceeds a cost of $300 per employee then FBT is payable on the family portion and a tax deduction is claimable only for the portion for which FBT is payable.
  • Gifts to employees may be provided at the same time as the Christmas party without being included in the $300 minor benefit cost allowed for the party.
  • So long as the gifts are less than $300 and are not classified as 'entertainment' (Eg: Concert tickets) then no FBT is payable and GST and a tax deduction can be claimed on these items.

With this information in mind, you can enjoy a tax effective Christmas party season! - whenever that is for you.

Want to know more, ask your accountant or visit the ATO Minor Fringe Benefit exemption page here.


Drew Browne

Drew specialises in helping people protect and provide for what matters most in their lives. He's an award-winning writer, speaker, financial adviser and business strategy mentor. His company Sapience Financial and Investment Services is committed to using business solutions for good in the community, is a member of the international B1G1 Business for Good Giving Community and certified as a B Corp in 2015. In 2017 Drew was recognised in the inaugural Australian Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow national awards. Drew writes for successful Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs at Smallville, his blogs can be read on and you can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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