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FBT Returns - The Common Errors

If you have chosen to lodge your FBT return yourself, it is due the first business day after May 21 2005.

There are some common errors that are easily avoided when filling out the return:

  • FBT return forms not signed by tax agent or client. Unsigned or incomplete returns cannot be considered as lodged.
  • Tax file number (TFN) does not correctly match the entity or name of employer, especially in relation to trusts and trustee companies.
  • Name or address changes not shown in the correct spaces available on the return.
  • Item 12: Do you expect to lodge an FBT return for 2005-06 or future years?
    • If this label is not completed or left blank, 'Y' is inserted as a default.
    • If the answer should have been 'N', the FBT role will remain active and FBT instalments will appear on the next activity statement.
  • Item 13C: Calculated fringe benefits taxable amounts. Calculated amounts reported at Item 13A and 13B are wrongly totalled at Item 13C. Item 13C applies to hospitals, public benevolent institutions, health promotion charities and public ambulance services only. If the entity is not one of these, Item 13C should be left blank.
  • Items 16, 17 and 18:
    • For non-rebatable employers Item 18 should be the same amount as Item 15.
    • The amount of tax payable (or sub-total amount) is often incorrectly written at Item 16 or Item 17, instead of at Item 18 - sub total.
  • Item 17: Amount of rebate: 48% of (Item 15 amount less Item 16 amount). The most common mistake is that the amount inserted here is the difference between Item 15 and 16, instead of 48% of the difference.
  • Item 22: Details of fringe benefits provided.
    • If you complete Gross taxable value (a), you must also complete the box under Taxable value of benefits (a) - (b) - (c), or
    • If you complete Taxable value of benefits (a) - (b) - (c), you must complete the box under Gross taxable value (a).

If in any doubt, please seek advice from your accountant.

Copyright Commonwealth of Australia, 26 April 2005.

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