The FBT rate changes came into effect on 1 April 2021:
The single rate has moved from 49.25% to 63.93%;
The alternate rate has increased from 43% to 49.25%;
The pooling rate moved from 42.86% to 49.25%.
The Impact Is a 30% Increase in FBT
Inland Revenue has advised that around 90% of taxpayers currently use the single rate to calculate their FBT. If those same taxpayers continue to use the single rate for 2021/2022 tax year, they will see a significant 30% increase in their FBT liability.
How to Minimise the Increase
Employers can perform an FBT attribution calculation in the final FBT quarter (1 January to 31 March each year). This means benefits provided over the course of the year are taxed at each employee’s marginal tax rates per their income level.
It will be more important for taxpayers to use attribution for the 2021-22 FBT year in order to keep FBT cost increases to a minimum. This is especially the case where there are a large number of employees earning under the top tax rate threshold of $180,000 p.a.
Please check out the table below for a simple illustration of how the tax liability differs between single rate and attribution in 2021 and in 2022.
2021 Single Rate
2022 Single Rate
When Should I Start Looking Into This?
Now. In order to be able to perform your attribution calculation in the final quarter of 2021/2022, you need to ensure you have the right data available. This includes knowing which employees have received which benefits and the corresponding value. Further, there are significant cash flow benefits in having the confidence to lock in the alternate rate for the first 3 quarters of the FBT year.
How to Simplify the FBT Attribution Calculation
Contact us! FBT calculation software like Taxlab is available to make FBT compliance much easier and more robust while helping you save tax costs. We would be happy to organise a demo for you. Otherwise, you can also get in touch with your tax adviser to evaluate your options based on your requirements and resources.
Taxlab are pleased to have Josie Goddard of PwC to talk us through the technical FBT changes and help you understand the different options for calculating FBT payable. Josie will use a case study to show the impact of the higher 63.93% FBT rate.
To close, we will showcase how FBT software provide a real opportunity for employers and advisers to save tax, better manage cashflow and efficiently complete the FBT return with automated de minimis, attribution and pooling optimisation as well as sense checks, reports and analytics.
Josie is a Senior Manager in PwC’s employment tax practice and brings 8 years of experience in advising large employers. She has led many payroll reviews focusing on employment taxes and has managed a number of Inland Revenue reviews and audits. Josie leads PwC’s policy submissions in relation to employment tax and was PwC’s lead specialist in relation to the recent payday reporting changes.
Jeremy Dobbie, Taxlab
Jeremy has over 10 years of experience working at PwC NZ, Thomson Reuters and EY UK, and exclusively with tax & accounting technology since 2013. He joined Taxlab in 2019 to help ensure the compliance needs of accountants and tax professionals are understood and connected with the relevant solution.
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We are often asked why we default tax pooling transactions to the Other disclosure boxes on the IR4J imputation return. The answer is simple, this is where Inland Revenue specify you put them. We have directly confirmed this with them:
“Deposits and transfers into a tax pooling account that create an imputation account credit should be recorded in keypoint 41E, while refunds and transfers out of a tax pooling account that create an imputation account debit should be recorded in keypoint 42D.”
Inland Revenue, 21 August 2015
Why do Inland Revenue want it this way rather than including pooling in the tax payments disclosure box… who knows. We suspect they would prefer to have a separate box for tax pooling on the IR4J but this isn’t an option in the current system.