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The AAT has held that health insurance premiums paid by an employer (Lake Fox) on behalf of its employees were not "exempt benefits" within the meaning of that term in s 58M (1) or (2) of the Fringe Benefits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (FBTAA).

The Commissioner accepted that the payments were benefits provided in respect of the employee’s employment and that the payments satisfied the definition of expense payment benefit. But he submitted that the expenditure was not in respect of the matters enumerated in s 58M (1)(a); rather, it was expenditure to buy insurance that might cover employees against costs associated with such matters. Further, the Commissioner submitted that Lake Fox’s s 58M (2) argument must fail if its primary argument failed because s 58 M (2) of the FBTAA is directed to incidental expenses associated with obtaining the direct benefits contemplated by s 58 M (1) of the FBTAA.

The AAT upheld the Commissioner's submissions.

Lake Fox Limited and FCT [2012] AATA 265 (AAT, Hack SC DP, 4 May 2012).


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