On 11 July 2018, the ATO published draft Tax Ruling TR 2018/D2 – Fringe benefits tax: benefits provided to religious practitioners.

The public is invited to provide feedback to TR 2018/D2 until 24 August 2018.

On the same date TR 2018/D2 was published, the ATO’s previous Tax Ruling on this topic – TR 92/17 – which was published in 1992 was withdrawn.

Since 1992, there have been numerous changes to both the law and to the nature of contemporary religious practice – the most significant of which is the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) in 2012.

The establishment of the ACNC means that determining whether an entity is a religious institution is now as simple as checking whether it has been registered as a charity with an “advancing religion” sub-type.

TR 2018/D2 contains a number of examples of contemporary real life scenarios to help understand whether benefits provided to religious practitioners are in respect of their pastoral duties or for directly related religious activities and therefore exempt from fringe benefits tax.

Although TR 2018/D2 is still in draft Ruling, the ATO has advised that it may be relied upon to the extent that if a person underpays tax as a result of them relying upon the
Ruling, they will still have to pay the correct amount of tax once known but will not have to pay any interest or penalties that would otherwise be applicable.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss the draft Ruling or its application to you or if you would like any help submitting feedback to the draft Ruling.

School buildingSummary – Taxation Ruling 2013/2 was released last week clarifying the way in which s 30-15 and Item 2.1.10 of the table in s 30-25(1) of ITAA1997 apply to persons who make a gift or contribution to a public fund which purports to be a school building fund.

Last week the ATO on behalf of the Commissioner of taxation released TR 2013/2 regarding school building funds.

In particular, the ruling discusses factors relevant to determining:

  • What a school or college is for the purposes of Item 2.1.10;
  • Whether a building is used as a school or college by an entity; and
  • Whether a fund has been established and is being maintained solely for providing money for the acquisition, construction or maintenance of a building used as a school or college.

Continue Reading Do you manage a School Building Fund? Taxation Ruling 2013/2 is a must read!