FBT Q&A ‘ Provision of Uniforms to Council Volunteers
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We are a council and we have a register of volunteers who assist with various events held in the city at times and are provided training in order to undertake ‘meet and greet’ duties. Currently two of the volunteers undertake ‘meet and greet’ activities at the airport.
The airport has asked if they could seek more volunteers from our register to expand this.
The airport proposes to provide these volunteers with their own airport uniforms.
My questions are:
1) are there any FBT implications for council as a result; and
2) will the volunteers be able to claim an income tax deduction for cleaning costs associated with the airport uniform?
In order for there to be FBT implication for Council the volunteers would need to be considered employees of Council.
For the volunteers to be considered employees of Council they would need to be in receipt of payments from which Council is liable to deduct pay as you go withholding (PAYGW).
Where a payment is made to a volunteer in respect of incidental or out of pocket expenses and those payments are not related to the volunteer’s income earning activity, the payments are considered reimbursements rather than allowances. As such, no PAYGW is required.
If this is the case with your volunteers they will not be Council employees and so no FBT liability should arise.
It could be the case they are employees of the airport but we do not have the details of this relationship. If they are in receipt of assessable income from the airport then they may have an entitlement to claim their uniform maintenance costs against this income.
Disclaimer: This article is based upon information available as at the time of publishing and may be subject to change.