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THE TAX INSTITUTE 521 COVID-19 and the FBT child care exemption: examining the restrictive taxation ruling defining “business premises”


Taxation Ruling (TR) 2000/4 titled “Fringe benefifits tax: meaning of ‘business premises’” focuses on the conditions needed to satisfy the exemption in s 47(2) of the Fringe Benefifits Tax Assessment Act 1986 (Cth) for the provision of child care on employers’ business premises. By examining the only tax case on the provision and applying statutory interpretation principles, the authors challenge the restrictive interpretation in TR 2000/4 that has imposed a narrow and confusing standard as to which child care arrangements will qualify for the exemption. The authors instead submit that the Australian Taxation Offifice’s initial interpretation when the provision was fifirst introduced, which effectively exempted all forms of employer-sponsored child care, is the accurate interpretation.

During this COVID-19 adjustment period, when employers are exploring incentives to retain and attract talent back to the workplace and stave off the potential adverse impacts of the “Great Reshufflfle”, child care offerings by employers will be a valuable incentive. This is therefore the perfect time to shine a light on TR 2000/4 and examine its legal accuracy. In the process, other directly related governance issues are illuminated, such as the need for an impartial body to issue taxation rulings on exemption provisions.

Author profiles

Lydia Thiagarajah
Lydia is a Tax Advisor, EY and Teaching Associate, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School, Monash University, Australia.
Click here to expand/collapse more articles by Lydia Thiagarajah.
Amanda Darshini Selvarajah
PhD candidate, Department of Business Law and Taxation, Monash Business School, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.


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