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Fringe benefits tax changes highlight IT solutions: Navman Wireless

Increased complexity and expense make technology options more viable for managers


While policy experts seek ways to win industry hearts and minds on compliance technology, experts among services vendors are making the case in other business applications.

One of those is Navman Wireless national sales manager Michael Carter, who has been highlighting this year’s fringe benefits tax (FBT) changes for months before they arrived and has aimed the spotlight on other changes foreshadowed in this year’s Federal Budget.

Carter notes an increase in the FBT rate is particularly pertinent to how transport and logistics firms deal with support vehicles, sales rep transport and managers’ and owners’ vehicles.

“They used to be able to do the statutory fraction calculation, that was nice and simple and relatively cost-effective – they now need to review that because that particular calculation cost has gone up two to three times in some instances,” he says, of the move to a flat rate of 20 per cent.

With the possibility of the use of log books to calculate private use becoming time and labour-intensive and potential errors more expensive, Carter believes IT solutions should have an attraction.

He says the company gained Australian Tax Office (ATO) ruling that its FBT report can be used as an electronic log book for fringe benefits claims related to such vehicles.

Carter acknowledges recent ACA Research findings that a huge number of trucking firms remain unconvinced that IT investment is worth their while in company operational terms.

Asked why they would turn to IT for an FBT solution, he replies: “The level of tax pain.”

“If it’s significant enough, this is obviously going to represent a great opportunity for them,” he adds.

In his experience, uptake of technology depends less on the size of the company and more on manager and owner mind-set.

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