Law levels playing field for low-emissions commuting


A law passed by Parliament today exempts employers from paying fringe benefit tax on certain low emission commuting options they provide or subsidise for their staff.

 “Many employers already subsidise the commuting costs of their staff, for instance by providing car parks,” Environment Minister David Parker said.

 “This move supports more environmentally-friendly modes of transport used to commute to and from work including public transport, bicycles, electric bikes, scooters and electric scooters.”

 The Taxation (Annual Rates for 2022-23, Platform Economy, and Remedial Matters) Bill (No 2) will also require digital platforms to collect and return GST on supplies of certain services, including ride-sharing, food and beverage delivery and short-stay accommodation.

 “Those who sell such services through apps are often able to do so without charging GST, giving them an advantage over traditional suppliers,” David Parker said.

 “Locally-owned businesses competing against the large, often overseas-based digital platforms will welcome this change.

 “The measures passed by Parliament today will level this playing field, but without requiring sellers to register for GST.

 “One submitter, representing hundreds of small businesses, told us that the uneven GST treatment when it comes to app-based accommodation providers had been a source of frustration for some of their members. These changes will help remedy that.”

 David Parker said the newly passed legislation contained other measures that will be welcomed by business. 

 “An ongoing issue for businesses, particularly smaller ones, has been the GST apportionment rules. They were overly complex and so imposed compliance costs. The changes we’ve made will improve fairness and make the rules less onerous.”