The provision of travel in a taxi by an employer to an employee is generally regarded as a benefit attracting FBT. But where the travel is a single taxi trip beginning or ending at the employee's place of work, or is a taxi trip due to illness of the employee, an exemption applies.

The ATO has previously advised that this exemption, “does not extend to ride-sourcing services provided in a vehicle that is not licensed to operate as a taxi.”  In light of a recent Federal Court decision regarding Uber and proposed changes to licensing regulations in a number of states, the ATO is reviewing its interpretation of the definition of “taxi” and has released a paper to facilitate discussion.  It is quite possible that the ATO may adopt an interpretation that accepts that a taxi may include a ride-sourcing vehicle or other vehicles for hire.

Until this matter is resolved, occasional private travel (including between home and work) using ride-sourcing vehicles and other hire vehicles may possibly be exempt from FBT under the minor benefits exemption.

Bruce Saward

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