August 2012

  Brentnalls SA
 Newsletter 13

Living Away From Home Allowances changes deferred to 1 October 2012

Reforms to living away from home allowances ('LAFHAs') and related benefits set to take effect from 1 July
have been deferred until 1 October 2012. The announcement was made by the Federal Government with the

 introduction of the amendment Bill into Parliament on 28 June 2012, in an effort to give employers and
employees more time to prepare for the new arrangements.

From 1 October 2012  the effect of the amendments is to remove the treatment of LAFH benefits from the FBT
regime completely, and instead, include any LAFHA or the value of any LAFH benefit in the assessable income
of the employee.This means  that a LAFH benefit will become taxable to the employee.

A limited concession is available for substantiated food and accommodation expenses (i.e. those for which the employee has kept the receipt). Employees will be able to deduct such expenses, provided:


  • the expenses are:


o    more than $110 per (7 day) week for each person 12 or over and $55 per week for each child under 12;
 To relieve the compliance burden, substantiation for food expenses will not be required unless the
expenses exceed an amount specified by the Commissioner (amount yet to be specified); and

  • the employee:

§  maintains a home in Australia for his or her own use; and

§  is required to live away from that home in order to perform their employment duties.

The deduction is subject to a 12 month limit – meaning that the employee will only be able to deduct
expenses for the first 12 months that their employer requires them to live away from home (starting on the first day that the employee moves away).

The changes mean that foreign residents working in Australia (such as those on "457 visas") will need to maintain a home in Australia, which they will need to live away from in order to do their work.

Further, to access the exemption the home must not be rented out while the employee is absent from it, but must remain available for the employee's own use.

Transitional arrangements

The new rules apply from 1 October 2012 but there are transitional arrangements:

  • Permanent residents

Permanent residents who had employment arrangements in place (including a LAFHA) before 7.30 pm (AEST) on 8 May 2012 will not be required to maintain a home in Australia, and will not be subject to the 12 month deduction limit, until the earlier of 1 July 2014 or the date that a new employment arrangement is entered into.

  • Foreign & temporary residents

The 12 month deduction limit will also not apply to those employees who are temporary residents, or foreign residents who are maintaining a home in Australia, until the earlier of 1 July 2014 or the date that a new employment arrangement is entered into.

However, foreign and temporary residents will need to maintain a home in Australia (which they live away from) in order to deduct expenses, from the time that the new law commences (ie. 1 October 2012).

Who will be affected?

All employers currently providing remuneration which includes a LAFHA will be affected, along with the employees in receipt of the allowance.

Those particularly affected will be non-residents who do not maintain a permanent home in Australia. Currently, the practice is that foreign nationals employed in Australia are considered to be living away from home. From 1 October 2012, this will no longer be the case.

We advise client who currently provide or receive Living Away From Home Benefits to review their employment arrangements prior to 1 October 2012.


Skills for All

The South Australian State Government has launched the Skills for All initiative devoting $194 million to assist a further 100,000 training places.

Skills for All will provide South Australians the chance to obtain additional qualifications with some courses at little or no cost using the training provider they choose.

Certificate levels l and ll are going to be fully subsidised by the Government thus no course fees and certificate levels lll and above will be partly subsidised.

For further information visit the Skills for All website (  The website enables you to determine

·         Who is an eligible applicant

·         What subsidies are available to enterprises

·         Courses available

·         What is an eligible training participant and

·         The roles and responsibilities of participating organisations



Dads to get two weeks paid parental leave


 From January 2013 fathers, including same-sex partners, will be entitled to take two week's paid parental leave at the minimum wage after the birth or adoption of their child.  The payment will be made through the Family Assistance Office.

From January 2013 fathers, including same-sex partners, will be entitled to take two week's paid parental leave at the minimum wage after the birth or adoption of their child.  The payment will be made through the Family Assistance Office.

Full-time, part-time, casual, contract, seasonal and self-employed workers will all be able to take advantage of the payment so long as they are on unpaid leave and do not work during the two week period.

Other eligibility requirements include the father must have earned less than $150,000 in the previous financial year and must have worked more than one day a week in ten of the thirteen months before the birth or adoption of the child or at least 330 hours.


The paid leave can be taken in addition to the mother taking 18 weeks paid parental leave.


Client News

Congratulations to Goodieson Brewery on winning four trophies at the recent 2012 Royal Adelaide Beer Show including Champion South Australian Brewery and Champion Exhibit.

The McLaren Vale micro-brewery, run by husband and wife team Jeff and Mary Goodieson, also won the Champion Small Brewery (less than 5,000hL per year) and Champion Wheat Beer titles.



 Brentnalls SA News

 Matthew Holden and Sally Storey

Other promotions – scl to complete

We take this opportunity to acknowledge team members who have achieved service milestones and congratulate and thank  Gavin Mitchell,  Amalia Caporella, Tahlia Thomas, Lesley  Forrest and for five years service.

Congratulations to Lilia on completing Bachelor of Commence (Accounting) and also to Stefan Sapio on passing   the CA module  and Yanli for   CPA module Ethical and Governance

Farewell to Baseel and Shane and wish them the best for the future.



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Industry Focus

We are not just your accountant, we are your advisor and here to support you and your business. We specialise within the following industries:

Agribusiness Services
Construction, Building & Allied Services
Medical & Allied Health Services

we care about your future


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Hindmarsh SA 5007 
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