Warning to employers to withhold tax from some car allowances

Warning to employers to withhold tax from some car allowances

The ATO has reminded taxpayers that, in relation to claiming car expenses, the one-third of actual expenses method and 12% of original value method were abolished from 1 July 2015.

The cents per kilometre method now uses a standard rate of 66 cents per kilometre for all cars, rather than a rate based on a car’s engine size.

Employers should be aware that the ATO set the approved pay as you go (PAYG) withholding rate for cents per kilometre car allowances at 66 cents per kilometre from 1 July 2015.

Employers should withhold tax from any amount above 66 cents for all future payments of a car allowance, as failure to do so may result in the employee having a tax liability when they lodge their tax return.

Employees, who from 1 July 2015 have been paid a car allowance at a rate higher than the new approved amount, should consider whether they need to increase their withholding to avoid any tax liability at the end of the year.