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Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance ...

Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance ...

Old Sep 13th 2009, 1:30 pm
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Default Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance ...

As part of my salary packaging (since I work for a not-for-profit organisation), I get $16050 as a tax free lump sum over a 12 month period. In the literature that I got regarding this, it says that I can also claim for $5200 a year in sit-down meals. Now I just asssumed that this was your typical tax write-off but having spoken to the salary packaging companny on the phone I got the impression that it was actually $5200 a year that I could directly claim back and that I send in my restaurant bills for the quarter and they 'refund' the money. It seems very unlikely to me, but can anyone clear this up?
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Old Sep 13th 2009, 9:48 pm
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

It isnt something I have heard of as being available - I work in the NFP sector too - but there was something in the last budget about entertainment expenses wasnt there? I remember being concerned at the time that the sal packaging would be gone. Mind you, sounds like a good perk if it is real!
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Old Sep 13th 2009, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Originally Posted by quoll View Post
It isnt something I have heard of as being available - I work in the NFP sector too - but there was something in the last budget about entertainment expenses wasnt there? I remember being concerned at the time that the sal packaging would be gone. Mind you, sounds like a good perk if it is real!
At the very last it *did* exist. The wife's accountant told her that it was taken out in the last budget but my salary packaging company say that's incorrect. Not sure who to believe to be honest.
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 12:00 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Originally Posted by Hutch View Post
At the very last it *did* exist. The wife's accountant told her that it was taken out in the last budget but my salary packaging company say that's incorrect. Not sure who to believe to be honest.
Call the ATO - they are very helpful.

I worked in NFP and its not something I have come across but I am happy to admit I don't know it all!
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 1:18 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Hi Hutch.

yes you can do this. I'm a nurse and salary package. When I first heard about it I was a bit dubious as it sounds a bit too good to be true.

This is the way I do it. I get paid fortnightly and have to nominate how much I want to package for meals and entertainment. Last year I did $100 a fortnight but have since reduced it to $80. So..every fortnight they take $80 out of my salary. Whenever I have been out for dinner I just send in my receipts and I get the money refunded on my next payday.

It's great!! Whatever you haven't used at the end of the financial year they pay out to you after tax.

You can use it for any meal where you sit down ie you cant package take aways. Even if you just go for a coffee and cake you can package that. It includes any drinks that you had at the time of the meal. If it's a BYO you can submit a receipt from the bottle shop showing the wine as long as it co-incides with the dats of the meal. You need to get a tax invoice receipt for the meal showing that it was a restaurant and was used to purchase food and drinks.

You can also (if I remember rightly) use it for catering if you are having a function. Only for professional caterers though not a barbie I remember one of my friends was gutted as she'd just got married and had missed out on it.

Well worth doing in my opinion.
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 2:06 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Originally Posted by tracey.d View Post
Hi Hutch.

yes you can do this. I'm a nurse and salary package. When I first heard about it I was a bit dubious as it sounds a bit too good to be true.

This is the way I do it. I get paid fortnightly and have to nominate how much I want to package for meals and entertainment. Last year I did $100 a fortnight but have since reduced it to $80. So..every fortnight they take $80 out of my salary. Whenever I have been out for dinner I just send in my receipts and I get the money refunded on my next payday.

It's great!! Whatever you haven't used at the end of the financial year they pay out to you after tax.

You can use it for any meal where you sit down ie you cant package take aways. Even if you just go for a coffee and cake you can package that. It includes any drinks that you had at the time of the meal. If it's a BYO you can submit a receipt from the bottle shop showing the wine as long as it co-incides with the dats of the meal. You need to get a tax invoice receipt for the meal showing that it was a restaurant and was used to purchase food and drinks.

You can also (if I remember rightly) use it for catering if you are having a function. Only for professional caterers though not a barbie I remember one of my friends was gutted as she'd just got married and had missed out on it.

Well worth doing in my opinion.
Does this have to be "entertaining" for business or can you claim on meals with family/friends etc. Also does it apply if you don't work for a non profit organisation? My OH contracts and is thinking of switching to a salary packaging company to handle his tax etc, so we'd be interested to know.

Do you find that salary packaging companies really save you as much tax etc as they claim they can, only they seem quite expensive to use one quote we have had was for 4.5% of salary, does this sound about right, seems like a lot to me, they would have to get you a lot extra back to make up for their fees.
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 2:23 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Originally Posted by Smartinis View Post
Does this have to be "entertaining" for business or can you claim on meals with family/friends etc. Also does it apply if you don't work for a non profit organisation? My OH contracts and is thinking of switching to a salary packaging company to handle his tax etc, so we'd be interested to know.

Do you find that salary packaging companies really save you as much tax etc as they claim they can, only they seem quite expensive to use one quote we have had was for 4.5% of salary, does this sound about right, seems like a lot to me, they would have to get you a lot extra back to make up for their fees.
I only claim for meals with family/friends, so it definitely doesn't have to be business expenses. For instance, I've just been to a cafe with my daughter for breakfast this morning. I will be putting that receipt in.

Sorry, I can't answer any of your other questions as I just do it through work. I don't have any business expenses as such.

Hopefully someone else can help you with that one
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 9:17 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Originally Posted by tracey.d View Post
I only claim for meals with family/friends, so it definitely doesn't have to be business expenses. For instance, I've just been to a cafe with my daughter for breakfast this morning. I will be putting that receipt in.

Sorry, I can't answer any of your other questions as I just do it through work. I don't have any business expenses as such.

Hopefully someone else can help you with that one
My company gave me a meal entertainment card for salary packaging and I package $60 a fortnight into the card.

Its basically a visa debit card and can also be used for takeaways.

I dont have to submit receipts to my company.
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 9:20 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Originally Posted by Smartinis View Post
Does this have to be "entertaining" for business or can you claim on meals with family/friends etc. Also does it apply if you don't work for a non profit organisation? My OH contracts and is thinking of switching to a salary packaging company to handle his tax etc, so we'd be interested to know.

Do you find that salary packaging companies really save you as much tax etc as they claim they can, only they seem quite expensive to use one quote we have had was for 4.5% of salary, does this sound about right, seems like a lot to me, they would have to get you a lot extra back to make up for their fees.
My OH packages for $10 per fortnight fees (as she's paid fortnightly) through epac salary solutions.
I have a feeling (but am unsure) that rules are slightly different for NFP sectors and nursing/medical. Certainly the tax free allowance is better for NFP being $16,500 (without grossing up) compared to $9000 for nursing.

Only certain sectors profession can package in this manner - definitely not everyone.

We package 100% of salary into mortgage. With epac she could have it on a visa charge card to use like cash!

At RPH in Perth there were huge scams last year that threatened the whole system - it was so badly abused and so widely. Apparently one "claim" was a $70K wedding! Not quite within the rules
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 9:23 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Interesting thread though.......I am still considering salary packaging options myself.

G
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 10:56 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

I work in health and salary package - I also collect receipts for meal entertainment. My understanding is that is it personal meal expenses only i.e. not business and not lunch for hours that you are at work. You have to get a "tax receipt" which you submit annually and get a tax refund, and it can include meals with family and friends, food purchased for family functions i.e. birthday party etc, and also accommodation costs associated with meals but only if it was one night only and specifically related to going out for dinner.

Sounds like there are lots of different variations - your employer should have an advice pack that explains how they adminster the scheme.
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 10:31 pm
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Yeah my other half works for a not-for-profit organisation and can put up to about $500 a fortnight of receipts in. She then get's the tax back on that amount (ie- not the full cost of the meals). Hutch, I think the $5200 figure is correct - ie you can put in up to around $18k (give or take) or receipts in a year and you get the tax back on that amount to a max of $5200 a year. You don't have to wait till tax time to do it, you can do it every pay day.

You can put anything in as long as it's not a take away and as long as the meal was for 2 people or more.

Going out for meals with work collegues etc and getting the receipt for everyone has become an art

All expenses associated with the meal can be claimed too. For example if you stay in a hotel for the night, or get a taxi you can claim those too. You can not claim these 'additional' things if you're on a holiday though. So you can't claim the cost of a weeks accomodation (although you can claim for the meals you have during this week).

If you go to a pub for a few drinks and you know you will have a burger later on, get a tab going behind the bar - that way all your drinks will be included too.

As someone else mentioned, you can put big events on too. One of my wife's work collegues put the bill for her wedding reception on there!!!! $10's of thousands!!! The employer was happy to 'drip feed' the amount through the system so as to not go over the maximum allowed per month.

All this means though is that you will easily be able to convince yourself that you need to go out for a meal!!!

Graham
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Old Sep 14th 2009, 10:39 pm
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Yes even spouses can get the cards. Plus you can spend the money overseas... IE: on Holiday in the UK.

B'day parties... Celebrations, you name it you can get it as long as it comes under the entertainment umbrella.

You can even have a session down the pub, as long as there is one meal included.

My wifes take home income is boosted by at least 20 pct by these systems. All Government health professionals around Australia at whatever level are entitled to this so are their partners.

There is also a new facet to this... cannot remember I think it may be home maintenance, will confirm later, but it's just been announced recently. I think we may be down to only being able to claim 15 pct now such is the extent of the deductions on her tax threashold.

I've yet to find one nurse that has taken advantage of the novated leasing though which they are all entitled to. None seem to take that on board.


Edit: Just phoned the wife, the new claimables are Accommodation and Venue Hire (not home maintainance like I thought) Apparently this could well be holiday accommodation... The Nurses at the RMH are studying the implications right now. Will try and be one of the first to claim a cruise

Last edited by ozzieeagle; Sep 14th 2009 at 11:00 pm.
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Old Sep 15th 2009, 2:05 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

No wonder my tax is so high... I'm paying for you lot to get a free lunch !!
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Old Sep 15th 2009, 2:44 am
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Default Re: Salary packaging for not-for-profit organisations and that $5200 meal allowance .

Originally Posted by iamthecreaturefromuranus View Post
No wonder my tax is so high... I'm paying for you lot to get a free lunch !!
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