The ATO has recently issued a new class ruling expanding on what products qualify as a ‘portable electronic device’ for Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemption purposes.

In the past, the FBT exemption tended to only apply to devices that were designed to operate as a small, portable complete unit without an external power supply such as laptops, mobile phones and similar devices. The new ruling now confirms this extends to include portable display monitors that run in connection with phones, tablets, etc.

This ruling not only shows an acknowledgement of the changed nature of work, but recognises advances in technology people now use to fulfil their roles well wherever they choose to work – whether it be their home, a café, interstate or even abroad.

Espresso Displays were an instrumental part of the process, having obtained the ruling for their portable screens. They used their real-life experience of supplying portable screens to organisations for use by employees, and drew on their understanding of what equipment people need to work efficiently and solve the challenge of creating a fully functioning workspace anywhere for employees who choose to work outside the office and while traveling.

Kate Razzivina, CFO at Espresso Displays said, “We’re thrilled to see our screens qualify for FBT exemptions so people can work more efficiently and flexibly considering people now need solutions to truly work wherever they choose.”

How this affects you

This class ruling means employers can now provide Espresso portable display monitors to employees exempt from FBT, as long as they are provided predominantly for work use – portable display monitors being a key example of a technological advancement covered by this exemption category. This includes provision of the displays through salary packaging arrangements.

The FBT exemption is only available if the display is provided by the employer predominantly for the employee to use in completing their employment duties. It will not apply if it is predominantly used for private purposes, activities unrelated to the employment, or if provided for use by another family member.