Portable Electronic Items – expanding our product range!

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For the latest information about salary packaging iPads & Tablet computers, please click here.

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Currently, Smartsalary’s salary packaging options cover only three portable electronic items:

• laptop computers (including iPads)
• mobile phones, and
• personal digital assistants

However, recent changes to the tax laws mean that we can consider electronic items beyond these ‘traditional’ options. The only restrictions to what we can offer are:

1. the electronic item must be intended primarily for use in the performance of your ordinary employment duties, i.e., it must have an obvious work function;

2. the electronic item must have an internal power supply, i.e., it must be ‘portable’ in the sense that it can be used anywhere without requiring external power, and

3. your employer must agree to include the item in the list of salary packaging benefits available for their employees.

We’ve racked our brains (and our local electronics stores) to come up with the following list of further portable electronic items with potential work uses:

• GPS Units
• E-book Readers
• Dictaphones and digital voice recorders
• Portable headsets, and
• Cameras

. . . but it occurs to me that you, our customers, are much better placed to populate this list than we are!! So I’m asking for your help – are there any other portable electronic items out there that have the potential to help you undertake your day to day employment activities? Reckon it’s likely that you’d package one of these?

Leave a comment here

22 Responses to “Portable Electronic Items – expanding our product range!”


  1. 1 David Andrews November 15, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Hey Devon,

    My wife, our two children and i just spent three days looking for a new car because we were informed by Smart salary that our current vehicle lease was ending. Now we’ve been informed that our lease is not actually up until September 2011. This perhaps was just a minor hiccup on behalf of Smart salary but we’ve just lost three days of our lives to marching around car yards and changing around child car seats in order to test drive cars. 3 days we’re not going to get back.

    Not Happy Devon.

    • 2 ceosmartsalary November 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

      Hi David,

      Sincere apologies for the troubles you’ve had. I understand that you’ve received a call from Smartsalary and that you are pleased with the outcome.

      Best wishes,
      Deven

  2. 3 frances foster November 18, 2010 at 8:34 am

    So people can smart salary the main mode of transport (cars) for the family, including servicing etc. What about the family that uses bikes?
    Any chance that these commuting machines will ever be included?

  3. 5 David Andrews November 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    Hi Deven,

    Thankyou for your prompt response and apology. We appreciate your effort in making a bad situation have a happy ending. My wife and I are very happy with the outcome.

    Thanks
    David Andrews

  4. 6 John Felvus November 23, 2010 at 11:16 am

    Are iPads considered to be ebook readers

  5. 7 Sam November 24, 2010 at 6:39 am

    Noise cancelling headsets perhaps? More often than not will be used on airplanes on work trips…

  6. 8 ceosmartsalary November 24, 2010 at 9:11 am

    Hi John

    It’s Simon Ellis, Smartsalary’s Senior Tax Adviser, here – Deven’s asked me to answer this question on his behalf.

    It actually doesn’t matter what type of electronic device the iPad is classified as. From a salary packaging point of view all that matters is whether:

    (a) it is a portable electronic device (which it clearly is);

    (b) it is intended for use primarily in your personal employment duties; and

    (c) it is allowed by your employer as a packaging option.

    In relation to requirement (c) I note that many employers have not added iPads to the menu of available items on the basis that they consider their business functionality to currently be insufficient to justify a ‘primary’ business use.

    You can check your employer’s policy by looking at the ‘Laptop’ benefit profile on-line, although I don’t think your particular employer allows iPad packaging at the moment.

  7. 9 Simon Ellis November 25, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Hi Sam

    What employment duty would you be using the headset for – i.e. what would you be listening to that was work-related?

  8. 10 Sam November 25, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Honestly, there’s probably not much I would be listening to which was work related (you could argue for repeats of presentations, documentaries…). It’s probably as much what I wouldn’t be listening to – killing ambient noise so you could concentrate (or sleep). Does that count as a work-related purpose?

  9. 11 Simon Ellis November 25, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Sam

    Unfortunately that sort of use isn’t going to qualify as an ’employment duty’ as you would be using the headphones primarily to pursue private endeavors (i.e. watching movies and sleeping).

    To qualify the electronic device must be integral to the performance of your actual work duties and cannot merely be an entertaining diversion.

  10. 12 Paul,S. December 3, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Can a laptop purchased this year be packaged in the next FBT year?I have already packaged a laptop earlier this FBT year and so can’t package another one.However, I am considering buying another laptop in the next month or two and would like to know if it is possible to salary package it subsequently.

  11. 13 Jed December 7, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Deven

    Simon’s above advice was great.
    Increasingly the problem is the employer & what they will allow to be packaged. ie Simon’s point – (c) it is allowed by your employer as a packaging option – becomes the show-stopper.

    Can I suggest that you might be able to assist in this problem.

    Employer senior management often do not appear to understand that if they are serious about staff retention they/agencies need to offer a modern/relevant bundle of things that are attractive for employees to package. Most federal departments are very slow adopters of new transformational technologies eg IPads – claims of being innovative are mainly just departmental rhetoric.

    You might be able to get this message (a modern/relevant bundle of things that can be packaged) thru to senior decision-makers before the coming/existing skilled force shortages really starts to hurt departments.

  12. 14 Simon Ellis December 10, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Hi Paul

    You are technically entitled to package a new laptop each FBT year (1 April to 31 March), but you still have to meet the “primarily used in your employment duties” test. Importantly, you will need to sign our packaging form which acts as a legal declaration that the laptop is intended for such use.

    So if the second laptop is intended as an employment tool, and you can honestly sign the declaration as mentioned above, then yes you are entitled to salary package it.

    My concern, however, is that if the ATO were to ever investigate you they would probably assume that you still have the first laptop (since you only bought it a year ago), and would be very interested in knowing why you now need a second one in order to perform your employment duties.

    That might be a hard question to answer.

    • 15 adriansmith March 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm

      Is there a requirement to keep the first laptop (or iPad or whatever) for a set period of time? At what point can you replace it with a newer model and give (to family) or sell it?

      Another variation on this theme… what if you originally salary packaged a laptop but now your employer has agreed to purchase one for you. What are you entitled to do with the first one?

      • 16 Simon Ellis March 29, 2011 at 11:28 am

        Hi Adrian

        There is no set time limit imposed by either the legislation or the ATO, so your question is a tricky one.

        If you turn over computers very quickly, for example if you packaged two computuers a month apart (but spanning the end of the FBT year) the ATO might see the second laptop purchase as evidence that the first was not genuinely intended as a work tool, however at the end of the day it would come down to your specific circumstances.

        In principle there is nothing preventing you from upgrading your laptop as often as you wish so long as every computer is genuinely intended as a work use machine at the time you purchase it (and you don’t salary package more than one upgrade per FBT year).

        That same prinicple answers to your second question. In a situation where you purchased a laptop in the genuine belief that it would be a work tool, but were then unexpectedly given a second computer by your employer, the initial laptop purchase would still be a valid salary packaging item since it was genuinely intended as a work tool at the time it was bought.

  13. 17 Simon Ellis December 10, 2010 at 8:06 am

    Employer senior management often do not appear to understand that if they are serious about staff retention they/agencies need to offer a modern/relevant bundle of things that are attractive for employees to package.

    Hi Jed

    I couldn’t agree with you more in this regard – there’s no point offering a stale menu of benefits that no-one is interested in!!

    However, you should bear in mind that your employer also needs to ensure they stay within the law and don’t throw open the door to items that can potentially cause trouble with the ATO.

    We certainly remind employers regularly of the new packaging options they can implement however at the end of the day it’s probably more effective for you, as an employee, to approach your HR department with an explanation of why you think an iPad would be a useful work tool for employees in your organisation.

    If you can convince HR that the iPad is a functional work tool within the context of your business then that would be the single biggest step towards seeing these items added to your packaging options.

  14. 18 sybille December 22, 2010 at 8:26 am

    Hi Deven,

    Could you please explain to me which salary package items can be packed outide the 9095 cap apart from meal entertainment?

    • 19 Simon Ellis December 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

      Hi Sybille

      The best way to find out what benefits your employer offers (outside of your tax-free cap allowance) is to log on to your account on the Smartsalary website and click on the “What can I package?” link in the menu on the left-hand side of the page.

      This will lead you to the menu of packageable items available to you, along with a detailed explanation of any requirements or restrictions that apply.

  15. 20 Angelica Raymond December 24, 2010 at 10:50 am

    Hi Sam Unfortunately that sort of use isn’t going to qualify as an ’employment duty’ as you would be using the headphones primarily to pursue private endeavors (i.e. watching movies and sleeping). To qualify the electronic device must be integral to the performance of your actual work duties and cannot merely be an entertaining diversion.

  16. 21 eva December 30, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Could you please explain to me which salary package items can be packed outside the 9095 cap apart from meal entertainment?

    • 22 ceosmartsalary January 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm

      Hi Eva,

      Dave Adler here- I work closely with Deven. He is currently on annual leave. How about if I ask one of our friendly Customer Service Consultants to give you a call to discuss the additional salary packaging items available to you? Please provide me with your best contact number and someone will be in touch short after we hear from you. Thanks for your question.


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Deven Billimoria
Chief Executive Officer
Smartgroup

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