Portable Electronic Device

Who is eligible?

Continuing and fixed term contract staff members appointed under a University of South Australia industrial instrument are eligible to salary sacrifice. Casual staff members are ineligible to salary sacrifice a portable electronic device. Please refer to the Salary Sacrifice Guidelines and Conditions.

What are the costs?

A $5 administration fee per claim applies for all eligible items salary sacrificed.

What conditions apply?

Under section 58X of the Fringe Benefits Tax Act (FBTAA) certain portable electronic devices may be exempt from FBT and able to be salary sacrificed provided:

  • The item is primarily for use in the staff member's employment
    The ATO describes an item primarily for use in the staff member's employment when purchased principally to enable the staff member to do their job.

    The University has the discretion to decline any request where it is determined that the purchase is not used primarily for business use.
  • The staff member has not already received an item that is 'substantially identical'
    Only one item of a kind with substantially identical functions can be claimed in a FBT year unless it is a replacement item. The FBT year runs from 1st April to 31st March. The ATO describes that items will have 'substantially identical functions' where the functions of two items are the same in most respects.

Declaration by staff for a portable electronic device

You will need to provide information in relation to your role and intended use of the portable electronic device by completing and signing the declaration on page two of the salary sacrifice form HRIS 045 Agreement to Salary Sacrifice a Portable Electronic Device.

The declaration is a document with legal effect, and will need to be provided to the Australian Taxation Office in the event of an audit. If either the Australian Taxation Office or Auditor General contests the validity of your claim in the future, any additional income and/or Fringe Benefit Tax, or penalties, interest or additional charges that may be applied, are your responsibility.

What can I salary sacrifice?

A portable electronic device includes a laptop, tablet, calculator, personal digital assistant, portable printer and portable global positioning system (GPS) navigation receiver. The device needs to be easily portable and designed for use away from an office environment, small and light, can operate without an external power supply and is designed as a complete unit.

  • Tablets
    Items allowable (acquired as initial purchase) are the tablet and operating system depending on work-related requirements.

    Items not allowable include external modem, back-up devices, non-business related software, external mouse, keyboard, speakers, carry bag, finance, insurance, credit charges, additional warranty and ongoing network charges.
  • Laptops
    Items allowable (acquired as part of initial purchase) are inbuilt modem or network cards, DVD drive, memory upgrade, operating system or an inbuilt graphics card.

    Items not allowable include external modem or back-up devices, non-business related software, external mouse, keyboard, speakers, carry bag, finance, insurance, credit charges, additional warranty and ongoing network charges.

    If the laptop is to be used on the University network please refer to following guidelines prior to purchasing.

What about laptops used for 'self-education'?

A laptop purchased for the dual purpose of employment and self-education satisfies the rules for FBT exemption. However, a laptop purchased solely for the purpose of self-education or professional development may not be FBT exempt.

You should seek clarification on your specific circumstances prior to purchasing the laptop. Forward details of the course you are undertaking, how it relates to your current employment and a copy of the approved HR 8.1 Study Release for Professional Staff to the Consultant: Salary Sacrifice. Individual claims will be reviewed by the University Tax Accountant on a case by case basis.

Portable electronic devices purchased overseas

Devices purchased overseas need to be declared to customs on arrival in Australia and the necessary paperwork obtained stating the value in Australian dollars. Any excise tax or GST due on the item must be paid. The customs documentation will serve as the fully paid tax invoice and can be attached to the HRIS 045 Agreement to Salary Sacrifice a Portable Electronic Device form.

Note: The declaration on page 2 of the HRIS 045 must be submitted on each occasion that a salary sacrifice claim is made for a portable electronic device.

How does it work?
  1. The staff member purchases / pays for the item.
  2. The GST is refunded to the staff member in full.
  3. The cost of the item is deducted from pre-tax earnings reducing the taxation liability over the minimum number of pays.

What do I do next?

  1. Read the Salary Sacrifice Guidelines and Conditions 
  2. Attach the original tax invoice and proof of payment to the HRIS 045 form and complete the declaration on page 2.
  3. Forward form, original tax invoice and proof of payment to:

    Consultant: Salary Sacrifice
    People, Talent and Culture Unit
    Third Floor, 101 Currie Street
    GPO Box 2471, Adelaide 5001