Salary Sacrifice for laptop?

I'm relatively new to Australia, and in particular to the tax system. It appears from my limited understanding that once per year you can sacrifice salary for a laptop, with no FBT payable. This appears to mean I could buy a laptop with my pre-tax salary (so, assuming I'm on 30% tax rate, that is like a 30% discount). Do any of you know if my understanding is correct, and/or if there are any requirements or other implications? I had a good look at the ATO webpage but couldn't find detailed information. Maybe some of you have had first hand experience?


  • I think you are correct — buying laptop in Australia is much cheaper than buying a desktop for some of us because you don't pay FBT on it, for now (can't work out the logic why laptops but not desktops), and you can do it once a year! Same applies to PDA I think. Best to ask an accountant though. I am just a lowly software engineer :)

  • Yep, the short answer is yes. In my experience, generally your employer can assist you with this scheme.

  • Yep - your employer can assist you with the scheme & you might get a better deal because of that.

  • Okay the way it worked with my previous employer is - you buy a laptop with ur own money give them the invoice and they give u a cheque back for the same amount. your annual salary(before tax) is reduced by the cost of the laptop(-gst) and you are paid monthly accordingly. as far as i am aware, this dosent cost ur employeer anything

    now, the great thing about this is your employeer doesnt care how you paid for the laptop, as long as u paid for the laptop. when i purcahse my macbook from david jones, i got it on 24 months interest free. but when i gave the invoice to my employeer i got the cheque for the money imnmediately. i then used this cheque to pay of the remainder of my car loan. so in a way, i got my car loan 24 months interest free and had my laptop being paid from my pre tax income.

    a good example on how this works :

    Employee A earns $50,000 per annum.

    Employee Purchases Lap Top $3,300 (including $300 GST)
    Employee is refunded $300 GST and $3000 laptop cost
    PAYG tax is then calculated on the employees pre packaged gross salary less the cost of the computer ($50,000 less $3,000 = $47,000).

    Therefore Employee A has a reduction in their fortnightly tax, this is received over the next 26 pay periods.

    Please check with ur accountant on the exact workings.

    There is normally an annual limit of 1 laptop yearly. if you use your car for work, your employeers will allow u to salaray sacrifice ur car as well

    EDIT : Edited to make more sense

  • Excellent, thank you for your replies. I will discuss it with my empoyer, maybe closer to the new financial year. If they haven't done it before they may be a bit hesitant to consider it as it would require additional accounting than otherwise… however, it sounds like it's still worth trying :)

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