If you live and work in a remote area, you may be able to save by packaging eligible costs
Employees who live and work in an area classified as ‘Remote’^ by the Australian Taxation Office, may be eligible to salary package the cost of rent, utilities, mortgage interest or even holiday travel.
You may salary package the interest component of
the home loan repayments of the dwelling you live in
as your usual residence.
For these mortgage expenses to qualify for salary
packaging, you must live in the dwelling as your
usual place of residence.
Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) applies, but only to 50%
of the total salary packaged amount.
If you are renting a property under a formal lease
agreement, you may salary package up to 50% of
your rental costs.
The lease agreement must be in your name, and
you must be responsible for 100% of the cost.
You must provide a copy of the formal lease
agreement, which should include lease
commencement and end dates along with the
If your employer either owns or leases a property for
you in a remote area, you are able to salary package
100% of this cost tax free from your pre-tax salary.
If you are salary packaging Remote Area Rent or Remote Area Mortgage Interest, you may also claim utilities such as electricity and gas.
Remote Area Utilities are eligible for a 50% reduction in taxable value. FBT will apply to the remaining 50%.
If you live in a remote location and are travelling for a holiday, you can salary package your travel expenses to the nearest capital city providing:
You travel for at least three or more working days
You travel by commercial transport (i.e. flight, bus, train or ferry)
You must provide a signed remote travel declaration with the costs.
This also extends to your immediate family (spouse and/or your children).
Your eligibility is dependent on your employer's salary packaging policy and your employment status. Use our salary packaging calculator to see which benefits you can package and how much you could save.
Important: This is general information only. Before entering into any salary packaging or novated leasing arrangement, you should consider your objectives, financial situation and needs, and, seek appropriate legal, financial or other professional advice based upon your own particular circumstances. The availability of benefits is determined by your employer. Conditions and fees apply.
1 ^The ATO website lists
‘remote area’ towns. Visit https://www.ato.gov.au/general/fringe-benefits-tax-(fbt)/in-detail/exemptions-and-concessions/fbt---remote-areas/ to see if your area
qualifies as ‘remote’ or ask your employer. Like all salary packaged items, you can’t claim an income tax deduction on packaged remote area expenses. Smartsalary is
unable to make your rent, mortgage interest, or utility payments on your behalf – salary packaged amounts will be reimbursed to your nominated bank account.