The Living Away from Home Allowance (LAFHA) is paid to employees who live away from home to work for their employer to compensate them for additional expenses or disadvantages that arise from doing so.

Expatriates working in Australia may be eligible to receive LAHFA, and as part of their salary package, one element of LAFHA that has Fringe Benefits Tax implications is the food component.

Under the LAFHA scheme, people in receipt of the allowance are able to recover the cost of food incurred while living away from home.

How much FBT applies to the food component of LAFHA?

FBT applies to a 'reasonable food component of LAFHA and from 1 April 2011, the amount considered acceptable is listed as follows:

   Per Week
 One adult
 Two adults
 Three adults
 One adult and one child
 Two adults and one or two children
 Two adults and three children
 Three adults and two children
 Four adults

'Adults' for this purpose are persons who had attained the age of 12 years before the beginning of the FBT year.

In relation to larger family groupings, the Commissioner accepts a food component based on the above figures plus $140 for each additional adult and $68 for each additional child.

More information

Contact Matt Zhou on 0432 772 292 or via our contact form. Alternatively, contact Bates Cosgrave on (02) 9957 4033 to find out more about our services, and to discuss your specific requirements.

The Government has announced a number of changes to the LAFHA scheme which are expected to apply from 1 October 2012. Join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter or Facebook for updates.

Last updated July 2012. This factsheet is provided for information purposes only and is correct at the time of publishing. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances. 

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