(series 2)

GST, FBT and Payroll Tax for Local Government



Genesis Accounting is a boutique firm of Chartered Accountants that provides GST, FBT and Payroll Tax consulting services to local government. Over the last 21 years we have provided services to over 280 councils across all states of Australia. The firm’s principal, Pat McCarthy, is often called upon to be a keynote speaker at annual Finance Professional conferences and the firm has been a co-sponsor of these conferences for many years. The firm has prepared hundreds of ATO rulings for councils including nine Class Rulings and conducted more than 200 training sessions for council staff.



At last – in response to council requests we have developed a comprehensive series of webinars designed for both non-finance and finance staff.



All staff involved in financial transactions, pricing decisions, buy/sell negotiations need to be aware of how taxes impact decision making.  Awareness helps prevent financial loss.  In particular, staff in the following roles would benefit from attending one or more of these webinars:


  • Management Accounting

  • Financial Accounting

  • Fees and Charges

  • FBT

  • Accounts Payable

  • Property Acquisition, Sales & Leasing

  • Compulsory Acquisitions

  • Grants and Appropriations

  • HR, Payroll and Salary Packaging

  • Aged Care

  • Community Affairs

  • Payroll Tax



* All times are AEDT (Sydney).

There are 2 sessions for each webinar, except Aged Care and Payroll Tax.  Staff can choose to attend the morning or the afternoon session.  


The webinar package including course materials is $2,900 plus GST per council for 13 webinars, or $1,800 plus GST for seven (7) webinars. There is a 10% discount for our GST AddIn clients. 


Good value at only $223 plus GST per webinar for the 13 webinar package. By not having a cap on attendees numbers, staff from the finance team and the functional areas of council can all attend each webinar. This allows for good interaction and team building between finance and non-finance staff. 


The content has been selected to cover the important topics that are most often the ones we advise councils about. Each session includes comprehensive course materials and access to a recording of the webinar.


FBT (Part 1 and Part 2)

Fringe Benefits Tax is the annual nightmare that councils endure between April and late May every year. Don’t just pick up last year’s file and make the same mistakes! Learn the principles behind:


  • Rates and thresholds

  • Motor vehicles, cars and dual cabs

  • Exempt vehicles - examination of the conditions and record keeping

  • The significance of the 1 tonne limit

  • Car pooling - council directions and records

  • Motor vehicle policy, what it should contain

  • Car parking benefits, valid car parking valuations and choices

  • Car parking when no commercial station nearby

  • Associate leases

  • Valid logbooks

  • Entertainment - when is the provision of food and drink merely sustenance and when it is entertainment. Council meetings, in-house morning teas and celebrations

  • Why pay FBT on some portion of the Christmas party cost that is not subject to FBT

  • Remote Housing - are you sure council is eligible to claim exemption or concessions for remote housing, have all the conditions been met

  • Education expenses - what is exempt, Uni and TAFE fees covered. Should you reimburse or pay an allowance. How will the 2020 Federal Budget changes affect training and education

  • Declarations - do you know which declarations are required and what they should contain. Examine 2020 Federal Budget changes

  • Exempt items such as electronic devices

  • Salary packaging principles

  • Reportable benefits

  • Benefits for councillors

  • Hosting civic events

  • Relocation expenses

  • Proper general ledger expense tracking

  • Minor benefits exemptions

  • GST and FBT interaction - when can tax credits not be claimed

  • Common working paper errors

All of this and more plus the FBT Wrap up!

FBT Wrap up

This webinar will revisit FBT closer to the lodgment date for the FBT return. The first two webinars will deal with the technical aspects of FBT. Council staff would then start preparing work papers for the 2021 FBT year. Various issues are expected to be encountered along the way so the wrap up webinar will deal with any of the issues council has come across in preparing the work papers in readiness for the return lodgment.

Attendees can submit issues and questions in advance of this webinar.


GST & Fees, Charges & Rates

Learn the principles governing the taxation of council’s fees and charges from the ATO rulings obtained by us for more than 250 councils across Australia. Delve into the nuances of Division 81, Regulation 81 and the various Division 38 GST Free fees. Income streams encountered by rates staff is also included.

GST for Accounts Payable staff

This webinar is a timely refresher for those who have been in Accounts Payable for some time and also a good training ground for new Accounts Payable officers.

Fuel Tax Credits

Learn the nuances around Fuel Tax Credits particularly for garbage trucks, street sweepers and equipment used on and off road. Analysis of the safe harbour provisions and get the latest update on case law, ATO policies and rates.

GST, Grants & Appropriations

This webinar will delve into the detail of grants and appropriations, particularly those that are received from government departments.  Downstream grants to community organisations will also be covered including the rules of when to mark up for GST. Councils often make mistakes with the documentation around downstream grants, this webinar will outline the principles you must follow in the brochure, advertising material, funding agreement and acquittal form.

GST basics and refresher

This webinar will cover a wide range of topics applicable to Local Government at an introductory level. Accordingly it will be suitable for those new to Local Government and also those looking for a broad brushed refresher.  Some of the topics covered will include property, fees & charges, grants, creditors, contractors, tax invoices, insurance, donations, salary packaging basics, property sales for overdue rates, compulsory acquisitions, planning agreements, and community affairs.

GST & Aged Care

The rules around when client contributions are GST free is complex. This webinar covers a wide range of aged care topics and funding mechanisms such as HCP, CHSP and state HACC programs. NDIS is also covered and you will learn the principles around when and why income streams are GST free. Learn the special rules around brokerage.

Payroll Tax

Wages for council’s activities in water, sewer and cemeteries are not exempt from payroll tax. Discover how the tax is calculated, what wages and other payments such as super and FBT are taken into account and also the allocation of indirect overheads. Did you know that contractor payments are included unless they fall into one of the exempt categories?

GST & Property (Part 1 and 2)

The greatest number of queries we receive is about GST and property. This is where the big dollars are and where the potential for council to lose money on a transaction is the greatest. The 2 part webinar will include:


  • The various types of sales - taxable, margin scheme, GST Free and input taxed.

  • Short and long term leases.

  • Reduction of GST on unimproved land will be explained in detail.

  • Requirements for a valid margin scheme valuation.

  • Learn the principles that property staff must know when negotiating to buy or sell property including strategies for auction sales.

  • Compulsory acquisitions and property transfers to/from developers including under Planning Agreements.

  • Land swaps generally.

  • Clear up confusion around the Residential Withholding provisions.

  • Foreign Resident Capital Gains Withholding provisions, why councils are caught up in this.


This is your turn ​to choose the topics. Send in your questions and topic requests and these will be covered in the webinar.