Remote Area Benefits – Do they apply to you?Back

On May 13, 2024
So, you have signed up for Salary Packaging and wonder what are Remote Area benefits about?

Remote Area Benefits are designed to incentivise people to move away from big cities and settle in regional remote Australia. The government offers financial assistance to homeowners or renters who reside in remote areas. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can bundle rent, mortgage interest, and household gas and electricity costs within the existing cap.

What does it mean to be eligible for Remote Area Benefits?
Well, your employer must offer it as part of their employee benefits program, and you must work and live in a remote regional area classified as remote by the ATO list, you can find that list here.

If you live in a remote area, you may be eligible to claim Remote Area Benefits. These benefits cover a range of expenses, including the interest on your mortgage, your rent payments, and your electricity and gas bills. Additionally, travel expenses may also be included.

What if I have a Mortgage?
If you have a mortgage on your home in a remote area, and it is also your primary place of residence, you can salary package even more of the interest component. To be specific, 50% of the interest amount is considered an Exempt Benefit, and the other 50% is deducted from your industry-specific cap.

For example, let's say Joe works for a Public Benevolent Institution and lives in a remote area. He has a mortgage on a property that is his primary place of residence. Joe submitted his annual mortgage statement showing that he paid a total interest of $15,700. For the Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) year (1 April to 31 March), Joe can claim $7,850 through salary packaging and the remaining 50% of the interest amount under the remote housing exempt benefits cap.

Who are Remote Are Benefits Available to?
Remember, Remote Area Benefits are only available to those who meet the eligibility criteria and live and work in remote areas. If you meet the criteria, you could benefit from this initiative and reduce your living costs while enjoying the unique lifestyle and opportunities that remote Australia has to offer.

Want to know more?
Watch our snapshot on Remote Area Benefits here

If you think Remote Area Benefits may apply to you, check with your employer, and call our friendly team on 1800 932 394.

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