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PCR and RAT tests to be tax deductible, FBT free

The Treasurer has announced that PCR and rapid antigen tests (RAT) will be tax deductible for individuals and exempt from fringe benefits tax (FBT) for employers if purchased for work purposes.


There has been confusion over the tax treatment of RAT tests with the Prime Minister stating for some time that they are tax deductible, but in reality, the tests were probably only deductible in limited circumstances.


If you have had to purchase RAT tests to be able to work, you will be able to receive a tax deduction for the cost you have incurred from 1 July 2021 (you will need evidence of the expense). If the RAT test cost $20, someone on a marginal tax rate of 32.5% would receive a tax benefit of $6.50.


For business, it is expected that RAT, PCR and other coronavirus tests will be exempt from FBT from the 2021-22 FBT year.


Legislation enabling the change is expected before Parliament this week.

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