Some employers give their employees accommodation or an accommodation allowance. This is generally treated as a benefit allowance. In most situations it will be taxable.
If you pay an accommodation allowance as a salary trade-off, this is also taxable.
Out-of-town secondments and work on capital projects are common situations where employer-provided accommodation or an accommodation allowance may be non-taxable.
If you provide free board you need to think about what is being supplied when calculating the taxable value. This includes any meals and electricity that are provided on top of the accommodation.
Four types of employer-provided accommodation are always non-taxable:
- a berth, room or other lodging provided on a mobile workplace such as a ship, truck or oil rig
- a station in Antarctica
- lodging provided for shift workers such as fire-fighters, ambulance staff and care-givers when it’s needed to perform their duties
- accommodation at remote locations outside New Zealand, such as mines in Australia where an employee is expected to “fly in and fly out”.