How Claiming Holiday Accommodation and Meal Entertainment Using Receipts Works

By Ben Markovic

Ever wondered how you could stretch your dollar further when it comes to holidays and dining out? Well, buckle up, because we’re diving into the world of salary packaging for holiday accommodation and meal entertainment. It’s not just for the big earners; even you can play the game smart with a few tips and tricks!

Understanding Salary Packaging

First things first, let’s break down what salary packaging is. In a nutshell, it’s a way to restructure your income, allowing you to pay for certain expenses with your pre-tax salary. This little gem can be a game-changer, especially for employees in not-for-profit organizations. Why? Because they’ve got access to unique tax concessions due to the work the organisation performs in the community. Sounds cool, right?

The Magic of Pre-Tax Dollars

So, how does this whole thing work? Picture this: you’re eyeing that plush beachside resort for your next holiday. Normally, you’d pay for this with your hard-earned, post-tax cash. But with salary packaging, you can use your hard-earned pre-tax salary instead. This means more bang for your buck, and who doesn’t love that? There is a limit, of course. The maximum claimable is $2,650 per FBT year, which runs from 1 April – 31 March. This limit includes holiday accommodation and meal entertainment (dining) claims.

Step by Step: Claiming Your Perks

  1. Qualifying Expenses: First, identify what counts. We’re talking about legit dining and accommodation expenses. A relaxed lunch down at the local bistro or a cozy hotel room? Perfect!
  2. Save Those Receipts: Keep every single invoice from your escapades. Every. Single. One. They’re your golden ticket to tax savings. Remember – you need to hang on to the tax invoice which shows the details of the meal/stay. We can’t use the payment confirmation docket!
  3. Submit and Smile: Send these invoices to your employer’s salary packaging provider. They’ll handle the rest, ensuring the expenses are deducted from your pre-tax salary. If your employer uses GO Salary, the process is even easier – submit your claim instantly online and be ready to go for the next available pay. You can even choose how many pays to spread your claim over!
  4. Enjoy the Savings: The best part? These expenses are reimbursed to you from your pre-tax earnings. You’ll reduce your tax and increase your take-home pay. It’s like a mini-financial high-five!
gold coast holiday

Saving Receipts Not Your Thing?

That’s okay, you can always claim your holiday accommodation and dining expenses by using the Meal Entertainment Card. It allows you to enjoy the same tax savings without having to submit any receipts. You can read more about it here.


Can I use this for any holiday?

Absolutely! As long as the expenses are valid, go wild with your choices.

Is this only for not-for-profit employees?

Primarily, yes. FBT exempt NFPs have specific perks in salary packaging which aren’t available to other sectors.

How much can I save?

It depends on your tax bracket and the amount you are claiming. But generally, you’ll notice a pleasant difference.

Is there a limit to how much I can salary package?

Yes, the limit for holiday accommodation and meal entertainment (dining) expenses is $2,650 per annum.

How many pays should I spread my claim over?

It’s really up to you. Because the claim amount is deducted from your pre-tax earnings, you’ll just need to ensure that you have enough pay to cover it. Many of our members spread out their claims over 3 or more pays.

Where can I learn more about the claim process and inclusions/exclusions?

Check out our fact sheets here!


Salary packaging for holiday accommodation and meal entertainment isn’t just a fancy financial move for the elite. It’s a savvy strategy that can lead to significant savings, especially for not-for-profit employees. So next time you’re planning a getaway or a dinner date, remember: your pre-tax dollars could be your ticket to a little extra luxury. Go ahead, give your wallet that well-deserved break!

Remember, it’s not just about the destination or the dining; it’s about making smart financial choices that let you enjoy life’s pleasures without breaking the bank. Happy saving and happy travels!