David McDonald – Director, West, Carr & Harvey. David has over 15 years’ experience providing tax and business services to small to medium enterprise and individual clients. David joined West Carr & Harvey in 2008 and became a Director in July 2014. He services a diverse range of clients including but not limited to; primary production, the medical profession, building development and construction, digital services, professional services, manufacturing, retail, hospitality and tourism.

It’s officially Christmas party season which is one of the busiest and most competitive times in the hospitality calendar.

There is no doubt a myriad of techniques used to stay competitive during the silly season, such as creating a festive menu, providing exclusive venue access or having staff don Santa outfits.

While we can’t expertly advise you on these particular methods of attracting customers, we can give you a few tips that may make your venue more appealing to businesses from a financial perspective.

Price point

Many smart business owners may be looking for a price point of under $300 per head for their Christmas celebration. This is because anything below $300 per person is mostly considered a minor benefit and exempt from Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT). We all know people like to avoid paying tax where they can, so this might be worth considering when putting your Christmas party pricing package together for potential customers.

Please note that $300 per head includes all the costs of the event so meals, drinks, entertainment, venue hire etc.


The FBT rules differ depending on whether the staff Christmas party is held on business premises or at an external venue, so this may also be worth taking into account when enticing people to your venue. Among other reasons for partying outside the office, keeping the price within the FBT exemption limit may make your venue a more appealing prospect.

To stay under the FBT limit, travel to and from venues also needs to be included under the $300 price point, so this may be another consideration for potential customers.

Obviously tax is not the only thing to consider when party planning (at least we hope not) but if you would like a better understanding of the tax rules around the silly season please feel free to contact us.

Any information in this article has been prepared without taking into account your personal circumstances. None of this material is or should be regarded as advice. Accordingly, no person should rely solely on this publication without first obtaining specific advice from one of the Directors of West Carr & Harvey. West Carr & Harvey accepts no liability for reliance on this material without obtaining such advice.

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