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News

Fringe Benefit Tax changes are coming to the parking

There is a prospective change coming to fringe benefits tax (FBT) and car parking. The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has prepared a draft taxation ruling that proposes to treat any car park that offers all-day parking as a commercial car park for FBT purposes. 

This is even if the car park’s fees are so high as to discourage all-day parking. Under that definition, shopping centre, hospital, airport and university car parks could all be considered commercial car parks.  

Businesses whose staff parking facilities are both in the vicinity of the workplace and within one kilometre of such a car park may now have to pay FBT on the taxable value of employees’ car spaces, where previously they did not. 

Any business that provides employees with car parking but is currently exempt from FBT on that parking needs to assess whether these changes will impact them, and make that assessment sooner rather than later. 

Businesses in areas like Sydney’s Macquarie Park and North Ryde, home to car parks associated with Macquarie University and Macquarie Centre shopping centre, will potentially be impacted by these changes. 

Local transport management association Connect Macquarie Park & North Ryde is helping to educate their members about the prospective changes. Some of these businesses may be liable for thousands of dollars in car parking fringe benefits tax for the first time, and it is important that they determine now whether their liability is going to change.  

The prospective changes have the potential to affect any business in Australia within a kilometre of a shopping centre, airport, university or hospital car park. Those in areas like Melbourne’s Carlton and Parkville, with their plethora of car parks associated with the University of Melbourne and RMIT, could be affected. 

Businesses in Eagle Farm, Hendra and Nundah within a kilometre of the numerous Brisbane Airport parking facilities should assess whether they will be impacted by the changes. Organisations in proximity to Adelaide’s largest shopping centre Westfield Marion and its car parks, need to do the same. 

If businesses determine now that they will be affected by the changes, they can get ahead of the game and invest in smarter parking technology that can save them money at tax time. The ATO calculates how much FBT is payable on a car parking space based on its utilisation.

If a business can show, with thorough, accurate, real-time reporting, that utilisation is low – perhaps whilst their employees are working from home, for example – they can reduce their FBT liability. To be able to demonstrate this when FBT is due, businesses need to put the smarter parking systems in place now. 

For a few years now, DIVVY has been working with Connect and several Macquarie Park and North Ryde businesses, including Downer, Boral, Novartis and DXC Technology, to help them get the most out of their car parking and other bookable assets.  

Even our existing clients might not know that DIVVY’s fringe benefits tax reporting has been given the thumbs up by Deloitte Private, who acknowledge that using DIVVY’s reports can, in the relevant circumstances, result in a reduction to the car parking fringe benefits tax payable.  

The ATO’s final ruling is expected later this year and the changes will take place from April 2021.  

Car parking fringe benefits tax change is almost certainly coming, so make sure you take those proactive steps now. 

This is general information, and we recommend that you seek professional taxation advice relevant to your circumstances.  

For more information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au.  

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News

Hourly car parking – affordable, convenient and easy

In a city like Sydney, the easiest way to get around is often in your own car. But where to park? Find out how DIVVY’s hourly parking makes parking in Sydney so simple.

It’s affordable

Some car parking operators charge a premium for hourly parking, especially in areas of high demand like the Sydney CBD. DIVVY is different. Our weekday Sydney city parking starts from $5 an hour, and weekend and evening rates are even lower. It’s almost certainly cheaper than a taxi or a ride share, and you might even find that DIVVY’s hourly parking is cheaper than taking public transport.

It’s quick

Pre-book your hourly parking on the DIVVY app or website before you leave home, and you’re good to go. No more time wasted driving the streets looking for a park. The booking process itself is super quick and easy too.

It’s convenient

Use the DIVVY website or app to book a park where you need it, when you need it. It’s that simple. Only book the amount of time you need – no need to pay for a whole day if you’re only staying an hour. Your receipt is automatically emailed to you, giving you an easy-to-find record of your parking if you want to claim reimbursement from your employer or for use at tax time.

It’s secure

DIVVY car parks are well-lit, monitored and secure. No more worrying about your car left parked on the street, or fumbling for your keys in the dark.

It’s contactless

When you pre-book your hourly parking with DIVVY, you’re securing yourself a cashless, contactless parking space. DIVVY’s unique QR code technology means no ticket machines.

Why list car parking spaces with DIVVY?

Maybe your business has more car spaces on its lease than it needs, or perhaps your car spaces are going temporarily unused whilst your employees work remotely. Businesses can list their unused parking spaces on DIVVY Marketplace for booking by the public. Every parking space booked returns revenue to your business.

DIVVY markets to a database of 80,000 parking customers, saving businesses from having to invest in marketing of their own to fill parking spaces. Businesses have the option to exercise discretion around who can access listed spaces, thereby eliminating any security concerns. Support is available to all parkers and businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year via phone, live chat and email, and DIVVY customer support staff can solve problems on the ground with their ability to operate boom gates and roller doors.

To find out more about listing your parking spaces with DIVVY, contact sales@divvy.com.au.

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Case Study staff parking

How Suncorp used DIVVY to save costs and help their staff during COVID-19

Businesses everywhere have been faced with all manner of extraordinary challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic wreaks havoc around the world. When restrictions came into force in Australia at the end of March, Suncorp turned to the DIVVY Enterprise parking management system to help them navigate the complex and rapidly changing situation.

Suncorp, one of Australia’s largest financial services brands, has relied on DIVVY Enterprise to manage the onsite parking for their fleet of trade vehicles at their Brisbane and Sydney offices since 2018.

In late March 2020, Suncorp was one of many Australian businesses to transition as many of their employees as possible to working from home. Even so, there remained a core group of essential staff who needed to continue to work from the office.

At a time of heightened social restrictions, Suncorpwanted to help their essential employees avoid commuting via public transport. The onsite parking at their Brisbane and Sydney premises, usually allocated to their tool of trade vehicles, was offered up to their essential workers.

Suncorp were also quick to lease additional off-site commercial parking to ensure they were able to meet the parking needs of their essential staff.  

The essential workers had not had access to Suncorp’s onsite parking before COVID-19. The sudden change to Suncorp’s parking usage meant an entirely new cohort of parkers had to be onboarded into the DIVVY system very quickly, so that they could access the car parks.

Over the course of the lockdown period, Suncorp would add more than 100 new users to the DIVVY system.

Because the DIVVY system is so user-friendly, they were able to do so without a hitch. A couple of weeks into the new working arrangements, Suncorp called upon DIVVY’s reporting functionality to reveal the actual usage of their parking bays during this period.

The reports issued by the DIVVY Enterprise system showed that as employees stayed at home as much as possible, actual parking usage was lower than Suncorp’s initial projections. Suncorp were able to relinquish the additional commercial parking bays they had leased at the beginning of the restrictions, thereby returning savings to the business, and transfer the staff who had been using those bays over to the DIVVY system to use Suncorp’s own onsite parking.

Suncorp’s onsite parking never reached full capacity during lockdown because DIVVY optimised the use of the spaces so efficiently. DIVVY managed the high number of parkers and the ad hoc, unpredictable pattern of parking usage without fault.

As restrictions ease and workplaces re-open, Suncorp are gradually transitioning their staff back to their offices, with groups of employees starting to return from mid-June. Subject to government advice regarding safe public transport usage, staff will be encouraged to return to public transport and onsite parking will revert to the tool of trade vehicles. Suncorp will continue to use DIVVY Enterpriseto manage and monitor parking usage during the transition period as COVID-19 working procedures are wound down and the trade fleet return to their onsite parking.

Joseph Harmon, Fleet and Car Parking Manager for Suncorp, says,

‘Since 2018, Suncorp has depended on DIVVY to provide convenient and reportable parking management at our Brisbane Square and Shelley Street locations.

DIVVY Enterprise gave us the flexibility to start using our parking bays for a completely different sector of our team almost overnight, helping us to manage our business efficiently during a very unpredictable time.’

DIVVY was fantastic during the COVID-19 restrictions. It gave us complete and accurate visibility over parking bay utilisation and was so easy to use as we added more than a hundred new parkers to the system.

For further information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au.  

Categories
News

How your business can save on its car parking spaces during COVID-19

To help businesses navigate this difficult time, here are our top tips for reducing car parking costs during the coronavirus pandemic. 

1. Pay less Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) 

Did you know that your business could be paying less FBT on employee car parking at the moment? If your staff car parking is not meeting all the ATO’s conditions, it could be exempt or receive a reduction from FBT – for example, if car parking is provided for less than 4 hours between 7am and 7pm. 

If your company has staff working from home, and employee parking is going unused, it is worth investigating whether that parking is currently exempt from FBT. DIVVY Enterprise clients can determine exact car parking usage in an instant with DIVVY’s reports portal and potentially save thousands during this time. 

2. Get an exemption on the Parking Space Levy 

Sydney, Melbourne and Perth all have versions of the parking space levy (known in Victoria as the congestion levy), an annual tax payable by owners of parking spaces located in specific high-density districts. 

As part of the NSW Government’s tax relief measures to assist businesses impacted by COVID-19, Revenue NSW have announced that PSL payments will be deferred until 30 September 2020. At the time of writing, the Victorian and Western Australian governments are yet to make similar announcements. 

Now is a good time to investigate whether your parking spaces are eligible for exemption from the parking space levy. In NSW an unused casual car parking space – that is, a car space available for public parking – is excluded from the PSL calculation. 

If your business has car spaces listed for public parking on DIVVY Marketplace that are not being used to their full capacity at the moment, investigate whether you are eligible to reduce your PSL payment. The DIVVY reports portal can provide the usage records required to apply for an exemption. 

If you’re a building tenant with car parking on your lease, there’s a good chance your landlord is benefiting from the PSL deferral. Consider asking them to pass the current deferrals and savings on to you too.  

3. Make money from your empty car parking spaces 

You could be generating revenue from parking spaces left empty by staff working from home. If you have DIVVY access controllers installed in your car park, consider listing your empty car parking spaces for public bookings on DIVVY Marketplace. There are still people commuting to work who need safe and secure parking, and every Marketplace booking returns revenue to your business. 

If your car park has a ticket validator or valet service entry system, your vacant parking spaces can be listed for public booking on our parking aggregator site Justbooked. List parking spaces for free and take advantage of a new marketing channel. 

4. Get efficient with DIVVY Enterprise 

The DIVVY Enterprise parking management system helps businesses get the most out of their parking at any time, and it can make life that bit simpler and safer during COVID-19.   

DIVVY Enterprise uses contactless QR code technology to provide access to car parks, doing away with the unsafe practice of sharing physical access cards. 

The ‘Free Up My Space’ feature offers the ultimate flexibility for staff parking management, even more, useful in rapidly evolving situations like the coronavirus pandemic. Employees with allocated parking who are working from home can make their parking space available for those staff that need to continue to travel into the office and who don’t normally have access to parking. 

The ‘Book On Behalf’ feature makes it easy to enable access to parking for employees or others visitors who don’t usually park on-site, or who usually work from another site, but need access during COVID-19. 

DIVVY Enterprise uses secure cloud-based technology so all these features, plus Enterprise’s multitude of other functions, can all be performed remotely, meaning staff working from home can continue to manage and monitor parking efficiently and with ease. 

*Please note DIVVY does not provide financial advice and we recommend you seek advice from your financial advisory or accountant.

We’re here to help. For more information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au.  

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News

Parking and the Internet of Things – Grant Fowler, CEO of DIVVY

Picture this. It’s 7.30am on a Tuesday. You jump in the car, setting out on your commute to work. Your car or your phone provides you with a warning about an earlier accident on your usual route and guides you on a detour specially designed to avoid the banked-up traffic.

Once you arrive at the carpark, the boom gate lifts as you approach – no pull ticket or access pass necessary. Your credit card will be automatically charged based on the length of your stay and frequency of visits. You’re then directed by your car or phone to the nearest available car space, one that is guaranteed to be the right size for your big electric SUV. Getting out of the car, you approach the lift as the doors open. There’s no need to rush – the lift knew you were coming and it’s waiting for you.

This is what our mornings will soon look like, thanks to the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) is a concept that describes a totally interconnected world. It’s a world where devices of every shape and size are manufactured with ‘smart’ capabilities that allow them to communicate and interact with other devices, exchange data, make autonomous decisions and perform useful tasks based on pre-set, but adaptable, conditions. It’s a world where technology will make life richer, easier, safer and more comfortable.

The Internet of Things is simply the logical next step in an evolutionary process. The fact is that the technological building blocks of the IoT—including microcontrollers, microprocessors, environmental and other types of sensors, and short range and long-range networking communications – are already in wide-spread use today.

The IoT, which provides a platform for acceleration of the rate of development of existing technologies further, simply adds one additional capability – a secured service infrastructure – to the evolving technology mix. Such an infrastructure will support the communication and remote-control capabilities that enable a wide variety of Internet-enabled devices to work together, resulting in scenarios like your commute described above. And it is big business – a study by McKinsey estimates that the IoT will contribute between $40 – $100 billion to the Australian GDP by 2025.

Life with the IoT contributes to the rise of ‘smart cities’. A smart city uses data and technology to improve the lives of the citizens and businesses that inhabit it. The ‘smart’ in smart cities is about the ability of numerous interconnected devices to collect data derived from our actions, reactions, journeys, preferences, wants and needs, the products we buy, the services we use, the places we go to and the places we don’t go to, and deliver this data to a cloud location. That data is then distributed to analysts or AI-enabled servers that process the data, draw conclusions and deliver an improved life experience back to us. 

There is no shortage of discussion on the possibilities presented by the IoT. From smart buildings to home automation, from fitness trackers to connected gyms and from info-bots at airports to border security search and discover, there are myriad ways our lives could be changed by the mass use of interconnected sensors embedded in everyday objects.

From the perspective of parking, the IoT solutions offer real benefits. Ultimately, it means that people will spend less time in cars. This will contribute to an uplift in productivity and will give people more leisure time. Fewer vehicles on the road means a reduction in traffic congestion, which means fewer accidents and less stress. It also means less pollution. Additionally, less time spent circling looking for a car park means less vehicle emissions.

So, we see that individual customers as well as the greater community benefit when parking is enhanced by the IoT. But what can the IoT offer building owners? Data. And with data comes insight. The days of installing ‘dumb’ parking access control devices are numbered. Property owners are already realising data streams about visitors to other parts of their buildings thanks to IoT integration, and they rightly expect the same level of insight from their carpark.

Car parking in the age of the IoT has the capacity to offer a rich stream of data relating to building tenants and visitors and their habits and needs. This can give our property owner customers the ability to build-to-demand and to design the buildings of the future – truly smart buildings.

As a tech-based company, DIVVY considered how to best deliver our products into the smart cities environment and soon realised that smart cities need not only best-in-class tech devices, but the connectivity that only IoT platforms can provide. We made the choice to build our complete parking access control platform and hardware management software solution in the Microsoft Azure IoT platform. Microsoft’s Azure IoT operating system provides an unprecedented level of security for IoT connected devices.

We have also released a new input / output controller built with a Microsoft Azure Sphere IoT chip included as the secure core of the device. We’re proud to say that this world-first controller was designed and developed in-house at DIVVY here in Australia. We recently released the new device at Microsoft’s IoT In Actionconference in Auckland, which we attended in conjunction with our partner Avnet, a global leader in electronic components, services and embedded solutions. DIVVY is Microsoft’s very first Australian partner to provide an IoT turn-key product with an embedded Microsoft Azure Sphere IoT secure chip.  

What is the likely impact on the parking industry as a result of IoT development and the continued advance of smart cities? In a word – collaboration. If other industries are a model for us to consider, then it is likely that in the future each parking company will narrow its focus to its specialty skills – whether they be hardware, software or other – and collaborate with other existing companies in the sector who can provide the complementary skills to make up the whole package. 

This may seem unlikely at present as we all rush to protect our market share in the existing environment. However, if we look at the auto industry in the US or Europe, the global aircraft industry, or almost any of the transport industries across the world, we find that major contracts are supplied by collaborative partners that each provide the element that they do better than others and together, they deliver to the customers’ expectations.

Today’s consumer has an unprecedented level of choice. Smart phones and tablets provide access to mapping and aggregation platforms that hand power to the consumer when selecting their transactional partner for every dollar they spend. User experience and customer journey are already the judgement criteria for the goods and services we, as members of the parking industry, provide.

The parking industry’s ability to seamlessly integrate with all of our customer’s touchpoints will depend on our ability to evolve, collaborate and embrace the IoT platforms that will enable us to become an integral part of the core infrastructure of the smart city and an asset to the smart populace.

For further information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au.  

Categories
Case Study staff parking

Data is key to more efficient parking for Boral

Building and construction materials group, Boral, is using data supplied by the DIVVY Enterprise parking management system to increase efficiencies and flexibility at their North Ryde office.

Triniti Business Park in North Ryde, Sydney, owned by Stockland, is home to a number of blue-chip companies, including Boral Australia’s New South Wales head office and shared services. Stockland installed DIVVY access controllers at Triniti to help their tenants manage staff parking as easily and efficiently as possible.

Looking to recoup costs associated with parking space leases and optimise staff parking, Boral was quick to move to the DIVVY Enterprise system in September 2019 to better manage their 220 parking spaces. Similarly, Downer EDI, another naming tenant in Triniti Business Park, has taken on DIVVY Enterprise. You can read about the way they use DIVVY Enterprise here http://bit.ly/39l43Q5.

DIVVY Enterprise’s real-time, detailed and accurate reporting was the key to Boral’s increased efficiencies. Boral wanted to establish whether their leased car parking spaces were being used to their full potential. DIVVY Enterprise’s utilisation reporting gave Boral a clear picture of how their parking spaces were being used.  The data provided an accurate insight into how many parking spaces Boral needed to meet its staff parking needs and how utilisation could be improved based on staff working hours and needs. As a result, Boral now leases 35 fewer parking spaces at the North Ryde office, while still meeting its staff parking needs.

DIVVY Enterprise allows Boral to manage its staff parking in nuanced and incredibly efficient ways. Boral has established parking groups in the DIVVY system based on staff parking needs. By managing groups with different DIVVY features, Boral can ensure that a wide range of staff parking priorities and needs are met.

For example, Boral has a parking group to manage the parking needs of staff who work part-time or who visit the North Ryde office less frequently. Some of these staff create DIVVY accounts and self-book their parking from an allocated pool of parking spaces. Others in this group can access parking from the same pool of spaces through the Book on Behalf feature, managed by Boral administrators, which emails the parker a QR code to access their parking.

A particularly practical feature is that the number of parking spaces assigned to each parking group is managed by Boral’s administrators, meaning that parking spaces can be reallocated from one group to another when required. This detailed level of parking management provides Boral with flexibility and efficiency.

DIVVY Enterprise has also saved Boral’s facilities staff time and effort. Prior to the implementation of the DIVVY Enterprise system, Boral’s facilities team was routinely required to liaise with their Triniti Business Park neighbours in order to resolve issues when staff from other companies incorrectly parked in Boral’s bays.

Now, with DIVVY Enterprise in place, a member of Boral’s facilities team simply contacts the DIVVY support team, who has access to the relevant groups and the driver and vehicle details for all users signed up to the platform. The DIVVY Parking support team can then contact those drivers who have mistakenly parked in the wrong bay.

The more tenants in the business park who implement the DIVVY Enterprise system, the more powerful this function becomes. Triniti Business Park’s two largest tenants, Downer Group and Boral, are both DIVVY users, and thus much time and effort has been saved in this way.

Brian Tasker, National General Manager, Boral Land and Property Group, said:

‘The DIVVY Enterprise parking management system has given us the data and reporting we needed to better understand the parking utilisation and requirements at our North Ryde office. Through the use of DIVVY Enterprise, we have been able to consolidate and streamline our parking and provide greater flexibility and efficiencies for our business.’

For further information, please contact Kat Fowler, DIVVY’s Marketing and Communications Manager at kat@divvy.com.au.  

Categories
Bookable Assets

DIVVY and Dexus join forces at The Mill

DIVVY has once again teamed up with leading real estate group Dexus, this time at their unique heritage property The Mill at Alexandria. The DIVVY parking management system was rolled out at the property in June to facilitate tenant parking.

The Mill is a 1.9-hectare mixed use multi-tenanted property comprised of a mix of modern and refurbished historic buildings in Alexandria, NSW, with warehouse style offices, retail spaces and 130 car parking bays.

It is home to a diverse range of tenants, including GenesisCare, Bendon Lingerie, Seafolly, Under Armour and iconic South Sydney eatery The Grounds of Alexandria. The DIVVY parking management system was chosen by Dexus to facilitate tenant parking due to its ease of use. DIVVY’s market-leading access controllers, which use a QR code reader, allow tenants’ staff to scan in and out of the car park without fuss or delay.

DIVVY is now the preferred parking management system in 11-Dexus-owned properties nationwide, with more to come soon.

For further information, please contact sales@divvy.com.au.