What do you do with the tax updates we provide?
Obviously, they have an update purpose, all your staff should read and take note, but what about your clients and prospects?
How long is it since you added new names to your newsletter distributions lists? In some respects sending out information is a numbers game. The more people you reach, the more businesses you will convert. More importantly, clients may pick up on issues that provide solutions to their particular problems and in this way you can cross sell additional services.
If we raise an issue in a newsletter that you feel may be beneficial to specific clients, use the technical information we have sent to create a focussed mini-campaign aimed at these clients.
One possibility would be to organise an after-hours seminar/discussion where you could present on a topic, say the change to dividend tax next year, and use the opportunity to book individual round-table consultations where you can flesh out new tax strategies.
Here’s an idea you could use. In our printed newsletter to be distributed early December 2015 we are adding an article to advise businesses on the tax free perks available over the Christmas period. The article is reproduced below. Turn all or part of this text into a hand out that you can slip into the client’s Christmas cards:
December gives us an excuse to let our hair down and enjoy a well earned celebration with our work colleagues and partners. The cost of an annual staff party or similar function is allowed as a deduction for tax purposes. However, the cost is only deductible if it relates to employees and their guests, which would include directors in the case of a company, but not sole traders and business partners in the case of unincorporated organisations.
Also, as long as the criteria below are followed there will be no taxable benefit charged to employees:
1. The event must be open to all employees at a particular location.
2. An annual Christmas party or other annual event offered to staff generally is not taxable on those attending provided that the average cost per head of the functions does not exceed £150 p.a. (inc VAT). The guests of staff attending are included in the head count when computing the cost per head attending.
3. All costs must be taken into account, including the costs of transport to and from the event, accommodation provided, and VAT. The total cost of the event is merely divided by the number attending to find the average cost. If the limit is exceeded then individual members of staff will be taxable on their average cost, plus the cost for any guests they were permitted to bring.
4. VAT input tax can be recovered on staff entertaining expenditure. If the guests of staff are also invited to the event the input tax has to be apportioned, as the VAT applicable to non-staff is not recoverable. However, if non-staff attendees pay a reasonable contribution to the event, all the VAT can be reclaimed and of course output tax should be accounted for on the amount of the contribution.
If these limits are breached employers can pick up the tax cost by using a PAYE settlement agreement.
A final note on ‘Trivial’ gifts for employees.
Employers may find the following Revenue concession useful – we have copied the note directly from the HMRC handbook:
“An employer may provide employees with a seasonal gift, such as a turkey, an ordinary bottle of wine or a box of chocolates at Christmas. All of these gifts are considered to be trivial and as such are not taxable. For an employer with a large number of employees the total cost of providing a gift to each employee may be considerable, but where the gift to each employee is a trivial benefit, this principle applies regardless of the total cost to the employer and the number of employees concerned.”
Information is only impactful if it is used. Sending it by email to as many people as you can is one method, there are many others. Make the most of the material we send you…