News is a curious commodity. Currently, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction. For example, belief in certain political utterances may induce depression when in fact the opposite may be the case and celebration may be the order of the day.
Should we therefore be selective about our exposure? Good news we can assume will induce a sense of peace and optimism. Followed swiftly by enthusiasm for the job in hand.
Christmas provides such an opportunity and it is still possible for employers to spread a little joy and light relief by being their business Santa.
In a recent article posted to our newsfeed for accountants we highlighted the benefits of tax-free gifts for employees. The benefits are oddly described by HMRC as “trivial benefits”. The article is reproduced below. Employers take note…
You don’t have to pay tax on a benefit (gift) to your employee if all of the following apply:
- it cost you £50 or less to provide
- it isn’t cash or a cash voucher
- it isn’t a reward for their work or performance
- it isn’t in the terms of their contract
Gifts that fall into this category are known as a ‘trivial benefit’; and whilst they may be much more than trivial in substance, you don’t need to pay tax or National Insurance or let HMRC know you are making the gift.
Any gifts that do not meet this definition will likely be taxable.
Gifts to directors are treated in a similar fashion with one over-riding condition: a director cannot receive trivial gifts of more than £300 in total each tax year. This restriction only applies to the directors of “close companies”. A close company is a limited company with five or fewer shareholders.
If you are looking for a newsfeed for your practice please call. You can be assured that there is no “fake news” in our content.