Maybe you have recently given your staff members a bottle of wine or a voucher to help celebrate the New Year or as a thank you for their services in 2017, but did you know this could be classed as a trivial benefit in kind?
While the cost may not be ‘trivial’ to some, this tax relief does cover benefits, such as taking employees out for meals or giving gifts – costs which quickly add up.
New rules introduced in 2016 overhauled the procedures for taxing trivial benefits in kind, which state that any benefit that meets the following criteria set out by HM Revenue & Customs is exempt from income tax and national insurance:
- The cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50 (or the average cost per employee if a benefit is provided to a group of employees and it is impracticable to work out the exact cost per person);
- The benefit is not cash or a cash voucher;
- The employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of any contractual obligation (including under salary sacrifice arrangements); and
- The benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties (or in anticipation of such services).
The rules differ slightly for office holders of the company, family members and members of the household, whose exemption is capped at £300 for each tax year.
If you believe that such a benefit has been provided to your employees then you may no longer need to include them on a P11D form, as has previously been the case.