Tax-free gifts to staff

In an environment where most employee 'perks' are subject to tax it may be helpful for you as an employer to be aware of the few concessions that have been made by HMRC.

Long service awards

Long service awards are allowed within strict limits. There will be no tax charge so long as the employee has been with you for at least 20 years and the article given has a value not exceeding £50 for each year of service.

Suggestion scheme awards

Such awards must be made under a properly constituted suggestion scheme, based on a set percentage of the expected financial benefit to your business. The maximum award allowed is £5,000. There is also a concession for 'encouragement awards' of £25 or less to reflect meritorious effort on the part of the employee concerned.

Staff parties

Staff annual functions (e.g. a dinner dance or Christmas party) are tax-free where the total cost per person attending is not more than £150 per year (including VAT).

Promotional gifts

Such items are normally purchased for advertising purposes and must display a 'conspicuous advertisement'. Staff may receive promotional gifts tax-free provided that the overall cost of the articles involved does not exceed £50 per person per year.

Gifts of food, drink, tobacco or vouchers are specifically excluded.

For further details of other non taxable benefits see "Benefits in kind & Expenses payments".

Trivial benefits

Trivial gifts are now exempt from tax up to a vale of £50 per gift. This would apply to gifts such as Christmas gifts. It is also possible to use the exemption to provide flu vaccinations for staff and similar arrangements, provided the benefit is not a voucher exchangeable for cash or a reward for doing their job. 

A cash benefit, or a cash voucher however, is always taxable irrespective of the value.

Owner managers are further subject to an annual cap of £300 on gifts to themselves or employees who are members of their family.

SJD Accountancy

SJD Accountancy are the UK's largest specialist provider of fixed fee, Limited company accountancy services to contractors; we've been acting for contractors across the UK since 1992 and have more than 15,000 clients.

We are the only national specialist firm of contractor accountants with offices nationwide. SJD Accountancy has more qualified staff than any other firm in our market with qualifications from the following major tax and accountancy bodies - ATT, AAT, CTA, ACCA, CA, ACA and FCCA.

  • Unlimited face to face meetings. This is a unique service only SJD Accountancy offers - unlimited face to face meetings across the UK - tax is complicated and sometimes only a meeting will do.
  • UK's Largest contractor accountants with more qualified staff. No call centres, no outsourcing, no automated call handling. Simply telephone, email or meet your own dedicated accountant face to face.
  • Money back service guarantee. All your Emails received by 4pm on any normal working day will be answered the same day. Should it be necessary to leave a telephone message it will be answered same day/following day latest or we will make a full refund of that months fee.
  • Outstanding reputation. We have won more awards for customer service and accountancy excellence than any other firm in our market, including: Best Accountant for Contractors, Accountant of the Year and Best Professional Service Team to name just a few.
  • All inclusive low cost fixed fee accountancy package which includes completion of accounts*, payroll bureau, dividends and corporation tax computations, personal taxation, free bookkeeping software, your own dedicated accountant* and all company returns for a fixed fee starting from £120 plus VAT per month. Check our packages for more detail.

If you have any questions about contracting or would like any further advice please call our new client services helpdesk on 01442 275789 or email: janice@sjdaccountancy.com. Our new client services helpdesk is open Monday to Friday (8am to 6pm).

Appoint SJD Accountancy and never worry about your tax or accountancy affairs again.

Form your own Limited company with SJD - our same day online company formation service includes company bank account set up, VAT/PAYE registration and advice on optimum share structure. 

You may also find the following pages, guides and case studies useful:

*If you would like us to complete your company year end accounts we simply ask that you have been a client of SJD for one year or have made 12 monthly payments. All accountants are part or fully qualified.