Trivial benefits

A trivial benefit has to satisfy the following conditions in order to qualify for the trivial benefits in kind exemption:

• no more than £50 per benefit
• not cash or a cash voucher (but gift vouchers e.g. for a shop, are allowed).
• there is a limit on the total trivial benefits exemption of £300 per tax year per director (or officeholder).

The exemption also applies to family or household members, so, if there is a function where partners are invited, then each employee’s partner can share the £50 trivial benefit for the particular event. Similarly, where a director has the £300 per year limit, any benefits provided to their family or household members are also included within this limit.

If the individual benefit exceeds £50 (or an average of £50 per head), the whole amount then comes taxable as a benefit in kind, not just the excess over £50.

Examples:

Allowable

• Taking a group of employees out for a meal to celebrate a birthday
• Buying each employee a Christmas present
• Flowers on the birth of a new baby
• A summer garden party for employees

Not allowed

• Providing a working lunch for employees (because this is related to their employment)
• Gifts, incentives or events related to performance targets or results
• Gifts, incentives or events in relation to employment services e.g. team-building events
• Taxis when employees work late

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23 Skylines Village, London, E14 9TS