Tax Free Benefits in Kind

24th January 2010

Certain benefits in kind still remain entirely tax free, and can be used in flexible remuneration and/or salary sacrifice situations:

  • Pension scheme contributions (up to £40,000 per employee per annum, plus potential ‘catch-up’ from previous 3 years).
  • Childcare vouchers or employer supported childcare (up to £55 per week, depending upon personal tax status),
  • Use of a bicycle for mainly home to work commuting and other business use, which is available to all employees,
  • Mobile phones, for both business and private use, where the contract is between the employer and the supplier,
  • Interest free loans of less than £10,000 throughout the year,
  • Free or subsidised meals provided on the employer’s premises, which are available to all staff,
  • Expenses incurred in the provision of any death in service life assurance lump sum, gratuity, or similar benefit given to an employee or to any member of the employee’s family or household on the employee’s death (no longer capped at x 4 salary),
  • Places in nurseries on premises made available and managed by the employer,
  • Contributions towards ‘Use of Home as Office’ (£4 per week without the need to keep supporting evidence of cost),
  • Contribution towards incidental overnight expenses, when you stay away from home for at least 1 night on a work journey,
  • Job related living accommodation,
  • Trivial benefits, including a small gift in recognition of a particular event (eg marriage or birth of child), a seasonal gift or provision of free tea and coffee.
  • Long service awards, for those with over 20 years service, where the cost does not exceed £50 per year of such service,
  • Awards to employees under formally constituted suggestion schemes,
  • Provision of a parking space at or near the employee’s place of work,
  • Provision of subsidised public road transport to and from work, which is available to all employees,
  • Annual parties where the cost to the employer does not exceed £150 per head,
  • Sports facilities made available to employees which are not available to the general public,
  • Certain work related training expenses,
  • Removal expenses resulting from a change in job, up to the first £8,000,
  • The personal use of an employer’s computer, in certain circumstances.
  • Guaranteeing a personal debt.
  • Using the business purchasing power to obtain discounted personal goods/services, which are reimbursed by the individual.

As with all exemptions provided under statute or extra statutory concession, care is required to ensure that the actual circumstances fall within the precise criteria laid down. Our tax team are able to assist clients in structuring transactions to fully utilise these ever-diminishing tax exemptions.



 
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