Avoid a call from the taxman

Avoid a visit from the tax man this festive season.
Avoid a visit from the tax man this festive season.
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The festive season is the perfect time for businesses to thank their employees for their hard work throughout the year.

Although it’s good for bosses to show staff their appreciation, SBP Accountants and Business Advisors, which has offices in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Banff and Fraserburgh, warned they need to take care or they could receive an unwanted gift from the taxman.

Alan Masson, head of tax at SBP, said it is important for bosses to remember tax rules don’t change at Christmas, although some concessions are granted by HMRC.

Mr Masson said: “The festive season is a time for giving, and we understand that bosses will be thanking clients for their custom, and rewarding staff for their dedication throughout the year.

“But they need to think about their choice of reward so they don’t get any nasty surprises,” said Mr Masson.

If a firm gives small ‘trivial’ gifts such as turkey, a bottle of wine or a box of chocolates these will not be taxable if given in isolation.

Together there may be a taxable benefit.

Hampers would certainlybe classed as chargeable benefits – as would anything else not regarded as ‘trivial’ by HMRC.