Trivial benefits exemption, understanding the conditions
From April 2016, where trivial benefits are provided to employees they may be exempt from tax if certain conditions are met.
The Office of Tax Simplification has made a number of recommendations to the government to simplify the tax rules for reporting benefits in kind and expenses paid on behalf of directors and employees.
One recommendation was to replace a number of extra statutory concessions and legislate that trivial benefits in kind, where the cost to the employer is no more than £50, will not need to be reported in future and will be exempt from tax. HM Revenue and Customs raised concerns that some directors of family companies might abuse the new rules and have insisted that the exemption should be limited to £300 per annum in the case of directors and family members of such companies and this has now been included in the draft Finance Bill to be introduced from 6 April 2016.
The exemption is expected to cover the provision of small gifts to employees and former employees such as flowers on the occasion of a wedding or funeral and should not be in recognition of particular services performed by the employee in the course of their employment.