Business deductions

In order to attract a deduction in computing the profits of a trade or business, any expenses must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purpose of the trade. Capital expenditure is not an allowable expense (capital allowances are claimed on these costs), and certain other expenses are barred by statute. However, there are a number of expenses which, while deductible, also enjoy relatively favourable tax treatment.

If you find any of these of interest, please do discuss with us the detail of the arrangements as some are quite restrictive.

Annual party costs Note 2014/15 2013/14
Exempt amount per head for the year 1 £150 £150
Long service awards
Minimum term of service   20 years 20 years
Value of gift 2 £50 per year £50 per year
Suggestion schemes
Encouragement award   £25 £25
Payment in relation to first year benefit 3 50% 50%
Payment in relation to ongoing benefit 3 10% 10%
Maximum period for ongoing benefit   5 years 5 years
Overall maximum 4 £5,000 £5,000
Household expenses contribution
Per week amount 5 £4 £4
Relocation expenses paid to staff
Maximum amount 6 £8,000 £8,000
Works bus
Minimum number of seats   9 9
Customer gifts
Limit per gift 7 £50 £50
Sports facilities (Note 8)
Childcare provision
Weekly limit 9 £55 £55

Notes

  1. An annual Christmas party or similar annual event for staff is an allowable expense, and is not taxable on the staff attending provided the cost per head per year does not exceed £150. If this limit is exceeded, the whole benefit is taxable for the party or event where this limit was exceeded.
  2. This exemption does not apply to gifts of money. Subsequent awards must be more than 10 years after the last gift; the award is not taxable on the recipient.
  3. Either a payment may relate to the first year net financial benefit, or to ongoing net financial benefit, but not both. Various terms and conditions apply for the recipient to receive the payment tax free.
  4. The maximum amount is shared between the number of recipients for the same suggestion.
  5. Where employees work from home (including on an occasional basis) payments of up to the exempt amount in respect of additional household expenses are not taxable on them. If the employer chooses to make higher payments, they will be tax free if they do no more than reimburse reasonable additional costs incurred because the employee is working from home.
  6. Staff in receipt of tax free relocation packages must meet a number of stringent conditions.
  7. In order to be allowable the gift must have a conspicuous advert. The advertisement should be on the gift itself, and not just on the wrapping. The gifts may not be food, drink or tobacco (nor be a voucher to buy food, drink or tobacco), and the limit applies to all gifts to the same recipient in an accounting period. VAT is also recoverable on gifts, subject to this financial limit, but the restriction of food, tobacco and alcohol does not apply.
  8. Sports facilities made available to staff are not taxable on them as a benefit in kind provided certain conditions are met. The main condition is that the facilities are not also available to the public, so this prevents payment of sports club membership for staff. The exemption also cannot apply to the provision of cars, boats or aircraft and similar, nor to facilities on domestic premises.
  9. The provision of full time care in a work place nursery is tax free on staff provided it is offered to all. Otherwise a contribution to the cost of care paid direct to the childcare provider under a contract with the employer, or through the provision of childcare vouchers is tax free up to the weekly limit. Again, detailed conditions apply to this exemption. This limit is reduced to £28 for new employees who pay 40% tax, and to £22 for new employees paying 45% tax.

Do contact us if you would like further help or advice on this subject.