• 01 Dec 2016

A trivial benefit is a non-cash gift to an employee, not exchangeable for cash and worth no more than £50.

Employers can give as many trivial benefits to their employees as they wish. Each gift is tax-free and exempt from NIC, as long as it is not a reward for services, and not connected to the recipient’s employment contract. The employer could provide a £50 gift card to each employee on every working day of the year, but that is likely to be seen as a reward for services, in which case the gifts would be taxable.

A company’s directors are only permitted to receive up to £300 of trivial benefits each tax year. That total includes the value of trivial benefits provided to a director’s family members. This cap for directors permits the company to buy six £50 gift cards to give to each director at intervals (they must be separate gifts). The director is then free to spend or distribute those gift cards as they wish. Many other forms of gift will qualify as a tax-free trivial benefit.

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