Thursday, 12 October 2017

What’s the best pressie you’ve ever received from work?

Well, it depends how trivial it is…

Brace yourself: we’re about to mention the c-word.

No need to be alarmed though – Hallowe’en hasn’t arrived yet and no one’s mentioned Guy Fawkes or Bonfire Night, so it’s perfectly acceptable timing to jump on the bandwagon and bring up Christmas 3 months early…

Because Christmas is a time for giving and goodwill to all, now is the ideal time for (ahem, great) employers to start thinking about what presents to get their highly-appreciated and hard-working employees.

Which is why it’s good to know about what gifts are tax-exempt and which ones you need to report on your P11D or PAYE Settlement Agreement.

That’s right; we’re talking about trivial benefits here.

So, what’s allowable and what isn’t?

Well, thanks to the work of Sir Tufty Rough-Bonce and his aides Preston Garstang and Compton Bassett in the Department of Trivial Affairs, all of the finer, pointless details have already been thrashed out.

Lengthy discussions have been had and painstaking decisions made. A Definitive History of HMRC didn’t quite make it (not trivial enough) and life-size knitted sheep were rejected immediately (too woolly).

However, within the conclusive guidelines, a nice bottle of wine or festive turkey is deemed acceptable. As is a £49.00 personalised Winter Wonderland snow globe.

In short, for the gift to be exempt, here’s what you need to know:

It can’t be cash or a cash voucher (but can be a gift voucher).
It shouldn’t exceed £50 in value.
It can’t be provided as part of a salary sacrifice or other contractual arrangement.
It shouldn’t be given in recognition of roles or services that the employee performs as part of
        their job.

Hopefully then (and unless you’re an insomniac), the wait for just what you've always wanted is only 77 sleeps away. But, if you think there’s more chance of Bing Crosby carol-singing White Christmas at your place of work than your employer having a seasonal treat lined up for you, remember, you could always lead by example…

Apparently, we hear that an ornamental turkey in a bottle is all the rage this year and selling fast. Of course, where you invite the recipient to put the decorative stuffing is entirely up to you.

Until next month...