An end of year party can often prove to be an enjoyable way to celebrate the festive period with work colleagues. With this in mind, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has advised businesses to ensure that their party is as tax-efficient as possible.
An annual staff party could qualify as a tax-free benefit for employees, provided certain conditions are met.
In order for a party to qualify, the total cost per head must not exceed £150 (including VAT, transport and accommodation). An event which exceeds the cost per head limit will be liable for income tax and national insurance.
In addition, the event must be held primarily for the purpose of entertaining staff, and the party must generally be open to all employees based in that location (separate departmental or divisional parties are permissible).
Commenting on tax-efficient seasonal parties, Sarah Ghaffari, Technical Manager of SME Business Tax at the ICAEW, said: ‘A Christmas party is a great way to reward staff for hard work, and as a little festive gift, HMRC allow up to £150 spend per employee, completely tax-free.
‘The Christmas tax exemption can be enjoyed by businesses of any size, so long as it’s within the £150 budget.’
The holiday season may traditionally be a time to celebrate and relax with loved ones, but more than half of Britons will be working this Christmas Eve, according to one study.
Research by a major retail outlet suggests that some 63% of people will be in the office today. Around half of those who choose to work on Christmas Eve do so in order to help fund their festive celebrations.
Meanwhile, some 30% of the employees surveyed said they will even work on Christmas Day, with younger staff members and women more likely to work at this time.
An estimated 60% of employees will even be checking their emails over the holiday period.
23 Dec 2013
Retail sales have experienced a welcome recovery in the year to December, according to a new report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The CBI’s latest Distributive Trades Survey revealed that grocers, department stores and clothing shops saw a strong increase in sales, following a previous fall in the year to November.
Sales are expected to continue to grow strongly in the year to January.
In total, 48% of respondents stated that sales had increased on a year ago, with 31% expecting the growth to continue in January.
Barry Williams, Chair of the CBI Panel said, ‘Customers have clearly held off spending through the Autumn and we’re only now seeing them start to hit the stores’.
‘Retailers are now gearing up for the crucial pre-Christmas week and are optimistic for the new year.’
An estimated 15 million people are expected to visit the shops today, spending an anticipated £2.6m a minute.