Press releases

U-turn on proposed new £50 exemption for Trivial Benefits

26 March 2015

A late change to the Finance Bill has seen the postponement of the proposed new exemption for Trivial Benefits*. The proposal would have exempted small benefits of up to £50 from April 2015, provided they were not in recognition of services, part of a contractual obligation or in conjunction with a salary sacrifice arrangement.

Mark Groom, tax partner at Deloitte, comments: “The proposal was well received by employers as a simplifying measure and a means of ensuring consistency between different types of benefit and between different employers.

“Under current rules, which will now continue to apply, it has been necessary for employers to agree with HMRC which benefits they provide count as Trivial. Welfare-focussed benefits seem to be commonly approved by HMRC up to around £50, although not all HMRC Officers will agree to the same limit. While for other benefits, HMRC agreement can depend on the nature and quantum of the benefit concerned.”

Employers who have been seeking to rely on the new exemption from 6 April should now check with HMRC whether or not any benefits they were proposing to provide tax free, can qualify as Trivial under the existing rules.

End

Notes to editors

* Trivial benefits are benefits in kind costing less than £50 which are not provided in recognition of particular services or as part of a salary sacrifice or otherwise as a contractual obligation. The exemption is intended to cover occasional benefits such as a flowers for a sick employee. However, the proposed definition might have applied more widely to other arrangements, e.g. occasional drinks.

About Deloitte
In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see www.deloitte.co.uk/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.

Laura Parsons
Deloitte LLP
+44 (0) 20 7303 0885
+44 (0) 78 2695 2940
lauparsons@deloitte.co.uk

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