Introduction

If an employer provides any staff entertainment for their employees, a taxable benefit may arise on that provision. Staff entertainment could be any function, event, party or meal which an employer provides to an employee.

Entertaining events

The first thing to consider is whether the expenditure incurred by the employer is exempt from tax anywhere else in the tax legislation. This may be because the event is a qualifying annual party, the meal is covered by travel and subsistence rules, or the event is a training event. It is also worth considering whether the entertainment is trivial in nature and can be exempted under the trivial benefits legislation. This could be the case where there is a small office get-together with a few drinks and sandwiches. See the Trivial benefits guidance note. Only if the expense is not exempt, or allowable for tax purposes elsewhere, does it give rise to a taxable benefit.

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