Tax Free Perks You Can Give Your Employees

Ray Stewart Business, General, Tax Matters Leave a Comment

I was recently asked by the owner of a fair sized business if there were still any perks he could give his employees that didn’t attract tax and national insurance.  The answer, even in these days of high tax, is yes – unbelievably!

I started to list a few things down and realized this would make interesting reading for a fair number of employers who are sick to the back teeth of having everything they try and give their employees taxed to the point of it no longer being worthwhile doing[private_basic].  The only downside to this list is that some of the perks have not changed with inflation and are at the same level as they were in the late 1970’s (when they were actually really good things to have).

But… the challenge was to find out what still remains tax free in the hands of the employees, with size of perk not being an issue, so here goes:-

  • the first 15 pence per working day of luncheon vouchers (not worth as much now as it was in the late 1970’s)
  • mileage allowances paid for work related journeys at 40p/mile for the first 10,000 miles per year and 25p/mile thereafter
  • removal expenses up to £8,000 if the employee has to move to first take up the job with your firm
  • staff parties up to a total of £150 per person per year – so not just a christmas party here!
  • all childcare costs  if the employer finances and manages the facility or £55/week to a third party provider (including a nanny in the employees own home!)
  • taxi home for employees required to work after 9pm (if public trasport has stopped for the night or it isn’t reasonable to make the employee use it) as long it doesn’t go above 60 journeys a year.
  • costs for travel from home to sites for site based employees
  • an employer can provide a works bus for all employees to use to get to and from work as long as it seats 9 or more people
  • paying for a parking space at or near work
  • providing parking for bicycles and motorcycles at work
  • tax free breakfasts can be given on official cycle to work days!
  • providing your employees with bikes and all the safety equipment needed for them to use getting to and from work
  • staff canteen – as long as all employees can use it on the same terms
  • £5 per night for incidental expenses when employees are working away from home in the UK (but only up to 4 nights!) and £10 per night when abroad
  • all training costs of current employees
  • all medical expenses for employees working abroad
  • glasses, eye tests, contact lenses etc where required by health and safety at work rules – as long as you include all employees!
  • £3 per week if your employees work at their home.  More can be paid if the employee can prove the expense occurs soley because of their home working
  • long service awards. You can give an employee of 20 years standing a non-cash gift of £50 per year – so worth a minimum of £1,000
  • staff uniforms
  • rewards given under an agreed suggestion scheme (no formal limits here)
  • workplace sports and recreation facilities for use by all the staff – but not reimbursing or paying gym memberships (we use this one a lot ourselves having set an account up at the local leisure centre)
  • private use of one mobile phone per employee
  • all costs relating to providing showers and changing facilities at work – again must be available to all employees
  • cheap loans as long as they are under £5,000

This is not an exhaustive list but I hope you can see there are still quite a few things an employer can do for the employees without any taxation burden attaching.

I hope you found this interesting and useful.  Please do not hesitate to contact me on 0800 047 0731 if you would like to discuss this list, or any other matter, in more depth.

I look forward to hearing from you!


Ray Stewart
I am a qualified Certified Practising Accountant having passed my final exams way back in 1981. I actually can’t believe that was 37 years ago!! Anyway, I am now in my 60’s and I have been running my own business since May 1983. And before you ask, no, I have never regretted a moment of it! Part of the membership requirements of my professional body now dictate that I spend quite a lot of time on “CPD” - continuing professional education (one of their better ideas) - and over the last two years I decided to study business growth and marketing. I have learnt such a lot and that knowledge has radically changed my old “accountants” approach to business. It has made such a difference to the way I work and operate I feel that I just have to pass on this knowledge. It is simply too powerful to hold back!! - but I will try and do it in simple terms rather than expecting you to spend hours, as I had to, working through the difficult language that trainers seem to use to pass on their concepts. I hope you find the blog a useful resource and interesting place to visit as the months pass. I will do my best to keep up the flow - but if there are any topics you would like me to cover, then please let me know. Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart
Ray Stewart

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