Gifts to employees and Charities

GIFTS OUT OF INCOME ARE NOT TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT FOR IHT

A more generous inheritance tax exemption applies where the donor can prove that he or she is not transferring capital but is making gifts out of their income. There are detailed conditions for this exemption to apply requiring records to be kept of income and expenditure in order to prove that there is sufficient surplus income each year to make regular gifts to the beneficiaries. We can of course assist you in keeping the necessary records to satisfy HMRC.

CERTAIN GIFTS CAN STILL HAVE CAPITAL GAINS TAX CONSEQUENCES

Although there will be no CGT on gifts of cash (<£3000) there may be CGT to pay where the gift comprises shares or other assets. This is because the transaction will generally be deemed to take place at market value between connected persons even though no money changes hands. Please get in touch if you require more information.

GIFTS OF UP TO £50 TO EMPLOYEES

From April 2016 new rules were introduced to allow employers to provide their directors and employees with certain “trivial” benefits in kind tax free.

The new rules were brought in as a simplification measure so that certain benefits in kind do not now need to be reported to HMRC as well as being tax free for the employee. There are of course a number of conditions that need to be satisfied to qualify for the exemption.
Conditions for the exemption to apply
• the cost of providing the benefit does not exceed £50
• the benefit is not cash or a cash voucher
• the employee is not entitled to the benefit as part of any contractual obligation such as a salary sacrifice scheme
• the benefit is not provided in recognition of particular services performed by the employee as part of their employment duties (or in anticipation of such services)
So this exemption will generally apply to small gifts to staff at Christmas, on their birthday, or other occasions and includes gifts of food, wine, or store vouchers.
Note that where the employer is a company and the benefit is provided to an individual who is a director the company the exemption is capped at a total cost of £300 in the tax year.

GIFTS TO CHARITY

Where possible higher rate taxpayers should “Gift Aid” any payments to charity to provide additional benefit to the charity and for the individual to obtain additional tax relief on the payment.

For example where an individual makes a £20 cash donation to charity the charity is able to reclaim a further £5 from HMRC making a gross gift of £25. Where the individual is a 40% higher rate taxpayer he or she is able to claim a further £5 tax relief under self-assessment, reducing their net cost to £15.