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Are gift vouchers taxable?

My employer gives all employees gift vouchers to a value of £30 each at Christmas. This year they have been taxed through the payroll, but I thought that the Inland Revenue allowed employee gifts of about £75 per employee before tax is payable. Am I Wrong? Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks.
Roz
Roz Callaghan

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21st Dec 2004 15:34

£150 exemption only applies to gifts from 3rd parties
Not sure why? Just practical, I suppose.

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By Abacjm
20th Dec 2004 17:01

Tax Free gifts
The only gifts that are tax free are Turkeys at Christmas. Any other rumours you hear are just plain gobble-de-gook (!) Just couldn't resist that one, Phil!

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By halesir
21st Dec 2004 12:25

Tax free gifts
Not just Turkeys, John.

Employment Income Manual 21860/63 refers to exemption for all "trivial" benefits (such as a box of chocs, bottle of wine etc) in addition to Turkeys. Cash & vouchers remain taxable.

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By halesir
22nd Dec 2004 13:53

M & S Vouchers
Ann, I suggest you follow Chris's link and then ask your advisers why they think M & S vouchers are not taxable. (Then think about how good are your advisers?).
If you want to try for the exemption I referred to in my earlier posting you need to request it from the Inspector. It is not automatic.

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By cwca
22nd Dec 2004 11:10

Vouchers at Christmas
This reference from the Revenue site might be helpful

http://www.inlandrevenue.gov.uk/employers/ebik/ebik2/vouchers-02.htm

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22nd Dec 2004 12:37

Be careful Ann
To Ann Williams below

You will need to be careful about what you class as exchangeable for cash only. John Lewis, for example, will give change where insufficient items are bought with the gift voucher. For example, if you take a £50 gift voucher to John Lewis and buy a diary at £4.99 you will be given £45 change! (I know this because I had a summer job at John Lewis a few years ago)


I don't know about M&S though!

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By Anonymous
20th Dec 2004 13:36

Vouchers - taxable or not
The table on page 25 of booklet CWG5(2004) explains that vouchers should be included in gross pay and subjected to NIC and PAYE. There are limited exceptions per CWG2.

I think the £75 exemption (per employee) you are thinking about refers to staff entertaining eg. Xmas staff party rather than to staff gifts (which vouchers are).

I read a newspaper report last week referring to the £75 exemption being increased to £150 per employee, but I've not seen any official to confirm this.

PS. My employer taxes & NIC's my vouchers too.

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