Benefit in kind, Payment in kind or neither?
Our client is a minor celebrity and has been asked to become an ambassador for a vehicle brand. He will receive the exclusive use of two of their cars each year in return for giving them 2 days of his time for appearances and talks. He does have an employer, which he owns, but the employment has nothing to do with the arrangement which is being made between him personally and the brand concerned. They are interested in him and his profile rather than his company.
He was self-employed up until 31/12/11 but now operates via his ltd company.
So my question is what are the tax & NI implications of this? My own view at the moment is that it is not a 3rd party benefit in kind because it hasn’t been provided “by reason of the employment”. His employment has absolutely nothing to do with it. I believe it may be considered as a “payment in kind” for services (2 days) supplied but he isn’t trading so how would this be dealt with? Or does the fact that he’s entered into this agreement effectively mean that he is trading by virtue of this transaction alone? If considered as a payment in kind, how should this be valued? Perhaps by looking at the lease cost of the two vehicles concerned? Or could it just be a freebie that’s not taxable at all?
Abbey Tax helpline told me it would be a 3rd party bik but didn’t seem to accept or understand the “by reason of the employment” requirement for this to apply. I think Rebecca Benneyworth’s posting on 20/05/10 supports my view on this.