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Welfare counselling BIK

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As an employer we would like to offer our employees up to £50 to claim for an app or book to lower their stress and anxiety in these unprecedented times but not alcohol or drugs. Would this be covered by the BIK exemption given by HMRC as follows:

As long as it meets certain conditions, the cost of providing welfare counselling which is available to all employees can be exempt from tax for the employee, and tax-deductible for the employer. 

 

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By Wanderer
23rd Apr 2020 12:20

Look at the trivial benefits rules.

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By gillybean04
23rd Apr 2020 12:46

As Wanderer has said.

But with regards to the welfare counselling, I'd say that perhaps you're not putting enough focus on the word counselling. Self-help style materials are not counselling. Counselling involves help from a professional.

Also, a book would be goods, not services.

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By Accountant A
15th Jun 2020 20:25

=kj

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Replying to Accountant A:
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By gillybean04
23rd Apr 2020 13:26

Accountant A wrote:

Obviously providing something is different from giving employees cash.

https://www.gov.uk/expenses-and-benefits-trivial-benefits

"You don’t have to pay tax on a benefit for your employee if all of the following apply:
- it cost you £50 or less to provide
- it isn’t cash or a cash voucher ...".

https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/employment-income-manual/eim21845

I orignally read it as the employer hasn't decided what to buy yet but I think you might be right with it being money or a voucher - as otherwise alcohol/drugs would never be in consideration.

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By paul.benny
23rd Apr 2020 16:37

You might be better to subscribe to a counselling service that employees can access- there are many of these about.

These generally allow employees and their families to access support on wide range of issues (eg debt, relationships, substance abuse) while maintaining confidentiality from the employer.

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