Expenses and benefits: trivial benefits

All benefits are taxable, but you can ask HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to exclude some of them because they’re so small.

However, you still have tax, National Insurance and reporting obligations if you provide a benefit as a reward for service.

HMRC are more likely to agree to exclude a benefit as trivial if it’s connected with the employee’s welfare, such as a bunch of flowers for an employee who’s unwell.

To find out if a benefit is likely to be considered trivial by HMRC:

  1. Call the employer helpline.
  2. If the helpline adviser says that your benefit is likely to be considered trivial, contact your local employer office and ask them to confirm it in writing. The adviser will be able to give you contact details for your local office.

What to report and pay

If HMRC says a benefit is trivial, you don’t have to report it. You don’t have to deduct and pay tax or National Insurance on the cost of it.

Technical guidance

Read more detailed information on particular benefits: treatment of benefits that are trivial in amount.

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