Taxable benefits in kind – watch out for NI

There is a sting in the tail for companies that provide their directors or employees with taxable benefits in kind as part of their remuneration package.

Obviously, the directors or employees who receive the benefits will pay additional income tax if the benefits provided are chargeable to tax. An example is for the use of a company car.

The cost of the benefits is generally a deduction for the employer and this would reduce the employer’s corporation tax bill. However, it also triggers an additional, employers’ Class 1A National Insurance liability.

The amount payable is currently 13.8% of total taxable benefits provided.

Although this extra National Insurance payment is itself tax deductible to the company, there is still a net loss of cashflow which needs to be considered when planning remuneration packages for directors and employees.

As we have posted previously on this site, one way that a company can trim this additional NIC charge is to negotiate the repayment of a taxable benefit from affected employees.

Why on earth would you consider this?

Why would an employee consider repaying all or part of the cash equivalent of their benefit in kind? Doesn’t this diminish the value of their perks?

Certainly, this is not a strategy that you would use for all benefits provided but there are some situations where there are real win-win outcomes for both the employer and the employee.

A prime example is fuel provided to employees or directors for the private use of their company car.

You would need to crunch the numbers but it may well pay the employee to pay back the cash cost of private petrol provided. By doing this they will avoid the car fuel benefit charge and reduce their income tax by more than the refund of the fuel costs. At a stroke this also reduces the employer’s Class 1A NIC charges.

6 July deadline

The deadline for employees to make refunds of these types of cost to their employers is 5 July after the end the tax year.

If you are unsure if this would work for your company please call us today at THP Chartered Accountants, we can help you calculate if there would be an overall benefit to you if you were to adopt this idea. Whilst also providing a range of accountancy services to help the growth of your SME, from bookkeeping, payroll, tax planning and much more, with offices in  ChelmsfordSuttonWanstead and Saffron Walden.

Need further advice on any of the topics being discussed? Get in touch and see how we can help.

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    About Karen Jones

    Having worked for one of the world’s largest accountancy firms, Karen Jones uses her tax knowledge and skills to help clients obtain substantial reductions to their tax liabilities.

    With an expanding portfolio of tax clients, Karen enjoys the variety her work brings her and particularly likes working with new businesses and people. With a growing number of tax clients, she frequently faces a variety of challenges and relishes the experience she gains as she solves them.

    Karen likes the THP ethos: “I like the way the team has a professional, but friendly and down-to-earth approach – it creates a productive atmosphere that benefits everyone.”

    Karen’s specialist skills:

    • Personal Taxation
    • Tax Efficient Planning
    • Trust Administration
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