It is possible to make small tax-free payments to employees, including directors, and this might be an appropriate time to make a small tax-free bonus in advance of the annual holidays.
Employers and employees don’t have to pay tax on such a benefit if all of the following apply:
- it cost you £50 or less to provide,
- it isn’t cash or a cash voucher,
- it isn’t a reward for their work or performance,
- it isn’t in the terms of their contract.
HMRC describes these payments as a ‘trivial benefit’.
You can’t receive trivial benefits worth more than £300 in a tax year if you are the director of a ‘close’ company. A close company is a limited company that’s run by 5 or fewer shareholders.
The only exception to the above is if the trivial benefits are made available as part of a formal salary sacrifice arrangement.