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Whether it’s Christmas, a birthday, as reputation or a thank you, or some other form of birthday party or occasion, giving items to personnel and customers, in addition to imparting hospitality, is a not unusual place and essential a part of constructing suitable commercial enterprise relationships, each internally and externally.

Whether you’re handling the ones on your personal agency, a purchaser or a supplier, there are regulations approximately what you may and can’t do – each monetary and ethical – and it’s essential to have a right coverage in vicinity to make certain any worker or purchaser items or hospitality are suitable and legal.


It can be a weighty subject matter to bear in mind while you’re contemplating sending a bottle of wine for your customers for Christmas – that is commonly harmless – however there does come a factor in which even an easy present will be visible as a bribe. The equal is actual of hospitality, however we’ll use “present” as shorthand for each here.

The Institute of Business Ethics (IBE) defines while a present isn’t a present as while a “commercial enterprise dating could be altered, or if there may be an expectation that it’ll be prompted in a few ways”. This is hard, of course, as even the maximum well-which means of items is given as lots to maintain your agency in thoughts subsequent time a purchaser wishes a quote, for example, as its miles to specific thanks.


When giving items to personnel and customers, there are tax and National Insurance (NI) responsibilities that you need to follow. It varies relying at the items and advantages offered – you may view the whole listing here – however we’ll pass over some of the extra not unusual place ones below.


Covering meals hampers, bottles of wine and festive treats, you need to file the fee of any meals or groceries that haven’t any resale price given to personnel as items, and pay elegance 1A NI at the fee. For extra data and the particular bureaucracy required, click on here.


Bonuses depend as earnings, so they’ll want to be brought to the worker’s month-to-month earnings, with PAYE and NI deducted as usual.



Client gifts which include tech, toys, add-ons and so forth want to mentioned, and NI wishes to be paid at the price. This is in which it receives a chunk extra complicated – if the items haven’t any resale price, you operate the quantity they fee. If they’ve a resale price exclusive to the quantity you paid, you file the better of the. For extra statistics on this, click on here.

Some smaller items and advantages will be counted as trivial advantages, which may be excluded from tax. While authorities steerage shows that is commonly used for matters which includes plants while someone’s sick in place of Christmas items, a few professionals declare that inexpensive items which includes a container of goodies of a bottle of (non-vintage!) wine may be classed as trivial – however when you have any doubt, there may be a HMRC helpline to help.


Vouchers which might be exchangeable for cash, or items and services, have to additionally be mentioned and taxed. If they may be exchanged for cash, they depend as earnings, so the equal regulations practice as to bonuses.

If they’re for items and services, they want to be mentioned, and the fee need to be brought to the worker’s earnings, after which NI – however now no longer PAYE – need to be deducted. For extra statistics, click on here.

There also are some styles of vouchers which might be exempt from NI – discover extra here.


There are sorts of enjoyment, in keeping with the HMRC:

Business enjoyment – while you’re taking a purchaser out for the only cause of discussing commercial enterprise, whether or not it’s a selected project, or to construct or keep a commercial enterprise dating.

Non-commercial enterprise enjoyment – that is extra hard to define, however HMRC says “exciting a commercial enterprise acquaintance for social reasons”.

For example, the latter will be taking a purchaser out for beverages to get to recognize every different following an assembly – the social occasion and commercial enterprise assembly are completely separate. The former could be carrying out the assembly over dinner.

Business enjoyment fees have to be mentioned, however tax and NI doesn’t need to be paid.

Non-commercial enterprise enjoyment is, again, extra complicated, and relies upon on whether or not an agency or an worker has organized the enjoyment, and whether or not the agency has paid, or if the worker will pay and is reimbursed. For extra statistics at the specifics, examine the authorities’ steerage.

Whatever you make a decision to provide for your personnel or customers, ensure everything’s above board and complies with all of the essential legal guidelines and responsibilities.



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