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COVID-19: As a firm, we are heeding the Government’s advice, and the majority of our staff are now working from home.

Our offices are open to clients and visitors if you need to drop off or pick up records. Please telephone ahead to arrange a date and time so we can let our receptionists know.

It is business as usual at Lang Bennetts, so please let us know if you require our assistance. We are picking up e-mails and all our staff can be contacted via the usual office numbers.

HMRC have recently confirmed that the usual exemptions that apply to Christmas parties will also apply to any virtual parties that are held for employees.

The cost to an employer of hosting an annual event costing less than £150 is usually covered by a specific exemption in the tax legislation. This doesn't have to be at Christmas, it could be held at any time of the year, the important point is that it is an annual event and is made available to all employees, or all in a particular location where an employer has more than one location, at a cost of less than £150 per head.

All costs of providing the event must be counted when calculating the 'per head' cost. This could include:

  • Entertainment e.g. on line magic show or quiz
  • Food and drink including hampers delivered to the employee's home
  • Any VAT incurred on the above

This list isn't exclusive, and in arriving at the 'cost per head' the total expenses should be divided by the number attending, which may also include non-employees, although this is less likely in a virtual setting.

It's important to note that the £150 is not an annual allowance, it is an exemption. If the cost is exceeded then the whole amount will become taxable and PAYE and NIC should be applied.