Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, the office Christmas party is mostly not happening this year. Well, face-to-face one's won't be happening, but there's no reason you can't go virtual ...
HMRC recently confirmed that virtual Christmas parties will come under the same annual exemption as face-to-face parties, meaning that an employer can spend up to £150 per employee on the event.
So, you could organise a black-tie zoom event, put on a DJ, get a magician doing some close-up magic on camera, send your employees food and drink (or maybe vouchers for their local takeaway) and even send them some gifts.
As long as the overall per-head cost stays under £150 per head, there's no tax due. If you exceed this value, the whole thing is taxable, not just the excess.
One other proviso is that any 'gifts' you send your employees can't be cash, can't be exchanged for cash or have a value of more than £50 either. It's always worthwhile putting a little thought into your gift choices if you can, but at the very least, send them an Amazon voucher a few days beforehand.
So, do thank your employees for their hard work during this very strange year, and let them eat, drink and be merry at your virtual Christmas party. Just don't spend more than £150 per head on them, then everyone can have a great time.
If you'd like to find out more about anything I've written here, do call me on 01908 774323 or leave a comment below and let's see how I can help you.