Taking Stock – The taxman gets ready with the stuffing.

‘Don’t get stuffed by the turkey this Christmas’ is the message from tax advisers from two of the mid-tier firms. The turkey in this case is that well-known ghost of Christmas past – the taxman – who is ready to spoil the party. Problems centre on generous bosses who shower their staff with Christmas gifts such as turkey or wine. If they choose to reward their people who have slaved selflessly all year, company chiefs could end up with a present of their own – a tax bill, advisers at Pannell Kerr Forster have warned. And it seems no-one is safe from the taxman this year. Even Father Christmas could find himself subject to a VAT claim if he is brought in to dispense gifts, according to Ho Ho Horwath Clark Whitehill. But there is better news in store for seasonal partygoers. Anyone going to a firm’s festive ‘do’ can attend without fear of receiving a benefit in kind – so long as the bill doesn’t top £75 per head. There is hope, however. Provided a party is held for business purposes – team building, motivation or for improving staff relations – companies can recover the full 17.5% VAT in the normal way. Christmas cheer can then be enjoyed by everyone in the time-honoured fashion. ?:

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