What benefits are taxable?

Under general taxation law, some but not all benefits provided by your employer are taxable. Benefits provided by your employer are given a value according to HM Revenue and Customs rules, so the tax payable on the benefit may be less than its full value to you as the employee. Examples of benefits provided by an employer which are taxable include:

  • company cars provided for private use;
  • fuel for private motoring;
  • living or other accommodation;
  • certain employee expenses paid direct by the employer, for example restaurant bills;
  • loans, including credit provided by the company; and
  • private health insurance.

Certain benefits are exempt from taxation, as long as they are available to all employees. These include:

  • meals in staff canteens (if the canteen is available to all employees);
  • meal vouchers, up to a specified limit (15p per day);
  • Long Service awards (for service of 20 years or more) where the gift does not exceed £50 for each year of service and which is a tangible gift, e.g. a clock or shares in a company. (A cash award is usually taxable unless it is a one-off payment which is not in the contract of employment.);
  • suggestions schemes;
  • parking spaces;
  • some travel between work and home, e.g. late night travel (on a limited basis);
  • sports facilities; and
  • mobile phones.

The list is not exhaustive. For more detailed information on benefits in kind, visit the Employment benefits and expenses section of the Low Incomes Tax Reform Group website.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.

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