Are you certain that you make the most of tax-free benefits in kind for your staff? Some of the possibilities include:
Providing mobile phones (no more than one per employee)
Giving them luncheon vouchers
Subsidising certain forms of transport to and from work – including bus fares
Providing workplace nurseries and crèches
Sporting and recreational facilities
Paying relocation expenses
Up to £150 per person per year for staff parties
Interest-free borrowing in the form of loans of up to £5k
Employer contributions to company or employee’s own pension scheme
Making cash awards for contributions to a staff suggestion scheme
Allowing staff to use pool cars for business purposes
Paying staff up to an extra 5p a mile if they use their own car to take fellow employees on the same business trip
Providing company bicycles
And even… paying employees up to 20p a mile when they use their personal bicycles on business journeys! (or up to 24p a mile for a motorbike)… and providing free meals and refreshments to encourage employees to take part in official cycle to work days
If you join a formal scheme, you can add:
Life/critical illness insurance
Tip: Under what are known as “salary sacrifice” schemes, it is possible to save up to 25.8% in National Insurance contributions on these benefits. These savings can, of course, be shared between you and your staff so that everybody is better off.
If your employees work from home, are you using the rules so that you can reimburse them tax free?
Tip: It is possible for you to pay £4 per week (or £18 per month) tax-free without the employee providing any evidence that they have spent money, and larger amounts if they provide evidence of spending
Have you looked at the possibility of motivating and rewarding your staff by giving them share options?
Tip: Some commentators regard the government’s Enterprise Management Initiative scheme as a “must” for small businesses who want to motivate and reward their team. Not only is the scheme very flexible, but the tax and National Insurance savings are very attractive, despite the changes to capital gains tax.