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Mon 8th Nov 2021
This week we have seen all the Christmas ads being released over social media, shops pumping out the occasional festive hit and marketing emails land in our inbox informing us of the last days we can order items for guaranteed Christmas delivery. There is no hiding from it, November is here and Christmas is almost upon us!

As a business you may be thinking about how you’re going to close off the rest of the year and after a very quiet Christmas last year it’s the perfect time to celebrate the festivities with your staff.

But when it comes to the expense of a party, what needs to be reported to HMRC?

Whilst there is no specific ‘Christmas Party’ allowance HMRC does provide tax relief for an annual event being held for your company.

As a company Director you are entitled to provide an annual event for yourself, any staff you employ and your partner but the costs must not exceed more than £150 (including VAT) per person. It’s important to remember this is an exemption, not an allowance. So if your party costs £1 more than £150 per person, you won’t be able to claim the first £150 as a business expense and the entire amount will be taxed as normal. So make sure you shut the free bar promptly!

The event needs to be open for any company employee to attend, you cannot reclaim the VAT element on your party expenses if only directors and/or their partners attend the event. This is because the goods or services are not used for a business purpose in the eyes of HMRC.

If you are a business with more than one location then you can have separate parties for different departments on but you will need to ensure that all of your staff are able to attend an event.

We hope that this assists you with your festive party planning but if you do require further information about your business expenses then please feel free to get in touch with our team.

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