Expenses and benefits for employees

Until 2015-16, it was possible to apply for a dispensation to exclude certain expenses and benefits provided to employees from the year end returns to HMRC: primarily the submission of forms P11D. These dispensations ceased to be effective from 6 April 2016. From this date many of the expenses covered by dispensations were exempted from the benefits legislation. The sorts of expenses covered include:

  • business travel
  • business phone bills
  • business entertainment expenses
  • uniform and tools for work

To qualify for an exemption, employers must either be:

  • paying a flat rate to your employee as part of their earnings ­ this must be either a benchmark rate or a special (‘bespoke’) rate approved by HMRC, or
  • paying back the employee’s actual costs

Employers do not have to formally apply for exemption if they reimburse using HMRC’s benchmark rates for allowable expenses. You only need apply if you want to use your own rates as these rates will need to be agreed with HMRC. There must be systems in place to check the payments are as agreed with HMRC.

Filing deadlines:

The filing deadlines for P11D forms and associated returns are:

  • 6 July 2017 – file forms P11D
  • 6 July 2017 – give employees a copy of their P11D
  • 6 July 2017 – submit return of Class 1A NIC due on form P11D(b)
  • On or before 22 July 2017 (19 July 2017 if paying by cheque) – pay any Class 1A NICs due

There is a fixed penalty of £100 per 50 employees for each month or part of a month the P11D(b) return is late. There are also penalties and interest if your payments of Class 1A NICs are paid late.

Don’t forget that the earnings rate of £8,500 pa for a P11D to be required was abandoned from 6 April 2016 so that employees who previously needed a form PD9 will now need a P11D.

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