I’ve been told it is possible to give an employee £1,000 tax free as a long service award. Is this correct?
No, but it’s possible to make tax free non-cash awards to employees with no less than 20 years’ service provided the value of the award doesn’t exceed £50 for each year of service for which the employee is being rewarded (which is probably the source of the £1,000 figure you were given).
The rule doesn’t apply if there has been a previous award by the same employer in the previous 10 years.
(I’m not far short of my 20 year service – wonder what I’ll get?!)
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