Muras Matters: Blue Monday Tax Efficient Health & Well Being

Blue Monday
Tax Efficient Health & Well Being

Today is ‘Blue Monday’, supposedly the most depressing day of the year. It is ‘calculated’ by reference to weather conditions, debt, time since Christmas, time since failing New Years resolutions and low motivational levels.

With this in mind we have listed some benefits which employers can provide to assist with the health and well being of their employees. These expenses are deductible for corporation tax but are not taxable benefits in kind for employees, if various criteria are met.

  1. Expenses incurred in providing one health screening assessment and one medical check-up in any year. ‘Health screening assessment’ means an assessment to identify employees who might be at particular risk of ill-health. ‘Medical check-up’ means a physical examination of the employee by a health professional for (and only for) determining the employee’s state of health. This exemption does not cover medical treatment and to qualify it must be offered to all employees.
  2. Gym Membership – the cost of providing gym and sports facilities is an exempt benefit in kind, if it is available to all employees generally and it is not available to members of the public generally.
  3. Eye test costs – these are exempt if they are required by health and safety legislation for employees who use a computer monitor or other screen, so long as it is available to all employees.
  4. Glasses or contact lenses – these are exempt if you have to provide them for monitor or screen work and all employees are offered them. Glasses purely for general use do not qualify.
  5. Medical treatment to help an employee return to work – this is exempt if you pay up to £500 for costs for an employee to return to work. The employee must have been assessed by a health care professional as unfit for work (or will be unfit for work) because of injury or ill health for at least 28 consecutive days or been absent from work because of injury or ill health for at least 28 consecutive days.
  6. Medical treatment abroad – the cost of necessary medical treatment abroad paid for by an employer, or paid by the employee and reimbursed by the employer, where the employee has fallen ill or suffered injury while away from the UK in the performance of their employment duties. The cost of providing insurance against the cost of such treatment is also non-taxable.
  7. Welfare counselling made available to all employees generally on similar terms is exempt from tax. For this purpose, welfare counselling does not include any medical treatment, advice on finance or tax (other than debt counselling), advice on leisure or recreation or legal advice.

If you have a query over the tax implications of proving benefits to an employee or remuneration in general then please contact our Tax Director, Jenny Marks.

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