Well, this is not quite right … when it comes to staff parties and one off staff events, there is some room to manoeuvre to claim tax back. However, the rules are very strict.
To set out the facts, an annual employee event will be tax free and there is no need to enter them on a Form P11D. But only if the event meets the following three conditions:-
the event is open to all of company employees, from the most senior to the most junior employees
it’s an annual event, such as a summer barbeque or an end-of-year party
the cost per person of the event isn’t more than £150.
You can therefore have a great party or other event, so as long as it doesn’t exceed £150 per person. You can also spread it over two or more events, but remember: the cost of the event that takes you over the threshold will have to be taxed in its entirety.
To work out the cost per person, simply take the total cost to organise the event, and any ancillary costs, and divide this by the total number of people at the event. You can bring partners and spouses; however, a partner's cost is added to each employee's cost to determine if the employee's cost is over £150. So, if the cost per person is £80, that's £160 per employee if the employee and their partner attend, so that means all of the cost is taxable on the employee. Costs of transport to and from the event are all added up, together with the cost of the hotel if the employer pays for an overnight stay after a long night out.