Event Says

Don’t cancel Christmas – Use your corporate entertainment tax allowance!

Several of the companies we have contacted over the last few months have been telling us that their staff parties have been cancelled or put on hold for 2009, as they ‘do not have the budget’.


Are you aware that for the many companies who are still profitable (albeit maybe slightly less so), the government allows you to claim the cost of your staff party against your tax bill?


 Each and every company has a maximum annual tax allowance for staff entertainment of £150.00 inc VAT per person.  Regardless of the recession, your company is still entitled to this allowance and if your company is profitable, surely it is more efficient to spend this money on motivating and entertaining your team than to simply give it away to the tax man? 


If you shop around, you will find that you can book some truly remarkable Christmas and Summer parties and keep well within this budget. A Christmas party is a fantastic way to show your staff that you value them and motivates them for the year ahead.  For the majority of staff this is the one night of the year that they get to let their hair down ‘on the company’.   If your company is profitable and you are told ‘Christmas is cancelled’, why not go and see your finance department and ask them if they are aware of this loophole?  They may not be aware that they are choosing to give an extra £150 per employee to the tax man rather than spending it on boosting the morale of their staff? 

  • Peter Kerwood

    Great blog Simon

    It’s amazing how many companies don’t know about this amazing tax break – so the more noise we made about this the better.

    For more topical insight and creative event ideas have a look at Simons blog http://www.impulseevents.co.uk/events_blog and his company’s web site http://www.impulseevents.co.uk

  • There is another good link regarding this if you click on the following link – http://www.cbw.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=26127&d=101&h=670&f=669

  • Folks – this is fantastic, thank you. I certainly had no idea this was possible, but will certainly use this when pitching/discussing plans and budgets with customers. Vital that we get the corporates to understand this, as I suspect loads aren’t aware of it.

  • Victoria Beecher

    Everyone in our industry and connected to it should shout about this ….tweet, blog whatever it takes.

  • Simon can you update this article for 2011 – I am sure everyone in the events industry would like to know if this tax break still exists and even better if threshold has been increased. Also on the maths are companies saving £150 or £150 x 0.25 or wahtever their company’s marginal tax rate is?

  • And yes please book more singers and bands like me too with the tax savings you make

    ps London events market is def pickng up judging by bookings enquiries

  • Katie Farr

    When I researched into using smartphone applications at events I wish there had been someone guiding me through the advantages and disadvantages of smartphone applications v micro-sites.

    Tom touched on the fact that applications need to be designed and developed for multiple platforms, which can become very costly as quite a few providers we tried charged a fee per platform. However, in addition to being a costly investment it is also important to note that platforms such as Blackberry aren’t able to display some of the feature rich content that Apple and Android devices do. In addition to this Blackberry devices can take a long time to deal with content updates, which is a problem you don’t get with micro-sites.

    It was important for us to be able to offer a free application that was easy to navigate and would allow our visitors to connect with each other and exhibitors pre-event, onsite and post-event, which is something a micro-site wasn’t able to do for us. Overall it was a costly investment, but considering our objectives we felt it was the right decision, would I urge other people to do the same …I don’t know.

  • Thas Paose

    If you really wanted to do that, then why wouldn’t you do that? Instead you do this. It makes no sense.