The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) has again asked the government to increase the tax exemption for annual corporate functions and events, known as the ‘Christmas Party Exemption’.
In a fresh letter to the Chancellor, BVEP chairman Michael Hirst, OBE, (pictured) presses the case for increasing the tax exemption available to companies that hold staff parties which has not changed since 2003.
BVEP is urging the government to include an announcement in the forthcoming autumn statement in time to provide a boost to the hospitality industry this Christmas and into the future.
Businesses currently enjoy a £150 tax exemption on employee benefits relating to annual staff functions. However, the UK events industry has consistently called for this to be doubled to £300. The logic being that the Treasury would benefit from the inevitable boost in corporate expenditure that this would create for predominantly UK-based small businesses.
The exemption was last reviewed 13 years ago when the exempt charge was raised by £75 to £150.
Hirst said: “Since 2003 the costs of providing annual functions has risen dramatically but, despite this, the exemption has remained unchanged. The cost of this change is nominal and the impact would be to provide a much needed trading benefit to thousands of hotels, restaurants, pubs, clubs, venues and event support businesses which host these events. These industries are already providing some of the strongest growth to the economy and are accounting for a third of all new jobs being created”.
The BVEP argues the £40bn events sector will be a vital part of the economy, in a post-Brexit Britain, as business events are increasingly used as a platform for greater international trade opportunities and to encourage more exports and inward investment.
The BVEP is an umbrella organisation representing leading trade and professional organisations, government agencies and other significant influencers in the business visits and events sector.