[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated:  Wednesday, 9 April, 2003, 17:14 GMT 18:14 UK
More cheer for work parties
The Treasury may be more famous for its growth rates and prudence than partying, but the office knees-up may swing a little more, thanks to this Budget.

This is because Gordon Brown has increased the amount companies can spend on their staff tax-free - it could mean the difference between sparkling wine and champagne.

Under existing Inland Revenue rules, companies can spend up to 75 a head on Christmas parties tax-free.

The chancellor now plans to double this amount.

Gold watch

Leaving parties could also become more generous.

Under current rules, an employer can make a tax-free award such as a clock or watch, but not cash, to an employee in recognition of the length of their service.

The employees must have a minimum of 20 years with the employer and the gift can be valued at up to 20 for each year of service.

The chancellor plans to raise this to 50 for each year.

Other gifts given by third parties, such as clients, can be tax-free up to 150.

This amount is to be lifted to 250.


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific