Reporting expenses and benefits for 2020/21
Employers who provided taxable expenses and benefits to employees during the 2020/21 tax year will need to report these to HMRC, on form P11D by 6 July 2021, unless the benefit or expense has been payrolled or is included within a PAYE Settlement Agreement. Benefits covered by an exemption do not need to be included.
Where taxable benefits have been provided, the employer must also file a P11D(b) by 6 July 2021. This is the employer’s declaration that all required P11Ds have been filed and also the statutory Class 1A amount.
The tax legislation contains a number of exemptions which remove a charge to tax. These may be specific to a particular benefit, such as those for mobile phones and workplace parking, or may be more general, such as the exemption for paid and reimbursed expenses, which applies if the employee would have been entitled to a tax deduction had they met the expense directly.
Temporary Covid-19 exemptions
There are also a number of temporary Covid-19 specific exemptions that apply for the 2020/21 tax year. These include the provision or reimbursement of Covid-19 antigen tests and reimbursed homeworking equipment (such as a computer) to enable the employee to work at home during the pandemic if the equipment would be exempt if made available by the employer.
Remember, exemptions are only available if the associated conditions are met. However, care must be taken here where provision is made under a salary sacrifice arrangement and the alternative valuation rules apply as this may negate the exemption.
The amount on which the employee is taxed is usually the cash equivalent value. This is calculated in accordance with the benefit-specific rules where these exists, as is the case for company cars, vans, living accommodation and employment-related loans.
Where there is not a benefit-specific rule, the cash equivalent is determined in accordance with the general rule. This is the cost to the employer, less any amount made good by the employee. Amounts made good are only deducted where the employee makes good by 6 July 2021.
If the benefit is provided under an optional remuneration arrangement (OpRA), such as a salary sacrifice arrangement, the alternative valuation rules are used to calculate the taxable amount, unless the benefit is one which is specifically excluded from the ambit of those rules (such as childcare vouchers, pension provision and advice, employer-provided cycles and low-emission cars (l75g/km or less) or within the transitional rules for 2020/21. Under the alternative rules, the taxable amount is the salary foregone or cash alternative offered where this is more than the cash equivalent value.
HMRC produce worksheets which can be used to calculate the taxable amount for some benefits. These can be found on the Gov.uk website.
There are various options for filing P11Ds and P11D(b):
- applying a payroll software package;
- utilising HMRC’s Online End of Year Expenses and Benefits Service;
- using HMRC’s PAYE Online Service; or
- filing paper forms.
Whichever method is used, the forms must be filed by 6 July 2021. Employees must be given a copy of their P11D or details of their taxable benefits by the same date.
Any associated employer-only Class 1A National Insurance must be paid by 22 July 2021 if paid electronically, or by 19 July 2021 if paid by cheque.
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