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Every year around this time the NHS launches its winter flu vaccine programme. For people who are not eligible for a free vaccination, it can be purchased privately.   

A business may wish to offer this to employees as part of the complete benefits package. A good benefits package can help to attract and retain employees, and the vaccination may reduce sick leave in the business. 

To ensure this is tax-free you should ensure: 

  • You offer a flu vaccination session for all employees at work 
  • You provide vouchers for employees to redeem at a pharmacy or similar retailer 
  • The cost is less than £50 per employee 

Alternatively, an employee may arrange their own flu vaccination and ask you to reimburse the cost. In this case, even though the cost is below £50, it is currently NOT tax-free. If you include this on the business payroll, the reimbursement will be liable to tax and National Insurance (NI). The business will also be liable for the employer's NI element. Alternatively, you could use a PAYE settlement agreement to meet the tax and NI costs.   

There is a consultation process in progress considering making additional tax relief available for flu vaccinations, when paid for by the employee and later reimbursed by the employer.  

Date published 26 Sep 2023

This article is intended to inform rather than advise and is based on legislation and practice at the time. Taxpayer’s circumstances do vary and if you feel that the information provided is beneficial it is important that you contact us before implementation. If you take, or do not take action as a result of reading this article, before receiving our written endorsement, we will accept no responsibility for any financial loss incurred.

Catherine Heinen, FCCA

Catherine is a Technical Content Writer at TaxAssist Accountants, and a qualified accountant. With experience working at two accountancy practices in the UK top 50 accountancy firms according to Accountancy Age, Catherine has significant experience in accounts, tax returns and advising clients. Catherine ensures businesses, business owners and individuals are kept up to date and informed by providing concise and informative technical material.

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