Team Building Exercises & Recoverable VAT

I have recently employed a number of new employees and am looking to take all my staff away on a team building exercise so they can create a better working relationship. Can I reclaim the VAT incurred on the costs for this event?

1st August 2008

Where an employer provides entertainment such as staff parties, team building exercises, staff outings and similar events for the benefit of employees to reward them for good work or to maintain and improve staff morale, they are not blocked from input tax recovery under the business entertainment rules, as it provides the event wholly for business purposes.

However, there are 2 exceptions to the general rule. These are where:

The entertainment is provided only for directors or partners of a business, the VAT incurred cannot be recovered as the goods or services purchased are not used for a business purpose.

However, where directors and partners of the business attend staff parties together with other employees, the vat is not blocked from recovery.

Employees acting as hosts to non-employees incur costs that are for the sole purpose of entertaining a non-employee, the tax is blocked under the business entertainment rules.

By Jo Nockels

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