Flu jab anyone?

Readers of this blog may remember that last year I gave details of what the taxman thinks of the tax implications of various Christmas traditions at work such as office Christmas parties and employers giving gifts.

I have come across a further example of this in HM Revenue & Customs’ Employment Income Manual and I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry at it!

You may recall that an employer can give a ‘trivial’ gift such as a bottle of wine without a tax charge arising but that a case of wine might incur a charge.

In the Manual, the taxman considers other ‘trivial gifts’ and decides (generously) that:  “Where an employer provides employees with immunisations against seasonal flu (“flu jabs”), the benefit should be treated as trivial.” In other words, if your employer pays for a seasonal flu jab you won’t be charged tax on it. All well and good, you shout…..

But the Manual then goes on to say that:  “This treatment only applies to routine seasonal flu jabs and does not apply to……immunisations against pandemic flu or other diseases.”

Yes, you read that right!!

If a virulent plague ever sweeps the country and your employer decides that it would be a good idea to immunise the workforce against it, the Taxman will be there to collect some tax from you!

I sometimes wonder at the mind of the Taxman, I mean it’s hardly likely that immunisation could be part of an elaborate tax scheme is it?

Tongue in cheek, I’m considering asking the Taxman whether your family could claim a refund if you succumbed to the disease despite the injection.

Merry Christmas!

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