How to thank your clients and staff this Christmas

Christmas is the time for giving and what better time is there to thank someone for supporting your business?

Whether it’s your staff team who make running your business possible, your outsourced business support or your clients and customers, the end of the year is a lovely time to show your appreciation for those who make a difference to your business.

We’ve compiled some examples of ways in which you can say thank you to those who matter most, this festive season.

Thanking your team & support network

As a business owner no doubt you will have a team of people that support you to run your business. That team could be members of staff you employ, outsourced business support services you pay for or your network of fellow business owners. Whoever they are, it’s always lovely to take the opportunity to thank them if you can.

A personal thank you

Whether you want to give your team a physical Christmas card, send an email or thank them in person, whatever you choose, it’s the message that really counts. You can’t underestimate the impact that a personal thank you message which is heartfelt and genuine can have on someone’s motivation, job satisfaction and overall happiness at work. This is the perfect time of year to thank them.

Tax implications: Christmas cards are normally a tax-deductible expense if they clearly contain your branding.*

Gift them something nice

As we said at the start, Christmas is the time for giving so consider buying gifts for your team. They don’t have to be expensive but they should be well thought out to ensure they are inclusive of everyone who will receive one. Food and drink gifts are easy but not only are there tax implications, you also open up a can of worms when it comes to dietary requirements. For those reasons we’d suggest you steer clear of a traditional hamper style gift.

Tax implications: Depending on your business model, the value and type of gift you give, some gifts may be considered a tax-deductible expense, ask us for more information if you’re not sure. If you’re a Limited Company you can use Trivial Benefits to claim these gifts as tax deductible. There are some rules around Trivial Benefits and a short summary would be the gift has to be a thing (not cash/a voucher), cost less than £50 and not be part of their contract or a reward for their performance. To find out more information about Trivial Benefits, check out the HMRC website.

Give them a cash bonus

Christmas is an expensive time of year for everyone, including your employees so you could consider giving them a cash bonus. This is an easy, quick win gift that everyone will enjoy but bear in mind that it will be liable for all the usual tax, NI & pension contributions – in the same way that a salary is.

Tax implications: Has to be processed through the payroll as taxable earnings.*

Throw a staff party

Everyone (well nearly everyone) loves a staff Christmas party and what’s better than a Christmas party? A FREE Christmas party that your employer has paid for!

Tax implications: Depending on your business model, you may need to make additional tax and National Insurance payments, if you throw your team a party. To find out more about your obligations click here.

Thanking your clients and customers

It’s obvious but for any business owner, customers are incredibly important. How you treat your customers will have a big impact on whether you retain them and whether they recommend you to others. Retaining clients is much cheaper than finding new ones, so here’s a few ideas of how you can make them feel special this Christmas.

A good ol’ fashioned Christmas card

You might have come across businesses who send garish, branded Christmas cards with no personality and which make you cringe but that doesn’t have to be the standard you follow! How about sending a Christmas card that suits your brand with a handwritten note inside? You could either pay a designer to create a branded card or you could buy some that support a local charity.

If you have lots of clients or customers, particularly if you’re a product based business sending lots of orders, you could create a festive postcard instead and print a thank you message on one side.

Tax implications: Christmas cards are normally a tax-deductible expense if they clearly contain your branding.*

Send a thank you email

If you have lots of customers and it’s not practical or financially viable to send them all a card this Christmas, send them an email instead. It’s free (unless you pay for a premium email service), you can say as much as you like and you don’t even have to leave the house/office to do it.

Tax implications: If you use free software, none. If you pay for a subscription to something like MailChimp, your monthly cost will be a tax-deductible expense.*

Include a little something with their order

If you’re a product-based business sending parcels out, you could pop a little extra something in with your orders leading up to Christmas. It doesn’t have to be expensive but we all love getting a little something we’re not expecting in our parcels. Depending on your business you could choose to gift something you sell or buy something in, in bulk (to reduce costs).

Tax implications: This really depends on what you buy. Check out our Are You Claiming All Your Sole Trader Expenses blog for advice on Sole Trader Expenses. Get in touch to discuss it with us if you’re not sure.

We hope this blog has got you thinking about how you can say thanks this festive season. If you’d like to discuss any of your ideas to see what their tax implications would be, please get in touch.

* All information is correct at the time of publishing but HMRC guidelines can change so please ensure you check their website for up to date information on allowances etc. All guidance is given as an indication only and will vary business to business. To discuss your specific circumstances please contact us.

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