Loans provided to employees

Produced by Tolley
Loans provided to employees

The following Employment Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Loans provided to employees
  • When does a loan give rise to a benefit?
  • How is the benefit calculated?
  • Normal method
  • Alternative method
  • Exemptions from the charge
  • Reporting requirements for employers
  • Reporting requirement for employees
  • Repayment of the loan
  • What happens if the loan is not repaid?

Employers sometimes provide their employees with low interest (or interest-free) loans either as part of the reward package or on special occasions to help the individual meet significant expenditure.

Remember that, as with any other kind of employment reward, if the loan is provided by a third party rather than the employer, it is worth considering whether the disguised remuneration provisions in ITEPA 2003, ss 554A–554Z21 (Pt 7A) apply, as those rules have priority over most of the other rules for taxing employment income. If there is no third party, or one of the exemptions from ITEPA 2003, ss 554A–554Z21 (Pt 7A) applies, then the normal rules as described below apply. The rules are discussed in detail in the Disguised remuneration ― overview guidance note.

When an employer lends money to an employee at an interest rate lower than the official rate of interest (ORI) set by HMRC, the interest the employee should have paid is a taxable benefit.

To be taxable on the employee, the loan must have been provided ‘by reason of employment’. A benefit provided to an employee’s relative is chargeable on the employee (unless that relative is also an employee, see EIM20505). Note that the extension is different to the extension to ‘members of the employee’s family’ (or family and household) that applies to other types of employee benefit. It includes:

  1. a)

    the employee’s spouse or civil partner

  2. b)

    the employee’s children, parent or remoter relation in the direct line (grandchildren, grandparents, etc)

  3. c)

    the employee’s brother or sisters

  4. d)

    the spouse or civil partner of anyone in (b) or (c)

The chart in the attached pdf illustrates the meaning of relative for this purpose:

When does a loan give rise to a benefit?

A loan is any form of credit, not just a cash loan, so this can include goods or services supplied at market value to the employee where the cash collection period exceeds that given to normal customers. If the goods or services are provided at

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