Exempt loans to employees

An employee can obtain a benefit when provided with an employment-related cheap or interest-free loan. The benefit is the difference between the interest the employee pays, if any, and the commercial rate the employee would have to pay on a loan obtained elsewhere. These types of loans are referred to as beneficial loans.

There are a number of scenarios where beneficial loans are exempt and employers might not have to report anything to HMRC or pay tax and National Insurance. The most common exemption relates to small loans with a combined outstanding value to an employee of less than £10,000 throughout the whole tax year.

The list also includes loans provided:

  • in the normal course of a domestic or family relationship as an individual (not as a company you control, even if you are the sole owner and employee)
  • to an employee for a fixed and invariable period, and at a fixed and invariable rate that was equal to or higher than HMRC’s official interest rate when the loan was taken out
  • under identical terms and conditions to the general public as well (this mostly applies to commercial lenders)
  • that are ‘qualifying loans’, meaning all of the interest qualifies for tax relief
  • using a director’s loan account as long as it’s not overdrawn at any time during the tax year.

HMRC’s official interest rate is currently 2%.

Source: HM Revenue & Customs Tue, 15 Mar 2022 00:00:00 +0100

Latest articles

Notifying cessation of self-employment

Any taxpayers that have ceased to be self-employed must notify HMRC of their change in status. There are a number of steps that must be followed if a taxpayer ceases trading as a sole trader or if they are ending or leaving a business

Submitting CIS nil monthly returns

The Construction Industry Scheme (CIS) is a set of special rules for tax and National Insurance for those working in the construction industry. Businesses in the construction industry are known as ‘contractors’ and ‘subcontractors’ and should be

Check employment status for tax

The Check Employment Status for Tax (CEST) tool can be used to help ascertain if a worker should be classified as employed or self-employed for tax purposes in both the private and public sector.

The service provides HMRC’s view if IR35 legislation

Class 1A payment deadline

Class 1A NICs are paid by employers in respect of most benefits in kind provided to employees such as a company car. There is no employee contribution payable. If you provided taxable benefits to staff or directors your business is likely to have a