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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

The benefits code: what is meant by a “benefit”

A benefit is defined in Section 201(2) as “a benefit or facility of any kind”. When a benefit is provided to an employee (or to any member of his family or household (Section 721(5) ITEPA 2003) by reason of the employment (EIM20501), it is an “employment-related benefit” (Section 201(2)).

The definition of what is a benefit is thus very wide and includes everything that confers a special bounty of any description on the recipient.

However, something (other than a loan where special provisions apply, see EIM26101 and EIM26111) which is a “fair bargain” (EIM21004) between the employer and the employee is not a “benefit”.

For benefits specifically exempted from charge see EIM21240.