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HMRC internal manual

Employment Income Manual

The benefits code: cash payments can be benefits: Wicks v Firth

Section 201(1) ITEPA 2003

The statutory definition of a benefit is wide enough to include a cash payment which a director or an employee (except for 2015/16 and earlier one in an excluded employment (EIM20007)), receives by reason of the employment and which is not chargeable to income tax under some other provision.

Wicks v Firth (56TC318)

For example, in Wicks v Firth payments made as scholarships to the children of an employee within the benefits code were held to be benefits within Section 201 ITEPA 2003.

In that case the payments were exempt from charge by Section 331 ICTA 1988 (this exemption was subsequently removed in most cases by Section 212 ITEPA 2003) but that does not alter the general principle that cash payments can be a chargeable benefit.

The decision in Mairs v Haughey (EIM21004) is further support for the view that a cash payment can be a chargeable as a benefit.