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Food for thought

04 March 2009
Issue: 4196 / Categories: Forum & Feedback , Income Tax , VAT
The price of hospitality when incurred by a business and whether tax relief can be obtained on it is examined in a situation where a self-employed consultant provides refreshments for his clients

I provide a consultancy service on a self-employed basis and occasionally host client meetings at my office.

Rather than open a tin of biscuits I will usually spend £10 or £20 on some sandwiches or cakes (depending on the time of the meeting) to facilitate a relaxed atmosphere.

Such expenditure is not necessary (it is not akin to giving milk or juice to nursery children) and is intended to make me appear more generous than competitors.

On the other hand it falls far short of what I would call ‘entertaining’. Should I be claiming a deduction for such costs? If so do I disallow the proportion relating to my own personal consumption?

And while I think of it what are the VAT implications here?

While this is not a huge cost on an individual basis the total does add up across the course of the year...

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