The Small Benefit Scheme (SBS) is a statutory tax relief scheme offered by Irish Revenue that allows employers to provide a tax exempt benefit to Irish employees of up to €500 per year.
As an employer, the Scheme allows you to give certain types of rewards to your employees that are NOT subject to any Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) tax for the employee, or employer tax (Employer PRSI) for the company.
The Scheme rules stipulate that the rewards you provide must be in a non-cash format. After that, it is completely up to the company to decide what type of rewards to give.
The reward could be in the form of products, services, employer-provided goods or services, memberships or subscriptions. As the Scheme is most frequently used at the end of the year, seasonal gifts such as Christmas Hampers are sometimes given by companies to their staff tax-free under the Scheme.
Supermarket gift cards - Dunnes, SuperValu and Tescos mostly - feature a lot on the Scheme because they offer spending choice to the employee and, depending on the total order value, may offer volume discounts to the company.
Multi-retailer gift cards like One4All, Me2You and AllGifts Vouchers, are some of the most popular because of the wide variety of different retailers they offer for redemption.
Some companies like to support their local community by buying gift cards for local stores or shopping centres. However, the most sought after gift cards in 2019 are definitely the open-loop Mastercard gift cards – like the Allgo Mastercard – which can be spent in any shop or business that accepts Mastercard – even online and abroad.
The choice for many companies is whether to opt for more restrictive gift cards where a discount is offered, or more flexible open-loop cards which are preferred by employees but where there is little or no scope for discounts.
Guide to Small Benefit Scheme 2019
Our 2019 Expert Guide to the Irish Revenue’s tax-free employee reward scheme gives you expert info, insights and case studies for getting the most out of the scheme. Download it for free today by clicking the Download Now.