Giving gifts to clients (think about the tax)

The season of giving is on us. While the fun part is thinking about parties and presents, take a moment to remind yourself about the tax rules.

If your Christmas giving includes gifts to clients, remember that some gifts will be fully deductible while others will be only 50% deductible. Check out our Guide to Entertainment Expenses.

The rule of thumb with gifts is that if they consist of food or drink, you can only claim 50% of the expense as a tax deduction. If you are giving out gift baskets or hampers and some of the contents are food or drink, but not all, the food or drink items are 50% deductible, but the other gift items are 100% deductible. When you come to claim the tax deduction, you will need to apportion the expense between the 100% deductible items and the 50% deductible items. And you will need to make a GST adjustment for expenses that are 50% deductible.

Examples of gifts that are 50% deductible include:

• Bottle of wine or six-pack of beer
• Meal voucher
• Basket of gourmet food
• Box of chocolates/biscuits
• Christmas ham
Examples of gifts that are 100% deductible include:

• Calendars
• Book or gift vouchers
• Tickets to a rugby game (but not corporate box entertaining)
• Movie tickets
• Presents (but not food or drink)

Call us if you’d like to check the tax treatment of your plans for this season’s gift-giving.

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