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Departments: Taxation

Volume 463: debated on Thursday 19 July 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) what his policy is on treating employee assistance programmes as taxable benefits; (151073)

(2) what discussions he has had with ministerial colleagues in the Department of Work and Pensions on taxation of employee assistance programmes operated for that Department’s staff.

All benefits in kind provided by employers to their employees are chargeable to tax unless covered by a specific exemption. Employee assistance programmes are not normally tax exempt as they often include taxable benefits in kind.

Treasury Ministers and officials have discussions with a wide range of organisations and individuals in the public and private sectors as part of the process of policy development and delivery. As was the case with previous Administrations, it is not the Government's practice to provide details of all such discussions.