THE FUTURE OF EAP TAX RELIEF?
Following the 2011 Budget Statement the UK EAPA is committed to preserving the existing tax relief on employee assistance programmes (EAPs).
The Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) report in March 2011 recommended tax relief relating to 'welfare counselling' which, according to this report 'is often provided by employers as part of a general employee assistance programme' be abolished. Subsequently, in the Budget, the Chancellor welcomed the OTS recommendations and set out a list of over 43 reliefs that would be abolished, explains David Smith, chairman of the UK EAPA.
Whilst the list of reliefs to be abolished does not refer to 'welfare counselling', confirmation by the Government in the Budget Statement that they have plans to consider the other areas raised in the OTS report within a wider programme of work, signals to the UK EAPA that this relief will be under significant threat in the future.
As a result, the Association whilst acknowledging in its Budget response statement that the detail and timing of any plans to remove this tax relief are yet to be released is committed to promoting and protecting the interests of EAP providers and encouraging debate and consultation on this issue, he says.
EAPs play an important strategic role for organisations when it comes to addressing issues and problems that may affect employee performance. Their contribution to sustained business growth and performance should not be underestimated and the UK EAPA is already consulting on the steps that should be taken to successfully campaign on this issue, says David Smith.
The UK EAPA will provide further information on this issue in due course; please check back for updates.