Offer business gifts, is it still a pleasure?

Every year, these are the same questions in the run-up to the end of the year holidays: to whom should we offer corporate gifts?

All professions do not have the same customs when it comes to corporate gifts. In a general way, this tradition tends to be more limited budgetary than the time of our fathers. Corporate gifts today are part of a strictly regulated framework to prevent the risk of corruption, especially when they are addressed to a public authority. There are two types: business gifts for customers and gifts for employees.

Deductible expenses

The former can be considered as deductible expenses of the profit, with a triple condition: they must be done in the interest of the company, without compensation, and the cause must be lawful. Above 3,000 euros per year, they must be entered in the special statement of overheads. In addition, the tax administration may consider that their amount is too important, or that they do not serve the interest of the company, and reintegrate them in the income statement … Note that VAT is only deductible for values below 65 euros TTC.

Benefits in kind

Gifts to employees are normally regarded as benefits in kind and therefore subject to social security contributions, with the exception of certain professions such as sales forces. When their value is low (no more than 5% of the monthly social security ceiling), and when they are offered for a specific occasion (Christmas, marriage, etc.), they are exempt from income tax. We can not avoid mentioning the value of gift vouchers, which leave beneficiaries with the final choice while optimizing the tax and social treatment of the bonus.

Attention as much as a gift

So much for the legal framework that should not spoil the pleasure of offering. Because to have a real range, the gift must translate a real gesture, not just a vague custom. It is better to limit the number of recipients than to distribute a totally impersonal gift. In this respect, the word that accompanies the present is at least as important as the latter.

Also avoid, especially with customers, an excess of generosity that can become suspicious. Conversely, it is better not to be stingy with a boilerplate or visibly very cheap.

Get out of the frame

The gift is also out of the strict framework of a business or professional life. Fantasy is not forbidden: so a consulting company used to send a team of masseur-relaxologists to its customers during the truce confectioners. And another invited them to a human foosball party!

Nor is it forbidden to think of the spouse of the lucky recipient. A meal, a weekend, an invitation …, the gift for two is often fly.

Why not involve employees in thinking?