Understanding Client Gifting: Is It Tax Deductible?

As a creative business owner in the UK, you’re likely no stranger to the power of client relationships and the importance of expressing your gratitude. Client gifting is a common practice that allows you to show appreciation to those who have contributed to your success. However, navigating the tax implications of such gifts can be challenging. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the rules and regulations surrounding tax-deductible client gifting and provide valuable insights tailored to creative entrepreneurs like yourself.

Understanding the Basics

Let’s start by addressing some fundamental questions and considerations that creative business owners often ponder regarding client gifting and tax deductions:

  • Are gifts for clients tax-deductible in the UK for creative businesses?
  • Can you claim VAT back on client gifts?
  • When are business gifts to clients tax-deductible?
  • What is the maximum amount you can gift tax-free?

Throughout this guide, we’ll offer answers and explore the nuances of tax treatment when it comes to gifts for customers and clients, specifically tailored to the creative industry.

Client Gifting as a Business Expense

When contemplating client gifts, it’s vital to determine whether they can be classified as ordinary and necessary business expenses. This classification is key because only such expenses are eligible for tax deductions.

The general rule, as outlined by HMRC, is that gifts to customers are often considered entertainment costs and are, therefore, not tax-deductible for creative businesses. However, there are exceptions to this rule…

Exceptions to the Rule

While client gifts typically fall under entertainment costs, there are scenarios in which they can be tax-deductible for creative business owners:

  • Advertisement Costs: If your client gift is below £50 and prominently features your business’s branding, it may qualify as a tax-deductible expense. Make sure your business name and branding is clearly visible on the gift.

Examples of branded gifts can include:

  • Gift boxes
  • Calendars
  • Diaries
  • Notepads
  • USB sticks
  • Umbrellas
  • Coffee mugs
  • Water bottles
  • Gift sets
  • Gift basket


  • Free Samples: Providing free samples of your creative products to the public for advertising purposes that you can also give as a gift is considered a tax-deductible expense. The cost of these samples or products can be deducted from your taxes.

Gifts to Charities

If you decide to gift to UK-registered charities from your creative business’s trading stock, these gifts can be tax-deductible. Cash donations to charities are generally not tax-deductible unless they are made under Gift Aid.

Navigating Tax Relief for Client Gifting

To encourage creative businesses to maintain positive client relationships, certain tax-relief allowances are available for client gifts. Here are the key considerations:

  1. Annual Limit: You can provide gifts up to £50 to any person in any tax year, provided they feature an advertisement for your business. This advertisement can be conspicuous, but it must include your business name.
  2. VAT Considerations: When gifting items exceeding £50 or a series of gifts exceeding £50 to a person within any 12 months, you are required to account for output VAT on the value of these gifts. Gifts below the £50 threshold are not subject to this VAT rule. However, VAT may be payable in some cases if a gift is given in return for consideration.

Creative Gift Ideas

When selecting gifts for your creative clients, consider creative and thoughtful options that can double as advertising. You can explore personalised business gifts, such as branded items that feature your company’s logo or name. The possibilities are endless, and each year may bring new and exciting creative gift ideas for you to consider.

Gifts to Employees

In creative businesses, showing appreciation to your creative team is a common practice. You can spend up to £150 per employee on an annual event or a series of events without it being treated as taxable. Exceeding this limit, however, may result in the entire amount not being tax-deductible.



By adhering to these guidelines and considering the exceptions tailored to the creative industry, you can express appreciation to clients, employees, and charitable causes while making the most of available tax deductions. If you need personalised advice and professional support in managing your creative business’s finances, especially in matters related to taxes, don’t hesitate to reach out to AO Accountants. We’re here to help you navigate the world of creative entrepreneurship.


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