My company requires certain employees to attend trade shows in other countries. The company pays for all the travel costs including visas where necessary, and the employee’s passport if one is not already held. Can the company claim the cost of the passport as well as the cost of the visas as a business expense?
Where the visa can specifically be linked to the requirement to attend the trade show it is a valid business expense for your company. If the employee makes no other personal trips in the country where the trade show is held there is no significant personal element for the employee, so there is no benefit in kind tax charge for the employee. The employee’s passport will last for 10 years, so the business element of the trip to the trade show will be tiny. Where the company pays for the passport it will be a benefit in kind for the employee that needs to be reported on the form P11D. However, if the terms of the employment require the employee to hold a passport the company can claim the cost of obtaining the passport as a business expense.