Large numbers of workers across the UK are missing out on potential financial rewards received through employee benefits offerings.
According to Unbiased.co.uk, up to £152 million in tax breaks is going begging every year because staff are not taking up company share perks.
More than 13,000 firms have opened up the tax-efficient initiative to workers, but many are oblivious to the possible gains involved.
The Share Incentive Scheme was pioneered by the government in 2001 and enables employers to give up to £3,000 worth of free shares to workers without them having to pay tax or National Insurance.
Chief executive at Unbiased.co.uk Karen Barrett believes some people may benefit from professional financial advice in order to realise the advantages of signing up to such packages.
“Employees need to act now to ensure they are making the most of this tax saving opportunity,” she remarked.
Leading MPs from the UK’s three main political parties will meet in October to discuss the future of employee ownership set-ups.
A possible overhaul of the UK taxation format could help reduce HR admin burden within companies.
The government wants to hear the views of firms before it sets the wheels in motion on making reforms that would see the income tax and National Insurance systems more closely linked.
Many firms, including those that operate various salary sacrifice schemes for their employees, may find the present arrangement time consuming and inefficient.
Income tax and National Insurance are now calculated separately, but the Chartered Institute of Taxation (CIOT) has long labelled the set-up as burdensome.
CIOT president Anthony Thomas has admitted he is glad the taxation framework is to be reviewed.
“The government deserves congratulations on finally grasping a nettle that successive administrations have shied away from,” he commented.
Exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke hopes that any potential radical reforms would make the UK tax system the “most competitive in the G20 for business and simpler to understand for individual taxpayers”.
Firms looking for new additions to their employee benefits packages should consider offering electric vehicles to staff as company cars.
By issuing the eco-friendly motors as part of a salary sacrifice scheme, Greenmotor.co.uk author Lem Bingley believes businesses will reap the rewards.
Having assets such as electric cars can entitle employers to write off small parts of their tax bill and Mr Bingley said a firm is more likely to benefit financially by embracing electric, rather than petrol and diesel motors.
“The situation with an electric car there is very, very favourable,” he remarked.
As more and more renowned manufacturers produce electric cars, Mr Bingley is expecting uptake among businesses to grow significantly.
“Companies will be the ones which adopt them, because the government has given these tax incentives [and] tax breaks,” he added.
Employees may also favour being given electric models, as a study conducted by Sainsbury’s Car Insurance showed that 1.3 million drivers have stopped using their petrol and diesel vehicles in the past year due to the huge costs involved.