Who should get your tips? or should we stop tipping?

Tip jar

Over 150,000 business are in the Hospitality Sector and they employ over £2m staff, tipping is common place, so the government launched a consultation on 2nd May 2016 which will run till 27th June 2016 to seek opinions on tipping, gratuities, cover and services charges.

The Government wants everyone to be paid fairly so the proposals focus on:

Option 1:
Ensure transparency to consumers that discretionary payment for service is just that – ‘discretionary’.
Option 2:
Ensure workers receive a fair share from discretionary payments for service.
Option 3:
Increase transparency for consumers and workers regarding the treatment of discretionary payments for service.
Troncs can save you Tax

If your employees receive tips directly from your customers and are allowed to keep them, then you do not need to do anything for PAYE tax or NICs. There are no NICs due on the money, and the tax due is the employee’s responsibility. Your employees should declare the money to HMRC, who will usually adjust their tax code to collect any tax due.

A tronc is an arrangement for pooling and distributing tips and service charges and the person who operates the tronc is known as a troncmaster. If your employees use a tronc you must tell HMRC who the troncmaster is so that they can set up a PAYE scheme for the tronc.


Tips are outside the scope of VAT when genuinely freely given. This is so regardless of whether:

• the customer requires the amount to be included on the bill
• payment is made by cheque or credit/debit card
• or not the amount is passed to employees.

Restaurant service charges are part of the consideration for the underlying supply of the meals if customers are required to pay them and are therefore standard rated.
If customers have a genuine option as to whether to pay the service charges, it is accepted that they are not consideration (even if the amounts appear on the invoice) and therefore fall outside the scope of VAT.
Further information is available from: Notices 700 The VAT guide and 709/1 Catering and takeaway food


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