On first principles, the provision by an employer of food and drink for an employee is a taxable benefit. The case of Ansell v Brown [2001] BTC 381 – concerning a professional rugby player – confirmed that dietary supplements are not tax deductible, even where the need for extra nutrition arises from the nature of the duties performed.

There are, however, numerous exceptions to these strict rules. Tax relief may be available for any of the following, considered in more depth below:

meals provided in a staff canteen;

other meals provided to all staff;

meals when away from the normal workplace;

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