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A Guide to Luxury Corporate Gifts

Corporate gifting is a tricky area that must be approached with caution. I mean it is hard enough deciding what luxury gift to choose for your friends and family, never mind choosing the right thing for your staff and clients. After all, when you are trying to make the right impression on colleagues and clients, the last thing you want is for them to feel ungrateful! Here are some of our top tips to giving the best luxury corporate gifts:
Stay Legal
It is a well-known fact that hospitality and luxury gifts have long been a part of the world of businesses, and quite often can be a great help in greasing the wheels of the great corporate machine. However, if you do want to gift a colleague or client something it is critical to remember that there is a line between gifting and bribing, and this is one that should never be crossed. For example, if you are on the verge of signing a big deal beware of handing the MD of the signing company keys to a luxury sports car or a diamond encrusted watch! Likewise, if you are on the verge of a promotion, think twice about handing your boss a set of ski's that you just 'saw on the way to the office and thought of you'! What it comes down to is, is there an expectation of something in return? Under the 2010 Bribery Act handing over a luxury gift in the hope that it will facilitate a deal or a change in circumstance is against the law and could land you in all sorts of trouble. Similarly, giving a luxury corporate gift to a public official could also be seen as 'facilitation', and this would be frowned upon as well. So, think carefully about your choice of gift and its appropriateness between yourself and the receiver.

Do Unto Others as You Would Have Them Do to You.
One of the best ways to approach gift-giving in the corporate world is to think, am I able to offer the equivalent gift in return? So, if a client offers you a brand-new Bentley would you be able to give them one back? If the answer is no, then you need to think seriously about whether you should be accepting it or not. Many companies nowadays try and get around this by banning the giving of presents, but this can bring about complications if you are dealing with international clients, for example, as many of them see gift giving as a traditional act. Another strategy that is used by companies is to allow employees to accept gifts, but the gifts are donated to charity or auctioned off. Whatever your feelings on the matter, it is probably a good idea for your company to have a gift and hospitality policy in place.
Consider the Tax Implications

If you are going to put a Gift & Hospitality Policy in place, then you also need to consider tax implications. The HMRC state that gifts to customers are only allowable as a tax deduction if the total cost of gifts per annum to one individual does not exceed 50 pounds, the gift does not include drink, food or tobacco, and the gift bears a conspicuous advert for your business. However, if you are a trader whose business is in food, drink or tobacco, then samples are allowable. Trivial gifts such as a turkey or some chocolates at Christmas are fine, but a voucher or a hamper means you will have to declare your gift to the Tax Man. Things aren't all bad, though - as you can include the cost of gifts to employees in your accounts as a tax-deductible expense and claim the VAT (although you may be paying VAT on the gift in the first place)!
What to Buy
With all that in mind, the question of what to buy for your colleagues, employees and even friends need to be well judged. Avoid anything too bland or inappropriate for obvious reasons, and go for something practical but designer to really put a smile on everyone's face. At iWoodesign, we have some beautiful luxury wooden items that anyone would be happy to receive, such as luxury stackable letter trays or luxury paper dividers. If you have a colleague who enjoys spending time with their family, then you could gift them a luxury backgammon set or one of our range of luxury photo cubes for them to display their favourite photographs. The list really is endless.
For more information about our range of luxury corporate gifts and homeware items, please call us on 0208 802 2425 or send us an email to [email protected]