Meal vouchers in face-mask times

News

The existing safety measures bring a number of extraordinary measures to a majority of businesses, which often involve changes in the work regime of employees. It is not an exception that the companies and their employees find themselves in such a situation for the very first time. The unknown situation thus raises a number of questions concerning the provision and use of meal vouchers.

In order to facilitate your orientation to the issue, we have described the most common cases of providing meal vouchers in the existing state of emergency.  

When is an employee entitled to meal vouchers?

  • If they works from a home office at the place of they permanent residence.
  • If they works from a home office outside they permanent residence.
  • If they is transferred by the employer to perform other types of work.

When an employee is not entitled to meal vouchers?

  • If they is at home and does not work due to impediment to the performance of work on the part of the employer.
  • If they is at home and does not work due to an imposed quarantine or incapacity to work.
  • If they is entitled to childcare allowance at home.
  • If they is on vacation.
  • If they is taking an unpaid leave of absence.    

In addition to the actual distinguishing between cases when to provide meal vouchers and when not, it can be problematic for employers to determine the tax deductibility of meal vouchers in the case of home office.

When is it possible to include meal vouchers into expenses and when it is not possible?

Meal vouchers as a deductible expense

  • The basic condition is a demonstrable completion of a specified work shift of at least 3 hours. Therefore, if it is possible to determine such a shift of an employee working from home office, it is a tax deductible expense.
  • If the employee works from home office outside their permanent residence address, it is also necessary to contractually address the extension of the definition of the place of performance of work.   

Meal vouchers as a non-deductible expense

  • If the employee works in a regime where it is not possible to determine or define their work shift, it will be a non-deductible expense.

Therefore, in order to maintain the tax deductibility of meal vouchers, we recommend that employers issue a written regulation that determines the home office regime and working hours of employees.  

Ruben Vančo

Author

Ruben VančoMarCom and Performance Manager

Father of two daughters, supporter of performance marketing, accelerating half-marathoner, amateur lover of small scenes, fan of electro-swing, coffee hedonist, cheerful cyclist, astounded observer...