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Non-cash remuneration values – 2019 – Wage tax – Social security

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If employees receive non-cash benefits from their employer (e.g. free accommodation or canteen meals), these are subject to wage tax as non-cash benefits and are also regularly subject to social security contributions. The amount of remuneration in kind is determined in the Social Security Remuneration Ordinance.

The value for free meals is composed of breakfast, lunch and dinner. The monthly amounts for 2019 can be taken from the following table:(see information letter 01/2019).

If free or reduced-price meals (lunch or dinner) are provided in an employer-operated CanteenIf a meal is served to employees in a restaurant or comparable establishment, the following amounts are to be paid per meal 3,30 Euro This also applies as a rule to meals provided to the employee at the employer’s instigation on the occasion of an external activity of no more than 8 hours on business grounds.

The non-monetary remuneration values also apply if the employer hands over so-called restaurant vouchers with a value up to 3.10 euros higher – i.e. for 2019 up to an amount of 6.40 euros for one meal per day – for redemption in restaurants.

This also applies if the employer waives vouchers and instead provides cash allowances to employees for the purchase of a meal; if the allowance does not exceed the amount of €6.40 per working day, only the non-cash remuneration value of €3.30 per meal is to be applied.

If the employee pays a personal contribution when meals are provided at a reduced price, this additional payment reduces the value of the benefit in kind; if the employee pays the full value of the benefit in kind, no amount remains that is subject to tax and social security contributions.

Insofar as the employer recognizes the remuneration resulting from the free or reduced-price provision of meals at the non-cash remuneration value and, pursuant to Section 40 para. 2 EStG is taxed at a flat rate of 25%, it is exempt from social security contributions.

With regard to the granting of free accommodation by the employer, a distinction must be made:

  • If it is a self-contained apartment (or single-family house) in which an independent household can be run, the rental price customary in the locality is regularly to be taken as a basis. Incidental costs, such as electricity and water, are to be taken into account with the price at the place of delivery.
  • In contrast, a flat-rate non-cash remuneration value is regularly to be applied for the provision of other accommodation (individual rooms); this amounts to 231 euros per month for 2019. The accommodation may be valued at the local rental price if this is lower than the flat-rate non-cash remuneration value.

In the case of a reduced-price transfer of an apartment or accommodation, the above-mentioned values are reduced by the usage fee paid by the employee; the remaining amount is then subject to wage tax and social insurance.

(For further comments, information and examples, please refer to our Information Letter 01/2019).

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Neumann & Walczak – tax consulting company GmbH – Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Neumann & Walczak Tax Consultants – Partnership –
Robert-Bosch-Strasse 1 – 59439 Holzwickede

Website: www.neumann-walczak.de – E-mail: info@neumann-walczak.de

Phone: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 0 – Fax: (0049) 02301 – 91 291 21