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“Unstuffed buns and a hot beverage at work not a “meal.”

In addition to cash wages, an employee’s wages that are subject to wage tax and social security contributions generally also include benefits in kind and other benefits that the employee receives from his employer in connection with his employment.

If, for example, the employee receives free (workday) meals from his or her employer, the value of this benefit is regularly to be added to the wages at a flat-rate non-monetary remuneration value.

Uncovered rolls – not a meal

The Federal Fiscal Court (Bundesfinanzhof ) has now clarified that the free provision of uncovered rolls and a hot drink at the company is not a “meal” within the meaning of this regulation. In the case in question, the rolls in question were pretzel rolls/grain rolls, raisin rolls, chocolate rolls, etc.; no toppings such as butter, jam or cold cuts were provided.


The court considered the foodstuffs to be non-taxable “attentions” that (only) serve to create favorable working conditions at the company. Such attentions do not regularly form part of taxable wages on the basis of a wage tax regulation.