Meal voucher flat fee
The meal voucher flat fee was newly implemented into the Income Tax Act as of 1. 1. 2021. This is a tax-advantaged monetary contribution for providing meals to employees, provided by their employers.
Providing a meal voucher flat fee thus leads to a rise in the employee’s net income. This is an alternative to canteen services or meal vouchers, which have not been abolished by implementation of the meal voucher flat fee. Implementation of the meal voucher flat fee only supplements the possibility of existing tax-advantaged meal provision, and the employer decides which form of contribution to meals they would prefer to provide to their employees. The employer takes this decision in a collective agreement or by internal regulation (internal directive).
The tax regime for the meal voucher flat fee:
The meal voucher flat fee amount is exempted at the employee’s level from income tax and mandatory social and health insurance contributions – to an amount of 70 % of the upper meal expense limit during a business trip of 5-12 hours fixed for and employee remunerated by pay, i.e. an employee stated in Section 109 paragraph 3 of the Labour Code. The upper meal expense limit during a business trip of 5 – 12 hours is set in Section 176 Decree No. 589/2020 Coll. at an amount of CZK 108. This is why the employee has in 2021 been exempted of the monetary contribution amount at CZK 75.60 (70 % of CZK 108) provided by the employer for one shift, and this amount will not even enter into the assessments of basis for social and health insurance contributions.
On the employer’s side, the monetary contribution amount for a meal per shift – if the employee’s presence at work during this fixed shift is for at least 3 hours – is tax-recognisable with no limit as to its amount.
For instance, for 21 completed shifts in a month, the employee can gain a tax-recognisable contribution of roughly CZK 1,580 for meals in the form of a meal voucher flat fee.
The meal voucher flat fee thus has, in terms of tax, the opposite regime to the meal voucher.
|Meal vouchers||Monetary contribution for meals|
|Exemption at the employee’s level||without limit Section 6 para. 9 letter b) ITA*||to the limit** Section 6 para. 9 letter b) ITA*|
|Employer’s tax expense||to the limit** Section 24 para. 2 letter j) point 4 ITA||without limit|
*Income Tax Act No. 586/1992 Coll. (ITA)
**note two limits:
1. 70 % of subsistence expense (CZK 75.60)
2. 55% of the meal voucher amount
For a completed shift, the employer provides the employee:
a) a meal voucher amounting to CZK 100
- CZK 100 exempted at the employee’s level
- Only CZK 55 (i.e. the tax-recognisable expense) enters into the employer’s expenses
- the employee pays the employer CZK 45 per meal voucher
b) CZK 100 monetary contribution
- the employee is exempted CZK 75.60 (CZK 24.40 will be taxed according to Section 6 ITA + the obligation to contribute to social and health insurance)
- the entire CZK 100 enters into the employer’s expenses
One can contribute to the meal voucher flat fee from the FKSP
State organizations can partially cover the monetary contribution to their employees’ meals from the Fond kulturnich a sociálnich potřeb (FKSP) (tr. Cultural and Social Needs Fund). This is enabled by the updated Ministry of Finance FKSP Decree, see vyhláška FKSP Ministerstva financí 114/2002 Coll. The FKSP meal voucher flat fee contribution can, in the same way as in the case of meal vouchers and canteen meals, reach a maximum amount of 45 %. The possibility to cover contributions from the FKSP and its pertinent amount can be fixed by every organization in their internal regulations.
Meal voucher flat fee pay-out
Unlike meal vouchers, which are calculated towards a period, the meal voucher flat fee can be paid out for a period. It cannot therefore be paid out in advance, but is rather paid retroactively according to completed shifts (a shift of at least 3 hours has to have been completed). For example, therefore, the January meal voucher flat fee will be accounted for and paid out for January (thus in February), when the number of completed shifts for January is known.
The meal contribution should be included in the total of accounted salaries (in gross salary), even though it will be tax-exempt and should subsequently be excluded when fixing the tax base.
A meal voucher flat fee provided for the first time when accounting for salaries for January will already be exempt, up the fixed limit, from income tax; if, however, meal vouchers had already been provided to employees, only one of these benefits will be exempted.
The meal voucher flat fee will be paid out also to employees working under work contracts (dohoda o provedení práce) or work performance contracts (dohoda o pracovní činnost), where the pay-out conditions are identical to those of principal occupation.