Taxable gifts

Gifts to employees are generally benefits which, according to the assumption of the tax office, are made on the basis of the employment relationship. Accordingly, the actual value of the gift is taxable. However, if the gift is merely a gift from the employee on the occasion of a personal event (e.g. birth of a child, marriage), no wage tax must be paid on it. The employee may not be enriched by the gift and the value of the gifts may not exceed EUR 60 (incl. VAT). 

For business partners, this regulation also applies to gifts to employees. 

However, gifts are only deductible as business expenses up to a value of EUR 35. Thus, attentions with a value of more than EUR 35 are also not deductible. 

Business events 

Gifts that are predominantly in the employer’s business interest also do not count as wages. This is the case, for example, with gifts within the framework of company events. 

There is an allowance of EUR 110 (incl. VAT). The allowance applies to each company event up to a maximum of two company events per year. This includes food, drinks, tobacco products and sweets, the payment of accommodation and travel costs or tickets for cultural and sporting events or other gifts.

Taxable food in the company 

If employees receive free or reduced-price meals in the company (canteen meals), wage tax must be paid on them. 

The following amounts are taxable as wages in 2021: 

– Lunch or dinner EUR 104.00 each per month or EUR 3.47 daily 

– Breakfast EUR 55.00 per month or EUR 1.83 per day.

If the employee has to pay something for the meal, these non-cash remuneration values are reduced by the price paid.

Taxable food outside the company

The same values mentioned above are subject to taxation. The prerequisite is that a contractual relationship exists between the employer and the restaurant offering the meal

Tax-free food

If the occasion of the meal is of a business nature, the entertainment of the employee is tax-free.

Drinks and stimulants (water, coffee, tea, etc.) provided free of charge in the company are also tax-exempt.

Meals provided during an extraordinary work assignment (meeting, session, etc.) are also not subject to wage tax. 

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