Employees’ meal allowance will have (again) new rules
On 26 October 2021, the meeting of the National Council of the Slovak Republic approved the amendment to the Labour Code. The parliamentary amendment introduced several significant changes compared to the original proposal.
We keep you informed about the amendment to the Labour Code in the area of employees’ meal allowance within series of our articles.
The main idea of the legislative proposal was to equalize various forms of meals, especially meal vouchers or a financial contribution depending on employee‘s preference.
The original proposal to exempt from tax and social security and health care contributions a financial contribution up to 100% of the meal allowance (subsequently during the discussions in the committee meetings up to 82%) for a business trip lasting 5-12 hours was not approved in the National Council of the Slovak Republic. The parliamentary amendment, as a response to the reservations of the inter-governmental review process, the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Family or the Ministry of Finance, made the following changes:
- The amount of 55% of the value of the meal allowance (currently a maximum of EUR 2.81) will be tax exempt for the employee, for all forms of meals as well as the financial contribution. The employer's contribution from the Social fund should remain unchanged and exempted from tax.
- The meal vouchers or financial contribution will still need to be provided in advance in order to maintain the purpose of the contribution.
- Self-employed individuals will be able to include in the tax deductible expenses only the amount of 2.81 EUR for each working day, without the obligation to document meals expenses.
The approved wording of the amendment to the Act brings equalization of the tax assessment of meals vouchers and the financial contribution, but on the other hand it reduces the limit for exemption from tax as well as social security and health care contributions in the case of meal vouchers or meals provided to employees at the workplace. The amendment will therefore affect many employees and employers. Moreover, reduction of the administrative burden caused by the obligation to provide meal allowances in advance was not achieved.
The amendment to the Act has yet to be signed by the President of the Slovak Republic and is proposed to be effective from 1 January 2022.