Giving gifts without regret – this is how bosses can endear themselves to their employees

It is said that there are still one or two companies where employees are given small gifts for the big celebration. There is usually a lot of joy. But – and we are on a tax blog here – is that actually allowed?? Doesn’t such a gift have to be taxed? And if so, who would actually have to pay the tax bill?? The employer, or the employee?
We give the answers, as usual easy to understand.

Exceptionally actually almost everything goes

Strange headline, you think? Well, I’ll explain to you in a moment why that one is written like that.
In principle, not only wage tax is due for gifts or other benefits to the employee of a company, social security contributions must also be paid. And all this is paid by the employer, but the minus in the net amount is paid by the employee. That was a good one, wasn’t it?? Well, now come the buts and exceptions. Because: If an employer does not give away cash to his employees, there is under certain conditions nevertheless the possibility that the present or other benefits are tax and social security free. And that with the cash is also somehow clear, where would then be the border between wages and gift?

Give with reason – up to 60 euros per occasion

Because Christmas is just around the corner, let’s first look at benefits with a reason: employers can give their employees gifts on certain occasions. This includes Christmas, Easter, birthday, wedding, birth of the child and some more. You may even distribute gifts on any occasion and not only once a year, but: Such gifts are allowed only once a month. In addition, the value of each individual gift may not exceed 60 euros. If this exemption limit is even just exceeded, the entire amount (and not just the amount that exceeds the 60 euros) is subject to tax and social security contributions. And, just as a reminder: A 50-euro bill is also not possible..

Give gifts without reason – up to 44 euros per month

In addition and independently of these gifts with reason, bosses have the possibility to give their employees gratuitous gifts. Here the rule applies: Monthly these may not exceed the exemption limit of 44 euro in value, otherwise the same happens as with the gifts with reason: The complete amount must be taxed and social security contributions be paid.
But still, every month your boss can give you something good in addition to your salary. But what is conceivable as an allowance? Well, for example, bosses pay their employees for a job ticket, i.e. a ticket for public transportation. However, this hardly works in larger cities, because they usually cost more than 44 euros per month. Also popular are gas vouchers or a membership in the fitness club. In addition to the exemption limit, it is important that the voucher cannot somehow be converted into cash. It must be ruled out, for example, that you drive to the gas station with the 44-euro gas voucher, fill up for 10 euros and have the rest paid out in cash.

As you can see, there is something that can be done. And because bosses usually have a hard time with real wage increases, why not ask him for such a bonus?. Maybe he will be convinced, because you and your boss will profit from it. You have a recognition, which makes itself over a small detour also in your purse noticeable, because you must spend with a gasoline coupon as an example evenly 44 euro less for refueling. And the boss has an employee who is at least a little bit happier.

Christmas can come.

Stefan Heine

Stefan understands as a specialist lawyer for tax law even the laws, which let their own authors despair. He disproves the rumor that lawyers can’t do math – to the delight of our customers and the annoyance of the tax office. As the managing director of smartsteuer, Stefan keeps the team together with his harmonious manner and focuses it on the common goal: the simplest tax return possible.

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