The most popular extra-salary benefits with tax advantages granted by employers in Romania
Granting extra-salary benefits is one of the ways to motivate and retain employees. I will list below the most important extra-salary benefits, mainly due to the tax advantages they present.
+ Meal vouchers – any employer can grant them monthly, to own employees who have the basic function declared to the company. They can only be used to pay for meals or to buy food.
The value of the meal vouchers is transferred monthly to the employees on the meal voucher card, by the issuing provider, currently the maximum value of a meal voucher is 30 lei. The number of meal vouchers that an employee can benefit from is at most equal to the number of days worked, but maximum equal to the number of working days in the month.
Tax regime applicable to meal vouchers: meal vouchers are considered salary benefits for which a 10% income tax is due, applied to their nominal value and no compulsory social contributions are due. Regarding corporate income tax, meal voucher expenses are considered as deductible.
+ Gift vouchers – can be given exclusively to own employees as provided in the employment contract.
The tax regime applicable to gift vouchers: they are non-taxable income, insofar as their value for each person does not exceed the amount of RON 300 and they are granted for the following occasions:
- gift vouchers offered to employees, as well as those offered to employees’ minor children, on the occasion of Easter, Christmas and similar holidays of other religious cults;
- gift vouchers offered to employees on the occasion of March 8th;
- gift vouchers given to employees for the benefit of their minor children on June 1st.
Gift vouchers represent social expenses and are deductible in respect of corporate income tax, up to a rate of up to 5% applied to the amount of staff salary expenses.
+ Gifts in cash or in kind – offered to employees on Christmas, Easter, June 1st or March 8th up to 300 lei/employee and for each minor child, as provided in the employment contract, comply with the same tax treatment with that of the gift vouchers, presented above.
+ Holiday vouchers – the maximum level of amounts that can be granted to employees in the form of holiday vouchers represents the equivalent of a maximum of six minimum gross basic salaries per country, guaranteed in payment, for an employee, during a fiscal year.
Thus, for the year 2022, the amount of holiday vouchers is 15,300 lei (2,550 lei x 6, where 2,550 lei represents the minimum gross basic salary in the country, valid in 2022).
Tax regime applicable to holiday vouchers: are considered salary benefits for which a 10% income tax is applied to their nominal value and no compulsory social contributions are due. Regarding the profit tax, the expenses with holiday vouchers are deductible expenses, up to the amount of 15,300 lei.
+ Tourist services for the rest leave period – are included in the scope of social expenses and can be settled for their own employees and their family members, as provided in the individual employment contract. The settlement of tourist services cannot be made according to the employees’ performances as a social expense is not established according to certain performance criteria and must be based on supporting documents (request for rest leave, invoices).
The tax regime applicable to the settlement of tourist services for the rest leave period: the value of tourist services is non-taxable and it is not included into the calculation base of social contributions, insofar as their total value does not exceed in one fiscal year, for each employee, the level of average gross salary per country. In 2022, the average gross salary is 6,095 lei.
Regarding the corporate tax, expenses related to the value of tourist and / or treatment services, including transport, during the holiday, granted by the employer to his own employees and their family members represent social expenses deductible up to a quota of up to 5 %.
+ Cultural vouchers – are valuable tickets granted to employees, monthly or occasionally, to pay for cultural goods and services: season tickets or tickets to shows, concerts, film screenings, museums, festivals, fairs and exhibitions, permanent or itinerant, theme parks, including those for children, books, textbooks, music albums, movies, in any format.
The maximum level of the amounts that can be granted in the form of the mentioned tickets cannot be higher than RON 170 for the tickets granted monthly, respectively RON 350 /event, for those granted occasionally.
Tax regime applicable to cultural vouchers: cultural vouchers are considered salary benefits for which a 10% income tax is due, applied to their nominal value and no compulsory social contributions are due.
+ Contributions to private pension funds (Pillar III) – employers can contribute monthly to the privately administered voluntary pension of employees. The contribution to a voluntary pension fund may be divided between the employee and the employer according to the provisions established by the collective labour contract or the individual employment contract and may be up to 15% of the gross salary income of the person joining a voluntary pension fund.
Tax regime applicable to contributions to private pension funds: the value of the optional pension borne by the employer is fully tax deductible, in the amount of EUR 400 / year / employee, the employer’s expense being fully deductible.
+ Voluntary health insurance premiums / medical service subscriptions – borne by employers, allow employees to have access to additional health services. Voluntary health insurance also provides access to any medical system, public or private, while the medical subscription is applicable only to the issuing provider.
Applicable tax regime: the equivalent value of voluntary insurance premiums and medical subscriptions borne by the employer are non-taxable income for the employee up to 400 euro / year / employee and represent a deductible expense for the employer.
From 1 January 2023, in the case of benefits granted by the employer to employees, a monthly ceiling for non-taxable income shall be introduced, which shall not be included in the calculation bases of compulsory social contributions, of no more than 33% of the basic salary corresponding to the job.
Among the benefits detailed above, the capping provision applies for:
- the value of tourist and / or treatment services, including transport, during the holiday;
- contributions to an optional pension fund;
- voluntary health insurance premiums, as well as medical services provided in the form of a subscription.