Last updated: 31 May 2019
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- Legal News
The order of the Minister for Public Finances no. 1.909 from March 26th 2019 published in the Official Gazette no. 269 from April 9th 2019 modifies the conditions to be fulfilled by companies specializing in the issuance of different types of vouchers, such as meal, childcare, cultural, gift or holiday vouchers, requiring, among other, that the company have a share capital of EUR 500.000 up to EUR 1 million, as the case may be.
The main aspects covered by the new applicable legal provisions and the summary of the vouchers that can be granted by a company to its employees are outlined below.
CONDITIONS FOR AUTHORIZING VOUCHER ISSUERS
The operating authorization is granted to voucher issuers by the Ministry of Public Finances.
With respect to meal, childcare, gift and cultural vouchers, the authorization request must be submitted with the Ministry for Public Finances as of January 1st 2019. As far as holiday vouchers are concerned, the deadline for submitting the authorization request is January 1st 2021.
Specialized units must meet several conditions in order to obtain the operating authorization, as stated below.
- Lawful operation on the territory of Romania;
- The purpose of the company should comprise the performance of operations for issuing and processing printed meal vouchers (CAEN codes: 1812 and 6612);
- A 500,000 EUR share capital (equivalent in RON) for the manufacturers of gift, childcare and/or cultural vouchers; and of EUR 1 million (equivalent in RON) for the companies manufacturing meal and holiday vouchers;
TAX REGIME OF THE VOUCHERS WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYERS
The tax system of the vouchers is governed by the Law no. 227/2015 of the Tax Code. The vouchers are to be granted is limited to the amount provided for this purpose in the income and expenditure budget approved by the employer.
Employers can grant the following types of vouchers: meal vouchers, gift vouchers, childcare vouchers, cultural vouchers and holiday vouchers.
The employer alongside trade union representatives or, as the case may be, the representatives of the employees agree on the types of vouchers to be granted, the frequency of their distribution and the amount of each voucher. Granting a certain type of voucher to a given employee does not exclude the possibility for the same employee to be granted another type of voucher concurrently.
As a general rule, the expenses related to gift vouchers granted to employees and to their minor children, as well as to the cultural, childcare, meal and holiday vouchers are subject to limited deductibility.
- Meal vouchers are vouchers granted to employees for the purpose of buying food on a monthly basis; their nominal value cannot surpass the amount of RON 15,18. The employer cannot grant more than 1 voucher per working day of the concerned month.
One should keep in mind that the law provides for some particular situations where meal vouchers’ granting is forbidden, for instance: leave days, holidays, when the employee receives delegation and secondment allowances, when the employee is on leave for temporary incapacity of work, etc.
- Holiday vouchers can be granted for the purpose of covering expenses related to spending holidays in Romania. The employees benefiting from holiday vouchers no longer benefit from the holidays bonus granted during the fiscal year or from leisure tickets granted under the Law no. 263/2010 on the unitary pension system. The maximum amount that can be allowed to an employee as holiday voucher is the amount corresponding to 6 months of gross minimum wage. Holiday vouchers can be granted in maximum two tranches, according to the employer’s choice with respect to vacations. The authorized nominal value is a multiple of 10 RON, but not surpassing 100 RON.
The expenses related to meal and holiday vouchers are not under the scope of social expenditure; consequently, they are not entirely deductible as per the granting conditions provided for by the special Law no. 165/2018.
Moreover, according to the Tax Code, expenses related to gift, childcare and cultural vouchers incurred by the employer are under the scope of social expenditure and have a 5% deductibility rate applied to the amount of the wage costs of the staff.
- Gift vouchers are granted occasionally. A gift voucher has a nominal value of RON 10 or a multiple of 10, not surpassing RON 50.
- Childcare vouchers: are granted on a monthly basis to employers who are not on parental leave or who do not receive an allowance for a child of the age of maximum 2 years, respectively 3 years in the case of disabled children. The maximum amount to be covered by these vouchers cannot exceed RON 450 per child in childcare belonging to the same employee. The nominal value of such voucher is of RON 10 or a multiple of 10, not surpassing RON 100.
- Cultural Vouchers: can be granted to employees on a monthly basis or occasionally for the purpose of paying for cultural goods and services, such as show, concert, cinema, museum, festival, fair and exhibition passes or tickets, permanent or itinerant, including the vouchers granted for children, school books, music albums, movies. The maximum amount of cultural vouchers cannot exceed RON 150 in the case of monthly vouchers, respectively RON 300/event in the case of vouchers granted on specific occasions. The nominal value of a cultural voucher is of RON 100 or a multiple of 10, not surpassing RON 50.
TAX REGIME OF VOUCHERS WITH RESPECT TO EMPLOYEES
Meal and gift vouchers granted to employees or to their minor children on occasions such as Easter, June 1st (International Children’s Day) or other similar holidays from other religious confessions, as well as to female employees on the occasion of March 8, within the limit of RON 150, are not included in the taxable income and are exempt from income tax. If the amount received by the employee exceeds the non-taxable threshold, the exceeding amount is taxable.
Income represented by meal, childcare, holiday and cultural vouchers are not included in the monthly basis for calculating mandatory social contributions.