Romania: The maximum value for meal tickets that can be awarded to employees while benefiting from a special fiscal regime has been increased
The maximum value for daily meal tickets that can be awarded to employees while benefiting from a special fiscal regime has been increased from 30 RON (approximately 6 EUR) to 35 RON (approximately 7 EUR) starting 1 August. The value shall further increase starting 1 January of the following year to 40 RON (approximately 8 EUR).
Employees can benefit from meal ticket for each working day of the month they performed activity for the employer. The amounts received by employees as meal tickets shall not be covered by the income tax and shall have no dues for social contributions. The employer can choose to award meal tickets or not. They can also establish the amount for the meal tickets. This amount can be lower than the legally established value, the same, or higher. In cases when the employer awarded much higher value meal tickets compared with the legally established amount, employees shall pay income tax and social contributions.
In connection with this benefit, the government has also announced that they consider changing this special fiscal regime and having the amounts granted as meal tickets subject to the health contribution, which is 10% of the nominal value.
As the amounts granted for meal tickets still benefit from the special fiscal regime, companies usually use the increase in the maximum amount that can be established for these benefits as a form of general raise that has a lower impact on the budget and a higher impact on net income gains of employees. Companies that are going through collective negotiations at this time or are scheduled to start collective negotiations may consider using this increase in maximum value during the process.