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Change to meal contributions in the Czech Republic | News Flash

January 5, 2024
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The Czech Labour Code (Act No. 262/2006 Coll.) does not establish an obligation for the employer to contribute to the employee’s meals, but only an obligation to provide a break for food and rest, no later than after 6 hours of work. The employer can therefore provide meal contributions in the Czech Republic to his employees in any amount.

According to the Act on Income Taxes (Act No. 586/1992 Coll.), meal allowance on the part of the employee is exempt from tax up to 70% of the upper limit of the per diems, which can be provided to employees during a business trip lasting 5 to 12 hours.

Decree No. 398/2023 Coll. sets this year’s per diems rates for the non-business sector for a business trip lasting 5 to 12 hours at a maximum of CZK 166. On the employee’s side, the meal allowance is thus exempt from tax and insurance premiums up to CZK 116.20. (We provide more information on travel reimbursements in our NewsFlash.)

As of 2024, as a result of the Czech consolidation package, the conditions for exempting the employer’s contribution for all three forms of employee meals (monetary meal allowance, meal vouchers or the option to visit own facility – canteen) will be unified. In order for the contribution to be tax-free for an employee, the following conditions must be met:

  • at least 3 hours must be worked during the shift,
  • no entitlement to per diems may arise during the shift,
  • the amount of the contribution is up to 70% of the upper limit of the meal allowance for a business trip lasting 5 to 12 hours, i.e. 70 % of CZK 166 (CZK 116.20).

For employees who work more than 11 hours, it is possible to provide double the amount.

For tax deductibility for the employer, the entitlement has to arise based on the internal regulation, collective agreement or employment contract.

Example: An employer provides employees with a meal voucher in the amount of CZK 200.

  2023 2024
Exempt income CZK 200 CZK 116.20
Taxable income CZK 0 CZK 83.80
Non-deductible expense of the employer CZK 110 CZK 0
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