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Written by:
Ferhat Ruzgar


Company BBQ vs. Work Related Expense Scheme

Summer is on the horizon and the holiday season with it. It is popular among employers to organise a company BBQ to mark the end of spring. Such company outings come under the WKR regime (WKR being the Dutch acronym for the Work Related Expense Scheme), as do all reimbursements and provisions (disbursements) to members of the workforce. It is permissible for an employer to provide its staff with tax-exempt reimbursements and provisions for up to 1.2% of the aggregate wage bill.

Work Related Expense Scheme

Reimbursements and provisions are classified as wage components where their basic fiscal treatment is concerned. The company outing, the Christmas hamper and the company bicycle: these are all examples of provisions (disbursements) the costs associated with which come under the Work Related Expense Scheme and are tax-exempt – provided the employer has designated them accordingly – as long as they do not exceed the “free margin” of 1.2% of the aggregate wage bill. If they do, this will cause an 80% final levy being charged on the excess. Certain reimbursements and provisions qualify for “nil valuation” and can thus be handed out on a tax-exempt basis without their impacting on the free margin.

Company BBQ at the office

The costs of nibbles and drinks qualify for nil valuation and are thus tax-exempt provided the company BBQ is held at the office. Meals by contrast do not qualify for nil valuation, but are subject to a fixed valuation of € 3.35 each as long as they are served at the office. Employees who partake of office-served meals will thus be regarded as having earned an additional € 3.35 per meal in wages (for final levy purposes if the employer so decides, for deduction from the free margin).

Company BBQ outside the office

The nil-valuation costs of nibbles and drinks and the fixed-valuation costs of meals do not apply to company BBQs held elsewhere than at the office, with the nil-valuation costs being deductible from the free margin in so far as the latter allows. As stated before, any costs incurred in excess of the free margin will be liable for an 80% final levy.

Dutch version: De bedrijfsbbq en de WKR: hoe zit dat?

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