Speeding ticket paid by employer is salary
A traffic fine, which was paid by the employer and was not reimbursed must be counted as taxable salary according to a recent court judgement. The offence under discussion (46 km/h over the speed limit) was not considered to be committed due to the proper fulfilling of employment duties.
The case revolved around a director and major shareholder (dga) who was on the way from one business appointment to another when he was arrested. He rode at a speed of 126 km/h on a road where the limit was 80 km/h. The man paid the €3,500 fine with the company card, which the company did not later recover. After the tax office came across this during an audit, he added an additional adjusted salary tax/insurance contribution. The company took issue with this.
The judge referred to a ruling by the Supreme Court in 2008 where it was ruled that an employer can recover any traffic fine for a minor offence that was committed during work hours. The company in this case could also certainly have done that. The argument that the offence was committed in order to properly fulfil the employment duties and therefore should be paid tax-free, did not stand in court. The court found that the employee also had other options (than driving too fast) which would have kept him under the speed limit. For example he could have left earlier or called to say that he was running late. The fine was then not tax-free remuneration and was rightly counted as salary.