Should employee 'perks' be taxable?

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MissyJ's picture
Last seen: 3 months 3 weeks ago
Joined: 01/31/02
Posts: 3289
Should employee 'perks' be taxable?

IRS Says No More Free Lunch for Silicon Valley Tech Companies

Short version: Numerous companies offer various 'perks' to employees to attract and retain them. In addition to the 'free lunch' mentioned, some others that come to mind are onsite free exercise centers, concierge services and more.

Should all fringe benefits be considered as taxable income?

Here are a few articles showcasing additional perks that may be targeted (*note some are already taxable):

14 Companies with Incredible Employee Perks

18 Of The Best Perks At Top Employers

Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/08/03
Posts: 3348

I don't think it's right to tax people on things like company outings, facilities that exist where they work, discounts, etc. I think it's only fair to tax them on actual goods they receive.

A&E had a lot of good perks: discount gym memberships, tuition reimbursement sometimes, discounts on tickets to events or certain phone providers, etc. But the only time I got taxed was when there was a big meeting and everyone there got $150 gift cards to design their own Nikes. (Mine are very yellow.) That's basically a handing over of money. But outside of that I don't think people should be taxed.

Last seen: 2 months 1 week ago
Joined: 04/12/03
Posts: 1763

It's been a long time, but I think SO got a free meal when he worked at various fast food places. It just sounds ridiculous to me that the IRS is going to go after something like this a taxable benefit. How do you track those who don't eat in the employee cafeteria?

Maybe I don't know enough about it.

mom3girls's picture
Last seen: 1 year 1 month ago
Joined: 01/09/07
Posts: 1537

I do not think they should tax anything unless it is actual money changing hands.

I get a discount for my kids tuition at my school, but that is about the only perk I get. Oh and coffee there is always free coffee!