The legal framework of the meal voucher

Given the tax benefits attached to meal vouchers, this form of remuneration is governed by certain regulations. Exemption, conditions of granting, amount and use, … Discover all the elements of the legislation on meal vouchers in Belgium.

 

The tax benefits

In Belgium the meal voucher is considered as an extra-legal advantage. This means that it involves tax benefits for employer and employee alike.

For the employer:

  • 100% exemption from social charges
  • €2 tax deductible per cheque

For the employee:

  • 100% exemption from social charges
  • It is non-taxable

 

Conditions of granting

Meal vouchers are not obligatory. If the employer decides to grant them, he must respect certain conditions included in the meal voucher regulations:

  • Provision for granting this extra-legal advantage must be made in an individual or collective labour agreement. Monizze can guide you through this step.
  • The number of meal vouchers must correspond with the number of days worked each month.
  • The vouchers must be issued in the name of the employee.
  • Since 1 January 2007 independent company directors may grant themselves meal vouchers.

The face value is also part of the legislation on meal vouchers. Since 1 January 2016 the maximum value of a voucher is up to €8. Of that amount there is maximum contribution by the employer and by the employee:

  • The employer’s contribution must be a maximum €6.91 (for a face value of €8 per voucher)
  • The employee’s contribution must be a maximum €1.09 (for a face value of €8 per voucher)

Since 1 January 2011, the meal vouchers are available in electronic format only.

 

Use of meal vouchers

The use of meal vouchers is also subject to regulation. Thus:

  • they may be used only to pay for meals or consumer-ready foods.
  • they are valid for 12 months after issue.
  • meal vouchers are used in their order of validity, starting with the oldest.
  • the balance of a started voucher remains available on the account and will be used in priority in the next transaction.
  • the employee must be notified at least 10 days before the expiry of his/her meal vouchers.

Want to find out more? The Royal Decrees are all available in the Document Center tab.