The meal voucher: intended exclusively for the purchase of food
Several journalists have recently carried out a survey in large supermarkets around compliance which had a focus on the legal usage of meal vouchers intended exclusively for the purchase of food items. Conclusion: most food distributors accept payment by meal voucher for non-food items. Only one store chain has an automatic system that makes it possible to make a distinction via the cash register between food and non-food items. Some stores have stated that they would switch to an automated cash register by the end of the year.
VIA, the Belgian association of publishers, has sent a communication to their merchants to better respect the legal use of meal vouchers. This diversion can jeopardize the most popular fringe benefit in Belgium. The meal voucher is an advantage for employers, employees and merchants.
These meal vouchers are 100% exempt from social charges and partially deductible. They are not taxable for employees. In addition, more than 2,5 billion euros is spent every year in meal vouchers, exclusively in Belgian shops and restaurants.