Thursday , November 26 2020

MPs were given the green light for a meal voucher. The most popular benefit awaits a major change

The home has approved the so-called meal voucher as an alternative to current meal vouchers. Employers will thus be able to choose whether to contribute meal vouchers or tax-free cash to their employees’ meals. Its approval is welcomed by business organizations. On the contrary, food companies or unions are against it. The introduction of a lump sum has yet to be assessed by the Senate, and the bill must eventually be signed by the president.

The food voucher package, which is causing a great deal of emotion in the Czech Republic, is part of the tax package. It also includes new income tax rates, an increase in the excise tax on tobacco products or a reduction in the excise tax rate on diesel.

The lump sum itself comes from the Ministry of Finance and from 2021 should become an alternative to meal vouchers. In his case, the tax benefit should remain the same as for meal vouchers – in the case of a 100 kroner meal voucher, employees should have 55 kroner for each working day.

Employees would receive written off separately because, unlike wages, they would not be subject to mandatory duties and taxes.

“Many small employers are discouraged from unnecessary paperwork and the high fees they have to pay to food companies. If they provide employees with a meal allowance in cash, they will avoid both,” said Finance Minister Alena Schiller (YES). in January.

Earlier this year, the ministry defended the lump sum, saying pub and restaurant operators were demanding a change in the system as they paid commissions to food companies of five to seven per cent. “They occupy an oligopolistic position in the Czech Republic and usually spend the vast majority of their profits in the order of hundreds of millions of kroner a year abroad. In the future, a meal voucher will relieve catering establishments of these costs,” the ministry said.

Dining vouchers are currently the most widespread benefits of the company in the Czech Republic, receiving about 1.3 million people.

Comparison of tax benefits

Supporters of the food voucher package also include the Association of Hotels and Restaurants, the Confederation of Trade and Tourism, the Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Traditional Trade of the Czech Republic (AČTO).

Business organizations have called on MEPs to approve it this week, so they welcome the Chamber’s decision. “The flat rate will certainly help many employees and employers. Only by comparing the possibility of obtaining tax benefits,” said Pavel Brzezina, president of AJTO.

Petr Skosh, for example, evaluates the flat rate positively from the sales director of the new LemonPay benefits card. Thanks to the flat rate, according to him, the new services will be given space, and the existing ones will become more efficient and will help the Czech restaurants. “Many companies will want to have an overview of what their employees will spend on meals. They take the meal voucher as an opportunity for change,” he added.

20 billion budget deficit

On the contrary, the Association of Voucher System Operators, among others, opposes the flat rate. Its president, Miroslav Sedlak, has said its introduction could mean a loss of tens of billions of kroner to the state budget. At the same time, it risks being used to optimize wages.

“Especially in the context of the current situation, where the flat rate could mean another shortfall of 20 billion kroner for the state budget, we will find its introduction, which does not benefit the state, completely irresponsible. Analysis and research speak clearly,” Sedlak said. .

“The bill has been passed by the House at the moment, leaving for the Senate, which has 30 to consider the threats of change, which will be significant. And the debate will certainly be difficult, as the total impact of the tax package is a deficit of another $ 150 billion. “The introduction of a catering lump sum will also seriously affect the gastro-sector, which will mean a further reduction in turnover after the closure of the coffin, especially during lunch,” said Daniel Pedret, a spokesman for the food company Onered. “We try to explain to Senate representatives that the flat rate should have rules and be used for food during the working day. “This is also a way that can help restaurants.”

“If the catering lump sum passes through the Senate and is introduced, the catering support system for employees in the Czech Republic will be seriously disrupted,” added Daniel Capek, president of rival company Sodexo RD.

In an interview with the online daily Aktuálně.cz in October, he said the flat rate did not guarantee the use of untaxed money for food in any way and that cash employees would virtually stop eating in restaurants or canteens.

“The flat rate will record purchases in foreign chains because people will try to save money,” he said in an interview. “According to polls, only six percent of people would spend money on paying for a meal in a restaurant, and nothing would stop them from buying alcohol or tobacco products for them,” he warned.

Sodex from Sodex is considering criticism of the ministry that French food companies are making profits abroad. “Because the vast majority of foreign companies – and they are the backbone of the Czech economy – pay their profits to the founding companies and no one dares to do so. What we have paid our parent company in recent years is absolutely negligible in comparison with other industries, “he added. .

The theme of the fight for meal vouchers from all corners of Aktuálně.cz:

  • Caterers are squeezing the store business. The restaurant will support with discounts and zero commission
  • We will not send a dividend to France this year, we are talking about the survival of restaurants, says the first man of Sodexo
  • We will not extend paper meal vouchers, the publishers say. But it will increase the cost of electronics
  • Half of the restaurants are moving forward, the windows ready. But they are stifled by the delivery commission
  • Meal package? A disaster for the catering industry, people will go with a bun, says Capek
  • Meals suffer from taxi syndrome, says the former employee. Describes their business
  • The citizens won a powerful player in the struggle for survival. Liddle starts taking them to the box office
  • The Czechs without food vouchers will not eat properly, companies are in danger. They are worsening the campaign against the lump sum
  • No more commissions for food business owners. The government has adopted a tax package that increases the price of cigarettes
  • Tax changes 2021: Further increase in the price of cigarettes, new reliefs and end of the border monopoly

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