Meal Money Calculations

Tax Exemption for Meal Allowance

Food allowance is one of the side benefits provided by the employer. Since it is one of the most basic needs of the worker, some convenience is provided in terms of SGK and Income Tax.

1-Meal Money Given in Cash

Meal money paid to the employee in cash on his/her payroll is subject to income tax. In terms of SSI, 6% of the daily minimum wage is exempted from the PEK base and SSI premium is not calculated on a working day basis.

Sample

Salary: 5.000 TL Gross

In April, 30 TL gross food allowance was given per day. The actual working day is 22.

Monthly Gross Food Money = 22 x 30 = 660

Total Earnings: 5,000 TL (Wage) + 660TL (Food Allowance) = 5,660 TL

Cash Meal Money Exemption Calculation

Cash Food Exemption: Daily Minimum Wage x 6% = 119.25 x 6%: 7.16

Total Amount to be exempted: 7.16 x 22 (business days): 157.52

PEK Base: 5.660 – 157.72 = 5.502,48

2-Meal Card / Meal Voucher

Food aids that are not paid to the employee in cash, but loaded on the meal card or given as coupons, are considered as aid in-kind. Regardless of the amount, the SSI premium is not calculated in any way and is not included in the basic earning premium.

On the income tax side, an exemption amount is determined for meal allowances every year and daily tax exemption is applied on a working day basis. This amount was determined as 25 TL in 2021.

Example:

Salary: 5.000 TL Gross

The meal allowance is paid to the employee’s meal card, the amount is 30 TL per day gross, 22 per actual working day.

Monthly Gross Food Money = 22 x 30 = 660

Total Earnings: 5000 fees + 660 food cards = 5660

Food Card/Coupon Income Tax Exemption Calculation

Gross Amount of Food Card: 22 working days x 30 TL = 660 TL

Income Tax Meal Card Exemption Amount Year 2021: 25 TL per day

Total Exempted Amount: 25 x 22 = 550 TL is not included in the income tax base.

Employers can offer their workers side benefits in the areas of road, meal and transport. Along with transport allowance, meal allowance is one of the most common side benefits. In general, road allowances are paid with salaries, while meal allowances are given at the beginning of the month. This advance payment requires an additional payroll calculation if a worker leaves work before the end of the month. 

In some cases, the meal allowance can be prorated based on the work days, as the last day of work is notified in advance by the employee. In other cases, the employee is paid for a full month’s meal allowance and the employer can request the part of the meal card or money that he deposited in full, which corresponds to the non-working days from the employee. Some employers may prefer to pay the meal allowance for the entire month without making any deductions for the unworked days. In sum, meal money calculations for employees leaving work without completing the month depend on the employer. 

Let’s take a look at a few examples on how to calculate the meal allowance for workers who leave before the month ends.

Example-1

Meal allowance for the days worked

The employee will leave his/her job on 15.03.2021.
Wage: 6.000 TL. 

A 30-day meal money was deposited on the meal card in March, and the gross amount of this amount is 750 TL. (Daily: 25 TL Gross)

The working day of the worker until 15 March adds up to 11 days.

The employer wants to pay the employee only 15 days’ meal allowance and he wants the full deposit to be deducted from his earnings.

It is not included in the PEK as it is an aid-in-kind and needs to be exempted from income tax.

The daily exemption amount for 2021 is 25 TL.

Normally, the person needs to have a 15-day meal card as he will be out on the 15th of the month.

15-day meal card fee: 15 x 25 = 375 TL Gross (meal allowance gained)

750 – 375 = 375 TL Gross (net part of this amount will be taken back from the employee) since 750 TL is laid at the beginning of the month

The total earnings of the person:

3.000 TL (15 days fee) + 375 TL (meal card) = 3.375 TL Gross

Number of actual working days: 11

11 x 25 (daily exception) = 275 TL is the amount to be exempted from Income Tax.

Example-2

Employer doesn’t request any refund

The person will leave the job on 15.03.2021.
Fee: 6.000 TL.

A 30-day meal money was deposited on the meal card in March, and the gross amount of this amount is 750 TL. (Daily: 25 TL Gross) (Daily: 25 TL Gross). The working day of the worker until 15 March; It is 11 days.

However, the employer does not want any deductions from the meal card, even if the employee leaves in the middle of the month.

The total earnings of the person are again as in our previous example:

3.000 TL (15 days fee) + 750 TL (meal card) = 3.750 TL Gross

Number of actual working days: 11.

x 25 (daily exception) = 275 TL is the amount to be exempted from Income Tax.

As seen in the example, the exception amount does not change. Because the days when the person actually works are exempt from income tax.

As clearly stated in Article 23/8 of the Tax Revenue Law, the amount within the scope of exception is valid for the days actually worked. This is especially important if the staff are provided with opportunities such as meal checks and meal cards.

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