How Will the Cash Meal Allowance Exemption Be Applied?
The Revenue Administration has announced the details with regards to the cash meal allowance exemption with the Income Tax Communique No: 322. (In Turkish)
1- What are the conditions for this exemption?
To be able to benefit from the exemption, this allowance;
- Should not exceed 51.00 TRY per day,
- Should relate to the actual working days.
2- Cash meal allowances should be made via bank account.
Cash meal allowances should be made per the payment method determined in the Regulation on the Payment of Wages, Premiums, Bonuses and All Kinds of Remuneration of this nature through Bank accounts (In Turkish) that was published in the Official Gazette dated 8th November, 2008 and numbered 27058.
Example 1: The employer transfers the cash meal allowance payments to the employees' bank accounts as of the 1st of December, 2022. The daily cash meal allowance amount is 51 TRY and the total monthly amount is 1,122 TRY (51 TRY x 22 days) for 22 workdays on December. Accordingly, since the meal allowance payment made for the days the employee actually worked and does not exceed 51 TRY, the exemption could be applied for the total amount of 1,122 TRY.
3- What will happen for the amount exceeds the exemption amount?
The portion of the daily meal fee payments made to the employees exceeding 51 TL is not within the scope of the exemption.
Example 2: The employer transfers the meal allowance payments into the employees bank accounts as of the 1st of December, 2022. The amount is 100 TRY per actual workdays and for the whole month the amount is 2,600 TRY (100 TRY x 26 workdays). Accordingly, since the meal allowance payment made for the days the employee actually worked and which does not exceed 51 TRY for a day is exempt from income tax.
So, 1,326 TRY of the meal payment (51 TRY x 26 days) will be exempted from income tax, and the remaining portion amount of 1,274 TRY (2,600 TRY – 1,326 TRY) will be subjected to income tax.
4- Should cash meal allowances be shown on the payroll?
Per the Article 238 of the Tax Procedure Law dated 4th January, 1961 and numbered 213, the employers are obliged to keep a payroll for the wages they pay each month. Therefore, the entire cost of the meal, given in cash, must be shown on the payroll, regardless of whether it is within the scope of the exemption or not.
Should you have any queries or need further details, please contact your customer representative.