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Old 01-07-2013, 04:34 PM
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Location: Grand Prairie, Texas
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http://www.irs.gov/publications/p15b...link1000193660

De Minimis (Minimal) Benefits


You can exclude the value of a de minimis benefit you provide to an employee from the employee's wages. A de minimis benefit is any property or service you provide to an employee that has so little value (taking into account how frequently you provide similar benefits to your employees) that accounting for it would be unreasonable or administratively impracticable. Cash and cash equivalent fringe benefits (for example, use of gift card, charge card, or credit card), no matter how little, are never excludable as a de minimis benefit, except for occasional meal money or transportation fare.

Examples of de minimis benefits include the following.


Personal use of an employer-provided cell phone provided primarily for noncompensatory business purposes. See Employer-Provided Cell Phones, later in this section, for details.


Occasional personal use of a company copying machine if you sufficiently control its use so that at least 85% of its use is for business purposes.


Holiday gifts, other than cash, with a low fair market value.


Group-term life insurance payable on the death of an employee's spouse or dependent if the face amount is not more than $2,000.


Meals. See Meals, later in this section, for details.


Occasional parties or picnics for employees and their guests.


Occasional tickets for theater or sporting events.


Transportation fare. See Transportation (Commuting) Benefits, later in this section, for details.




Meals


This section discusses the exclusion rules that apply to de minimis meals and meals on your business premises.





De Minimis Meals


You can exclude any occasional meal or meal money you provide to an employee if it has so little value (taking into account how frequently you provide meals to your employees) that accounting for it would be unreasonable or administratively impracticable. The exclusion applies, for example, to the following items.


Coffee, doughnuts, or soft drinks.


Occasional meals or meal money provided to enable an employee to work overtime. However, the exclusion does not apply to meal money figured on the basis of hours worked.


Occasional parties or picnics for employees and their guests.




This exclusion also applies to meals you provide at an employer-operated eating facility for employees if the annual revenue from the facility equals or exceeds the direct costs of the facility. For this purpose, your revenue from providing a meal is considered equal to the facility's direct operating costs to provide that meal if its value can be excluded from an employee's wages as explained under Meals on Your Business Premises, later.
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