IRS Wants to Tax Free Employee Lunches

IRS Wants to Tax Free Employee Lunches

In case the IRS hasn’t angered you enough in the last few months, there’s this: The IRS has decided that employers providing meals for employees who work long hours is a situation it plans to “work on actively” in the coming months.  For those of us who work in industries or companies where our department heads may buy folks lunch if they’re working on a big project, at the office late, or even for those employees who are regularly provided meals by their employer, this could mean we are forced to add our ‘free lunches’ to our income…and pay taxes on them.  Forbes explains:

Companies all over the country often provide meals and other services to keep employees on the premises and happy… The Wall Street Journal raised the issue in 2013 when it suggested that regular meals provided for employees were not intended to be tax free under the Tax Code. Those tax free meals were meant for convenience, the article suggested, and not as a substitute for compensation. Allowing employees unfettered access to gourmet food for free did not seem to fall under any reasonable exception…Despite the spike in press that followed, the Internal Revenue Service remained relatively quiet on the issue. That is, until last week.

Suddenly, now that the IRS has been caught with both hands (and feet!) in the proverbial corruption cookie jar, they suddenly want to start taxing employees who are working long enough hours that their employer feeds them?  Is this part of their image restructuring?  Perhaps the reinvention of themselves as a ‘kinder, gentler’ IRS?  If so, whoever is managing their business direction should commit ritual seppuku.

I have an idea.  How about the IRS focus on finding and handling all of those Lerner emails, and the crooks that fill the agency?  You can worry about my generous employer later.

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  • Chris in N.Va. says:

    Suggested renaming of the IRS —

    Infernally Rapacious Kleptocrats

    …or IRK for short, which aptly describes the effect upon taxpayers.

    As with anything else, when it comes to government providing a “service” to us, we must always remember that “service” is the same word used to describe what the bull does to the cow.


  • Xavier says:

    Here in WV, they passed a law taxing people for every tree on their property because they might make money by selling the trees. The only thing that’s kept them from enforcing it is that they haven’t found a way to count the trees yet.

    Yes, you read that correctly: they want to tax us now because at some point down the road, we might sell the trees for firewood or timber – which would be taxed yet again.

    Now a representative from the Assessor’s Office is visiting farms that grow hay and asking a lot of questions about acreage, how much the hay sells for, who cuts it, who buys it, etc. When we asked him why he wanted to know, he told us “the state will give you a tax break if you qualify”. Now it’s true I was born at night, but it wasn’t last night. They want a cut of the hay profits – which are already taxed income.

    The Rule: Government exists to expand.
    The Corollary: It takes money to take your money.

  • GWB says:

    C’mon, you ladies should know TANSTAAFL. 🙂

    And it is income. Every little pittance is income in some fashion. Every dixie cup of lemonade, every free googaw, every gift you give or get. Every transaction in your life is either a sale or income (or someone else’s income).

    This is one big reason why the national government should not be taxing the states’ citizenry directly. Repeal the 16th Amendment!

    • GWB says:

      And, NO, a Flat Tax will not solve this, nor will a national Sales Tax. The only way to get DC’s interference in your life down to a reasonable level is to Repeal The 16th!

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