Soon restaurant titles at 13 euros?

The executive retained this amendment to the 2023 budget tabled by Le Républicains. The maximum amount per working day will increase to 13 euros. Enough to allow employers to pay 1450 euros per year to their employees without paying social security contributions.

Among the hundred or so amendments from deputies retained by the executive for the 2023 state budget is an amendment tabled by LR which concerns restaurant tickets (Edenred), lunch vouchers, Apetiz cards (Natixis) and other restaurant vouchers at the available to employers to financially compensate for the fact that their employees cannot go home for lunch.

This amendment relates specifically to the maximum sum that a company could be required to pay in tickets, checks or on the card of its employees, for each day of work. Today this daily ceiling is 11.84 euros. The government has agreed to raise it to 13 euros. An increase whose cost for the State has been estimated by Bercy at 140 million euros, knowing that it is not an expense for the State but a loss of income on the tax level.

The employer who pays meal vouchers does not in fact pay social security contributions on what he pays to employees, as long as the amount of the voucher does not exceed the ceiling provided for. As for employees, they will not have to pay income tax on the sums they receive in restaurant vouchers.

Up to 2900 euros of non-taxable “income” for employees

Concretely, this means that an employer can now pay its employees up to 2,900 euros per year in meal vouchers without any social security contributions to pay. Without going into too much detail, he will have to pay around half of the value of the titles paid to his employees (1450 euros maximum) to the company providing him with the cards or notebooks, the rest being deducted from the wages paid.

But even if their payroll is amputated, the employees also find their account there, since if they had received this money in salary and not in restaurant vouchers, the tax authorities would have taken these payments into account in their taxable income.

Money you can use to do all your grocery shopping

In addition to this tax advantage, there are new rules governing the use of restaurant vouchers. Until at least the end of next year, these cards and tickets can be used to pay for all her grocery shopping. This freedom granted to employees to spend this additional income without constraint has eliminated what was sometimes perceived as a disadvantage.

In fact, some employees found it detrimental that their pay slip could be deducted from an amount that they had to use only to pay for a bill at the restaurant, a quiche or a sandwich at the bakery or the purchase, at the supermarket, of products immediately edible food.

A restaurant voucher that looks more and more like a food check

It is this novelty that greatly annoys restaurateurs. Their unions have already warned that they will fight to reverse this extension of the use of restaurant titles that have become food vouchers that do not say their name.

Critical voices are even raised among the issuers of this means of payment. In a column published on October 12 by La Croix, Youssef Achour, President of the cooperative group that offers its UpDéjeuner, protests against this development.

The restaurant title is not salary but a social asset! It has a specific function: to improve the quality of life of employees through a quality lunch break during their working day. Its existence is based on this social objective. To trivialize it is, in the end, to condemn it,” he wrote.

The fact remains that these developments should lead more business leaders to increase the income of their employees by taking advantage of the advantages offered in tax terms. The number of beneficiaries should therefore increase. No precise figures in this regard are available. The boss of Up mentions the figure of 5 million beneficiaries. Other sources estimate it at 4.5 million.

In any case, it is still little compared to some 25 million employees identified in France. And so, if the number of beneficiaries as well as the sums they receive increase, this means that the 7.5 billion euros in restaurant vouchers distributed per year could increase significantly. And therefore the share of the cake to be shared by the companies where they can be spent.

Pierre Kupfermann

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