Training and integration trip and employees' income
Entrepreneurs who employ employees in their company, from time to time organize away meetings for them with training elements. The costs of such a trip are usually fully covered by the employer. Therefore, the question arises whether the training and integration trip generates income on the part of the employee, and the employer as a payer is obliged to collect and pay an advance income tax on this account?
Training and integration trip - goals
Trips organized by employers, apart from the obvious goal of improving the professional qualifications of employees, often bring additional benefits. Training and integration trips are a very good way to strengthen the relationship between employees and the employer, improve communication within the company, as well as integrate the employees themselves, which in turn improves the work of the entire team. By taking such actions, the employer strives to ensure that the employee is satisfied with the work, feels more attached to it and has a sense of security. These types of trips are aimed at motivating the employee to work better, more efficiently, which benefits both the employee and the owner.
Training and integration trip - rules
Participation in training and integration trips is usually compulsory, but the final decision in this matter rests with the employer. If the employer agrees to it, there is nothing to prevent participants from being only willing employees.
The trip program is generally divided into the training part and the employee integration part.
Training and integration trip - training part
The type and scope of the training provided during the trip depends on the employer, but should be related to the conducted activity.
Training can be outsourced to an external company, but it can also be conducted by senior employees, providing, for example, information about:
- about the results achieved,
- the strategy chosen by the company,
- set business goals,
- new products and their intended use.
Training and integration trip - integration part
The integration part is usually outsourced to an external company, but the employer, of course, can organize it on his own.
Various attractions await the participants of the trip, for example tourist and cultural. All this is at the employer's expense.
Training and integration trip as a free benefit
In addition to expenses for training and providing employees with an entertainment program, the organization of training and integration trips is also associated with incurring often considerable expenses for transport, accommodation and meals.
Due to the fact that all expenses related to the trip are covered from the employer's pocket, a gratuitous benefit is created by the employer for the benefit of the employee.
Is the training and integration trip the employee's income?
Many people are afraid that the tax authorities will recognize the employee's income in connection with this type of event and will charge him with tax.
At this point, it is worth noting that in order for a given benefit to be taxable, the following conditions must be met:
- the employee agrees to receive the benefit,
- the benefit received is in the interest of the employee,
- the employee achieves a specific benefit (financial increase or savings in expenses).
During a training and integration trip, the free benefit does not apply to a specific person, but to the entire group of people, so it is very difficult to determine the exact cost per employee. Additionally, the employee may also be obliged by the employer to participate in the trip. Such trips often take place outside working hours and may not be an attractive form of spending free time. It is therefore not certain that the employee would have benefited from such a benefit had he had the right to choose. Therefore, it is difficult to talk about the emergence of taxable income on the part of the employee.
Training and integration trip Judgment of the Constitutional Tribunal
This position was also adopted by the Constitutional Tribunal in its judgment of 8 July 2014. (K 7/13):
The objective criterion - whether the employee has a financial gain (benefits) - is not met when the employer offers employees to participate in integration or training meetings, for example organized outside the workplace (away events). In this case, even if the employee participates in the meeting (conference, training) voluntarily, there is no benefit on his side, even in the form of saving an expense. It cannot be assumed that if it were not for the "course-conference" organized by the employer, the employee would have spent money on participating in such an event. It is also difficult to seriously maintain that the employee's income from an employment contract or service relationship is the possibility of occasional participation in lunch or dinner, and the value of the food and drinks eaten by him determines the tax base..