August 31, 2008
IRS Says No Dollar Limit on de Minimis Fringe Benefits
Filed under: News
Vision Payroll

Responding to a request from Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), the IRS stated that there is no dollar limit imposed by law on de minimis fringe benefits. A constituent had written to Shelby and stated that the constituent’s employer required all non-cash gifts valued over $50 to be processed through payroll and all required taxes to be withheld. According to §132(e)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (as amended), “‘de minimis fringe’ means any property or service the value of which is (after taking into account the frequency with which similar fringes are provided by the employer to the employer’s employees) so small as to make accounting for it unreasonable or administratively impracticable.” Setting of a dollar limit would, in of itself, require accounting for items. Therefore, no dollar limit on de minimis fringe benefits is set by law. Treasury Regulations §1.132-6(e) gives examples of de minimis fringe benefits such as “occasional typing of personal letters by a company secretary; occasional personal use of an employer’s copying machine, provided that the employer exercises sufficient control and imposes significant restrictions on the personal use of the machine so that at least 85 percent of the use of the machine is for business purposes; occasional cocktail parties, group meals, or picnics for employees and their guests; traditional birthday or holiday gifts of property (not cash) with a low fair market value; occasional theater or sporting event tickets; coffee, doughnuts, and soft drinks; local telephone calls; and flowers, fruit, books, or similar property provided to employees under special circumstances (e.g., on account of illness, outstanding performance, or family crisis).” Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions.


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