In the recently released Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) 200923029, the Internal Revenue Service ruled that discounts provided to an employer’s employees who purchase or lease property from a company that formerly owned the employer are taxable as fringe benefits based on the amount of the discount. Such discounts are also taxable for FICA purposes. FICA is also known as OASDI or social security and Medicare.
Qualified employee discounts are excludible from income under §132 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC). Since “the discounted property was not offered for sale to customers by the same employer for which the employees receiving the discount performed the services”, the discounts were not “qualified employee discounts” under IRC §132. These amounts are to be reported on Form W-2, even for former employees. They should not be reported on Form 1099.
Since the discount was offered as a percentage off the retail price, the discount may be valued for fringe benefits purposes at the amount of the discount.
Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on taxation of fringe benefits.