AITI Chartered Tax Adviser

Examples of taxable benefits

Expense account
If you use a credit card which is in the company name for private purposes (for example, private fuel), the company must report the matter on its annual BIK return, and you must pay tax (but not PRSI) on the benefit.
If you use the company credit card for business purposes (for example, business fuel), no BIK charge arises.

Free or subsidised meals
Meals provided to you in a subsidised staff canteen are non-cash benefits and are technically liable to benefit in kind. This means that you can be taxed on the amount you do not make good to your employer. If you pay for the cost of the meal (for example, €3 instead of a normal retail price of €10), no BIK arises. If the meal is provided completely free, your employer is liable to pay the BIK based on the marginal cost of the meals provided.
You are not taxed on meal subsistence allowances within the civil service limits (2.25).
Free or subsidised accommodation

If your employer provides you with accommodation, you are taxed on the open market rent of the house (generally taken as 8% of its open market value, unless a more accurate figure can be obtained), plus the annual value of furniture and fittings in the house, plus maintenance expenses borne by your employer, less any rent paid for such use.

Free use of assets (other than accommodation, company cars or vans)
Where you have free use of an asset owned by your employer, you are taxed on notional pay equivalent to 5% of the asset’s original market value (OMV), less an amount you make good to your employer.

Free or subsidised travel
This is a non-cash benefit. You can be taxed if you do not make good the cost to your employer. In practice, it means that if you are employed by an airline, ferry operator or railway company, you must pay the cost to your employer of providing the benefit. If the cost is nil, there is no benefit.

Preferential loans
If you receive a preferential loan where your employer (for example, a bank) provides you with a loan at a preferential rate of interest, i.e., less than the specified rate: 4% in the case of a home loan, and 13.5% in the case of any other loan. You are taxed on the difference between the interest payable and the specified rate, less any amount made good to your employer.