Based on the law or CLA there is no general obligation to reimburse commuting expenses. However, it does offers an interesting extra benefit for employees due to the applicable tax regulations. It is seen as a specific exemption under the Work-related costs scheme (WKR). This means you don’t have to pay any tax over this allowance and you don’t lose any room within the discretionary scope for other tax-free benefits, as long as you stay within set limits. In 2023 these limits are EUR 0,21 / km. in 2024 this will increase to €0,23.
There are multiple methods to reimburse travel expenses. The general rule is that a reimbursement of €0,21 per kilometre is a specific exempt. This makes it possible to give tax-free reimbursement per kilometre travelled from home to work by the employee.
A fixed amount
Besides an actual reimbursement it is also possible to reimburse a fixed amount per payment period. By doing so there is a lesser administrative burden for the employer. The main condition for this is that the employee travels at least 128 days per year to his permanent location of the days he travels to a work location (on fulltime basis). The employer may then calculate the fixed amount as if the employee travels to the fixed location on 214 days per year
When an employee travels by public transport it is possible to reimburse the actual commuting expenses for public transport. It is good to keep in mind that reimbursement for a public transport subscription has different rules.
Parking expenses are usually not reimbursed separately. They are deemed to be included in the regular reimbursement for travel expenses. As employer you can choose to reimburse these costs separately. The reimbursement can be appointed as tax free benefits within the discretionary scope of the WKR or can be treated as part of the wage.
In general it is advised to set up company rules for the reimbursement of travel expenses. The company rules can dictate:
- that the employee should live at least a certain amount of kilometres away from the permanent work location;
- that the employee is only entitled to a maximum remuneration per month;
- what happens to the reimbursement when the employees moves house;
- what happens to the reimbursement when the employee falls ill.
The legal team of INretail can assist you in implementing this benefit for employees.