Employers have many ways to do something good for their employees. It doesn’t always have to be a salary increase. Nonmonetary gifts such as vouchers are also popular as a way of saying thank you.
Non-cash benefits up to a value of 44 euros per month may be distributed to employees in Germany free of payroll tax. The decisive factor for the applicability of the 44-euro exemption limit is that the voucher is a benefit in kind.
In consequence of a change in the law in 2020, this has only been the case if the voucher exclusively entitles the holder to purchase goods or services.
Since then, coupons that can be used as a substitute for money are no longer eligible. This includes prepaid cards and cards with a cash withdrawal function. They are regarded as cash benefits.
Therefore, they do not fall under the 44-euro rule and are accordingly taxable from the first euro. The amount of 44 euros per month may not be exceeded.
In addition, the voucher must be granted to the agreed cash salary and not instead of a salary conversion.