As of July 1, 2014, the Decree on Salary, Exempt Salary and Reimbursements and Provisions has been amended. In addition to editorial changes, the amendments relate primarily to reimbursements under the Domestic Travel Decree.
One of the issues dealt with by the decrees on domestic and foreign travel is the reimbursement of expenses incurred by civil servants on business trips. An employer may also apply the rules on reimbursement to expense allowances for other employees, insofar as the circumstances under which these employees incur expenses is similar to those of a civil servant on a business trip. Pursuant to the Domestic Travel Decree, as of July 1, 2014 the reimbursement of accommodation expenses is no longer fully exempt. How much of the reimbursed amount is exempt depends on the item concerned, e.g. ‘sundry expenses’, ‘evening meal’. To the extent that the employer reimburses more than this amount, the excess will be regarded as taxable salary of the employee, which can be deducted from the fixed exemption under the work-related costs rules.
No transitional rules apply. This means that employers who now base their reimbursements on the higher amounts stated in the Domestic Travel Decree may have to amend their employment conditions.
The reimbursement of accommodation expenses for foreign business trips will continue to be tax free.