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Responsibilities as an employer

At a glance - Tax treatment of meal payments & food provided

Nature Taxable/ Not taxable
1 Fixed monthly meal allowance


2 Working overtime - allowance paid or reimbursement made Not taxable if conditions are met
3 Food and drinks (free or subsidised), e.g. food and drinks provided in pantry and during meetings, festive occasions like "loi hei" during Chinese New Year, Christmas parties and company celebrations. Not taxable if most staff in the company enjoy the benefit.

Administrative concession is granted in view that the benefit promotes goodwill and that it is difficult to assign a value to specific employees.
4 Meal allowance/ reimbursement provided on overseas trips This forms part of the per diem allowance/ reimbursement.
See information on per diem provided 

Meal allowance/reimbursement for working overtime

Q Are meal allowance or reimbursement of the expenses incurred for working overtime taxable?

Overtime meal allowance and reimbursement paid to employees in 2005 and subsequent years are not taxable provided that:

  • It is for working beyond official working hours (whether during weekdays, off days, weekends and public holidays) on an ad hoc basis and
  • The payment policy is generally available to all staff. The payments are also not taxable if the policy applies only to staff at the lower level


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Last Updated on 1 November 2012

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