Also in 2023 your gifts for customers are simply tax-free!

Steuerfreie Geschenke in 2023 für Kunden
Gifts can be a nice gesture if you want to make your employees, customers or business partners happy! If you do it right, the tax office will even accommodate you. Because gifts maintain the business friendship and are therefore tax-free under certain conditions. How it works? Don't worry, it's not rocket science. In this article you will find out what tax-free gifts are for employees, customers and business partners, what you need to pay attention to in order to benefit from the tax advantages, what flat-rate taxation is all about and whether company events can also be tax-free.

What are tax-free gifts for employees and customers?

Tax-free gifts are deductible gifts for employees, customers and business friends. But what are deductible gifts? These could be vouchers, chocolates, bouquets of flowers or other gifts. The only important thing is that it is a material asset and not given in the form of money. By the way: You can find chocolate gift ideas for employees and customers here .

What you need to pay attention to when it comes to business gifts in 2023

Not all gifts are the same! Depending on whether the tax-free gift is intended for employees or customers, you will have to take a closer look:

There is an exemption limit of 528 euros per year for employee gifts , but be careful: you cannot exceed the amount of 50 euros (NEW since 2022!) per month . If you exceed the limit by just one cent, the employee must tax the gifts as income. This means that the freedom from social insurance is also lost and that for the entire amount. If your gift stays under 50 euros, there will be no further social security contributions and it will remain a tax-privileged donation.
But as always, there are exceptions to every rule! If there is a personal occasion such as a birthday, wedding or similar, the exemption limit increases to 60 euros .
Good to know: If an amount is not used up in one month, it may not be carried over to another month.

Gifts for business partners or customers

However, if you want to make your customers or business partners happy, then you should make sure that the gifts do not exceed a value of 35 euros per person per year . This means you can deduct the gifts as business expenses. If the gift is more expensive, you unfortunately cannot deduct the entire expense. You then either tax the gift as a company at a flat rate of 30 percent or the recipient taxes it as wages at their own income tax rate.
In addition to the flat-rate income tax, the donor must pay the solidarity surcharge and church tax. It should also be noted that if you pay tax on the gift, it will be considered another gift. That's why it basically makes sense to make sure that your gift is worth less than 35 euros . This means that your gift, including the “tax gift”, continues to be deductible as business expenses.
Do you still want to give your employees, customers or business partners something more expensive? Then just read on and find out more about flat-rate taxation for gifts.

How does flat-rate taxation work for gifts in 2023?

Is there a special occasion and you want to give your employees something special? Then you can also give more expensive gifts as part of a company event . The social security obligation still applies here, but the gifts can be taxed at a flat rate of 25 percent.
Different rules apply to business partners and friends . If your gift exceeds the value of 35 euros including taxes, it can be taxed at a flat rate of 30 percent (plus solidarity surcharge). With flat-rate taxation, the recipients are off the hook. Remember to let the recipient know that their gift has already been taxed. This applies to all gifts, with the exception of “giveaway items” up to 10 euros, which you can give away without recording.

Business partner gifts tax-free It's that easy to give tax-free gifts to customers!

And how do you tax company events?

To answer this question, you first have to clarify what company events are:
These are events with a social character at a company level, for example summer parties, Christmas parties and company outings .
At a company event, permissible donations include drinks, food, music, artistic performances, tickets, travel and accommodation costs or evenchocolate tastings ;-). Gifts that you give away at an event also count towards these expenses. Even if employees who were unable to attend the company party for personal or company reasons receive their gifts later.
Donations for company events remain tax-free for up to two events per year - at 110 euros per person . If the exemption amount is exceeded, you can tax the remaining amount at a flat rate of 25 percent.
As always, the same applies this time: We have done our best to compile the latest tax information for you. This gives you a rough overview and an understanding of how the whole thing works. To make sure that your company outing or gifts remain tax-free, be sure to speak to your accounting department or your tax advisor. It is often the case that certain amounts have already been budgeted, for example for drinks or fruit in the office. So before you decide to make full use of your budget, consult again.

The best idea for tax-free gifts

Whether it's a farewell, a birthday, Christmas or a successful project completion, there is always a reason to make your employees, customers or business partners happy. If you keep an eye on the exemption limits, nothing will stand in the way of enjoyment for colleagues and customers. Are you still looking for ideas? How about a chocolate box or a virtual team tasting ?


Which gifts are tax-free?
The answer depends on whether the gift is for employees, customers or business partners and how much it costs. The budget for employee gifts is 528 euros per person per year, but this may not exceed 50 euros per month. An exception are special occasions such as birthdays or weddings, in which case the limit is 60 euros per month. Gifts for customers or business partners are tax-free up to 35 euros.

When do gifts have to be taxed according to 37b?
As already mentioned, this depends on the monetary value of the respective gift. If this exceeds 50 (60) euros for an employee or 35 euros for a customer or business partner, the gift must be taxed.

Can private gifts also be tax-free?
Personal gifts are generally exempt from gift tax. However, if the gift value exceeds tens of thousands of euros, the tax office may charge gift tax on it.
Gifts that are given privately and used exclusively for business purposes can be stored in business assets and written off.

Are there tax-free gifts to the family?
As answered in the previous question: Private gifts, outside of the company, are generally exempt from gift tax.

When are gifts to customers tax-free?
Gifts to customers are generally tax-free if they do not exceed 35 euros per year.

When are gifts to business partners tax-free?

Just like with customer gifts, the value limit for gifts for business friends if they are to remain tax-free is 35 euros.

Header photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

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