Meal Pass/Food Coupons

Would like to know the below. Also request any other points that should be considered.

  • In the work from home scenario, have employees been given the option of Meal passes/food coupons (like Sodexo) as part of their CTC/ benefit?
    *Is It taxable in the hands of the employee? In case of any exemptions is there any limit?
    *Does any employee need to submit bills for the spending using their cards/coupons/passes?

  • Do employees need to submit any declaration on availing of free food coupons and its utilization of as per IT Act 1961.

  • List item

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We have provided Sodexo meal cards to our employees. As per RBI guidelines the maximum amount given under meal benefit can be Rs.3500 per month.

We give Rs.2200 to employees.

This amount then falls under tax free category.

You do not need to provide any bills or declaration for the same as it will show as a part of CTC breakup.

Explore Zaggle as it is better than Sodexo.


Thank you Farah for your quick response. I hope it was the same even when employees have been working from home. Also, in case you can share the employee count in your Org.

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Thank you, Mohan. Either me or my team member will get in touch with you shortly,

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RBI gives decisions on monetary policy ie interest rates etc ! They do not decide the maximum tax benefit for food coupons which is given by the Income tax Department

I agree on that, this information is shared by KPMG in a survey conducted by them on meal benefits, as shared with us by one of the vendors.

Most companies provide Rs50 per meal (so it depends on the company’s working hours & how many meals they want to consider).

The meal card providers follow RBI guidelines for the card that they issue. The amount if higher than 3500, can be questioned as it provides a tax benefit.