Fringe benefits refer to the extra benefits that employers offer on top of their standard wages and compensation. Because these are considered supplementary or additional benefits, a company can choose to have them or not. Having fringe benefits is not legally required for employers to provide their employees.
When it comes to what fringe benefits to offer employees, this is entirely up to the employers to decide. They have free range on giving one or several fringe benefits to their employees. Apart from deciding what to offer, they can also set who they can give it to. For example, there may be fringe benefits for all full-time employees, top executives, or those who achieve a certain business target.
What are some examples of fringe benefits?
As we have mentioned above, fringe benefits are not standard for all companies. A fringe benefit can be anything under the sun. Well, anything that is legal. Here are some examples of common fringe benefits:
Other examples of more unique fringe benefits are the following:
Employers can opt to give conventional fringe benefits while others can give more uncommon ones.
Why do employers offer fringe benefits?
In today’s competitive work scene, organizations are paying more attention to how they can attract the best talent and keep them. Nowadays, job seekers are also looking beyond the salary or pay per hour. They are also placing value on what additional benefits a company can offer them. This is not to say that everything should be about fringe benefits. However, it can be a factor in making a job offer more attractive and enticing. Fringe benefits can also help improve employee satisfaction and employee retention.
Are fringe benefits taxable?
There are fringe benefits that are taxable and there are some that are non-taxable. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides a list of benefits that are considered tax-free. Any fringe benefit that is not included in this list will be taxable. The following are some examples of benefits that are tax-free from IRS Publication 15-B:
Accident and health benefits
De minimis (minimal) benefits
Dependent care assistance
Employee stock options
Employer-provided cell phones
Group-term life insurance coverage
Health savings accounts (HSAs)
Lodging on your business premises
Retirement planning services
Transportation (commuting) benefits
Working condition benefits
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