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  • Mohamed Derbel - Staff transport: An advantage that it is time to exempt from Tax and social contributions

Mohamed Derbel - Staff transport: An advantage that it is time to exempt from Tax and social contributions

26 May 2020

When the employer offers transportation to its employees to ensure their physical and health security, to avoid delays & guarantee better service to its customers, the Tunisian legislator is not happy!

The tax and social systems currently in force do not welcome these initiatives which could avoid a renewal of the massacre of agricultural workers and do not encourage companies which contribute even a little to the decongestion of public transport suffering from delays, congestion and sometimes lack of security.

On the contrary, the cost that the company bears on its own initiative for the good of its personnel, but ultimately for the good of all of us, must unfortunately be subject, according to the regulation in force, to income tax on individuals and social security contributions.

It is considered, quite strangely, as an advantage in kind and therefore an additional remuneration, since according to our legislator, the exceptional quality of public transport, especially urban, is so irreproachable that the transport provided by the company to its employees would be a comfort, even an initiative to pamper and spoil and which must naturally be taxed but never perceived as a societal responsibility initiative of the company for its employees!

Behind this attitude of facts’ distortion, behind these frozen and evasive positions, only to extract taxes and social contributions which will not benefit to the employee since they do not, paradoxically, affect his retirement pension! Wouldn't any speech tending to make believe that the company is an essential economic link to preserve would then be discredited?

Today with the program of progressive deconfinement, the reality explodes in our face, since the government places the responsibility for industrial companies, buildings and public works the obligation to ensure the transport of personnel from and to the workplace !

A clear "Government" admission, which recognizes without any ambiguity that the transport of personnel has never been a comfort for employees but rather a societal action to ensure the health and physical security of employees that the State is unable to provide alone.

In a State where public transport is in crisis, where public transport suffers from a lack of means (Bus, trains, etc.), a deterioration in the quality of services, an unstable servitude, any action of the company to solve part of the problem should never be sanctioned through fiscal and social taxation!

On the contrary, companies wishing to provide transportation for their employees to and from the workplace, in any sector and in any geographic area, must be considered as "Citizen Enterprises" and be exempted from all tax and any social security contributions on the charges they would have borne.

Post-COVID 19 invites us all to reflect wisely on several aspects to revise the fixed positions of some administrations, the legislative texts that have lapsed, the vagueness, the ambiguities and the unfair disputes that have resulted, in order to smooth the desired economic recovery which already looks difficult.

Staff transportation is one and not the least, but it is not the only one that appears in the daily lists of business leaders.

Mohamed Derbel

Chartered Accountant-Partner- BDO Tunisia