IRS Tax Forms  
Publication 15b 2001 Tax Year

Employee Discounts

This exclusion applies to a price reduction you give an employee on property or services you offer to customers in the ordinary course of the line of business in which the employee performs substantial services. However, it does not apply to discounts on real property or discounts on personal property of a kind commonly held for investment (such as stocks or bonds).

Employee. For this exclusion, treat the following individuals as employees.

  1. A current employee.
  2. A former employee who retired or left on disability.
  3. A widow or widower of an individual who died while an employee.
  4. A widow or widower of an employee who retired or left on disability.
  5. A leased employee who has provided services to you on a substantially full-time basis for at least a year if the services are performed under your primary direction or control.
  6. A partner who performs services for a partnership.

Exclusion from wages. You can generally exclude the value of an employee discount you provide to an employee from the employee's wages, up to the following limits.

  1. For a discount on services, 20% of the price you charge nonemployee customers for the service.
  2. For a discount on merchandise or other property, your gross profit percentage times the price you charge nonemployee customers for the property.

Determine your gross profit percentage based on all property you offer to customers (including employee customers) and your experience during the tax year immediately before the tax year in which the discount is available. To figure your gross profit percentage, subtract the total cost of the property from the total sales price of the property and divide the result by the total sales price of the property.

Exception for highly compensated employees. You cannot exclude from the wages of a highly compensated employee any part of the value of a discount that is not available on the same terms to one of the following groups.

  1. All your employees, or
  2. A group of employees defined under a reasonable classification you set up that does not favor highly compensated employees.

For this exclusion, a highly compensated employee for 2002 is an employee who meets either of the following tests.

  1. The employee was a 5% owner at any time during the year or the preceding year.
  2. The employee received more than $90,000 in pay for the preceding year.

You can choose to ignore test (2) if the employee was not also in the top 20% of employees when ranked by pay for the preceding year.

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