The employer is entitled to pay for employee testing for the covid-19 virus.
Here we distinguish two cases:
1. The payee is a health institution
2. The payee is an employee.
If the payee is an employee, payment for testing has the character of earnings and is subject to additional taxation.
Opinion of the Ministry of Finance 011-00-367 / 2021-04 from 23.6.2021.
We have considered the request related to the tax treatment of employee benefits, which the employer performs at the expense of its own funds by paying the health institution the costs of laboratory testing to determine the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus among employees.
In this regard, from the point of view of personal income tax and contributions for compulsory social insurance, we give the answer:
The provision of Article 13, paragraph 1 of the Law on Personal Income Tax (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 24/01… 44/21) stipulates that, in terms of that law, earnings are considered to be earnings earned on the basis of employment. relations, defined by the law governing labor relations and other employee benefits.
According to the provisions of Article 13, paragraph 1 of the Law on Contributions for Compulsory Social Insurance (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 84/04… 44/21), the basis of contributions for employees and employers is salary, ie salary and salary compensation, ie salaries in accordance with the law governing labor relations, the general act and the employment contract, or the decision of the competent authority.
The provision of Article 12, paragraph 1 of the Labor Law (“Official Gazette of the RS”, No. 24/05… 95/18 – other law) prescribes the right of the employee, inter alia, to safety and health at work, health care, protection personal integrity, and other rights in the event of illness, reduction or loss of ability to work and old age. The employer is obliged to provide the employee with working conditions and organize work for the safety and protection of life and health at work, in accordance with the law and other regulations (Article 16, item 2) of the Labor Law).
The provision of Article 14, paragraph 1, item 3) of the Law on Health Care (“Official Gazette of RS”, No. 25/19) stipulates that the employer organizes and provides from its own funds health care for employees, in order to create conditions for responsible health and health care at the employee’s workplace, which includes the least preventive examinations of the employee (previous, periodic, control and targeted examinations) depending on gender, age and working conditions, as well as the occurrence of occupational diseases, injuries at work and chronic diseases, in accordance with the law.
In addition, the employer organizes and provides from its own funds health care for employees, in order to create conditions for health responsible behavior and health protection at the employee’s workplace, which includes at least employee examinations that are mandatory to protect the environment and work environment, to protect employees from infectious diseases in accordance with the regulations governing the protection of the population from infectious diseases, in order to protect consumers and users and other mandatory health examinations, in accordance with the law (Article 14, paragraph 1, item 4) of the Law on Health Care).
Regarding the question of whether the salary is considered to be the benefit by which the employer provides funds for health care for all employees by paying from its own funds directly to the account of the health institution that provides services, according to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, number: 011-00-00012 / 2011 -02 of 13 January 2011, since “funds for health care are provided by the employer from its own funds and that these benefits are paid by the employer for all employees directly to the account of the health institution providing services, these benefits do not constitute employee earnings but represent a benefit that represents an expense for the employer.
Having in mind the stated legal provisions and the opinion of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, in the case when the employer, in order to determine the health status of all its employees in connection with the presence of infectious disease COVID-19 caused by SARS-CoV-2 virus, which are deployed, organizes within its premises, as stated, occasional testing of employees for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is available to all employees under equal conditions and in accordance with the general act of the employer, provides funds and pays directly to account of the health institution that provides laboratory testing services to determine the presence of the virus, we believe that this does not constitute giving employees by the employer and as such is not subject to personal income tax and pay contributions for compulsory social insurance.