By the Numbers: 30%
Massages, dance classes, bikes, buses, nap pods, parties and a host of high-profile tech figures milling about campus. Perks are a Silicon Valley staple, designed to lure top talent and keep them fat and happy enough to work harder for longer. Perhaps no fringe benefit is more coveted than the gourmet meals served up gratis in corporate campuses like Facebook and Google, where employees reportedly jaw on $1 million worth of chicken a month. But those comped meals could end up costing companies even more now that the Internal Revenue Service says it wants a 30 percent bite out of them. The push to tax catered company meals comes from on high, a national IRS directive based on the argument that complimentary eats are a taxable fringe benefit similar to driving a company car for personal use. Of course, Big Tech is pushing back, warning that it will take the matter to court. Free meal-dealing companies might argue that the food is a “time-saving” measure, that by feeding their workers they can minimize downtime and get folks to return to their desks faster than if they left their sprawling suburban campuses.