The IRS May Begin Regulating Tech Companies' Free Food, So Stock Up While You Can

If I learned anything from The Social Network, it was this: First, that Andrew Garfield has truly incredible hair; and second, that tech companies appear to run on free Red Vines and Red Bull. Unfortunately, though, the seemingly endless supply of candy may be in danger once the IRS begins regulating tech companies' free food. That's right — the end of Google's legendary free gourmet cafes may be upon us, and you know what that means. Techies, start taking your biggest bags to work so you can squirrel away as much free sushi and homemade ice cream as you can. Better yet, get one big enough to kidnap the professional barista Google keeps on hand. It's only illegal if you get caught, right?

(Disclaimer: Please don't actually kidnap a barista. It's illegal regardless as to whether or not you get caught, and I am not actually condoning it. Seriously. No kidnapping.)

According to TNW News, the IRS has begun taking a look at the tax code regarding free meals for employees, which are currently tax-free. Unfortunately, they might not stay that way for long: if the IRS decides that free employee meals are for "company convenience" rather than for the benefit of the employees, all that free food may end up being taxed after all. Considering that Yahoo spends $20 million a year on free food for its employees, and estimates put Google's budget at $80 million a year, it makes sense that the IRS would turn their attention toward tech companies. On the other hand... all that free food. Gone.

As TNW News points out, though, bureaucracy tends to move at the pace of a drunk, three-legged turtle, so tech employees don't have anything to worry about just yet. However, enjoy your free food while it lasts. Before you know it, you might be stuck eating homemade sandwiches like the rest of us. Hey, at least it's food!

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