French culture vouchers

French culture vouchers : an insight

Less known than French gift vouchers, French culture vouchers (‘chèques culture’) are particularly attractive. Uncapped if conditions are met, they offer greater flexibility than gift vouchers.
Visiting a museum, attending a concert, going to the cinema… your employees will appreciate French culture vouchers.

What are French culture vouchers?

Essentially, French culture vouchers are a payment method, valid for the purchase of goods and services with a cultural nature. They come either in the form of paper vouchers or a payment card to be used in shops as well as online. They are accepted within the network of partners of the chosen service provider. Culture vouchers are optional employee benefits. There is no legal obligation to set them up.

Who can set up French culture vouchers?

They can be set up by the employer or the company’s work council if its budget includes cultural activities. In order to benefit from the exemption from social contributions several conditions have to be met.

Fully exempt from social contributions – without limit

This is one of the main differences to gift vouchers which are only exempt up to 5% of the monthly social security ceiling (€171 in 2022). French culture vouchers are fully exempt from French social contributions and payroll taxes with no upper limit. Yet, two conditions have to be met.
1) Non-discriminatory distribution to all employees:
In order to benefit from the exemption, culture vouchers of the same nominal value must be distributed to all employees. Apprentice or executive level staff – they must receive the same amount.
2) Restriction of its use:
Culture vouchers must only be valid for the purchase of goods or services of a cultural nature. These may be tickets for theater, opera, concerts, cinema, entrance fees to museums and historical monuments, books and comics as well as CDs and DVDs.

No occasion required

This is the second main differences to gift vouchers which can only be offered for certain occasions such as Christmas. For culture vouchers no occasion is required.

Optimizing employer contributions with Incentives

Together with other incentives, like meal vouchers, French culture vouchers can help to optimize French employer contributions which in some cases can be as high as 46 %. They will also enhance the compensation package of your employees which becomes more and more important.
My Payroll Pro France is a French payroll provider for foreign companies. We provide a large range of payroll services in France including advising on optional employee benefits such as French culture vouchers.