For years, many tech workers in Silicon Valley have enjoyed free meals — one of several cushy perks offered the likes of Google, Facebook, and countless startups. But complimentary grub could become a thing of the past if the Internal Revenue Service has its way.多年来,许多硅谷科技公司的员工仍然品尝免费员工餐。这是谷歌(Google)、Facebook和无数初创公司为员工获取的福利之一。

然而如果美国国税局(Internal Revenue Service)实施了收税意向,这些免费食品就将沦为过去了。A report on Tuesday by the Wall Street Journal revealed the IRS is pushing to tax employees for their free meals. Companies would have to add in the value of free food when calculating employee tax withholding.《华尔街日报》(Wall Street Journal )本周二报导称之为,美国国税局于是以打算就免费员工餐向员工征收。

在计算出来员工的预扣税款时,公司必需重新加入免费食物的价值。News of a potential tax on free meals has many worried in Silicon Valley, where all-you-can eat buffets are a basic recruiting tool. They’re also a subtle way to get employees to work longer hours by giving them no reason for them to leave the office except to sleep.这一消息让硅谷许多公司深感忧虑,因为“管饱不吃”的员工点心是他们聘用时班车的基本条件之一。获取员工餐也是一种精妙的手段,让员工除了睡以外没理由离开了办公室,从而工作更加长时间。

“Having food available or catered in is kind of expected of most tech firms, so this is a bit of a concern,” admits Steve Sarner, VP of Marketing, at the social networking site Tagged, where employees get at least one free meal a week cooked up by nearby restaurants in San Francisco’s Financial District.社交网站Tagged公司营销副总裁史蒂夫o萨尔纳否认:“获取食物是人们对大多数科技公司的长时间预期,因此征收问题引起了一些注目。”在这家公司,员工每周最少不会品尝一次由旧金山金融区附近的餐厅烹调的免费餐。Nathan Grady, a front-end engineer at Weebly, a service that lets users build web sites with custom software tools, called the idea of taxing free food awkward. The practice is a social catalyst that makes it easy for a company’s staff to talk to one another, he said. Weebly makes that easy enough by serving free catered lunch daily.Weebly是一家让用户利用自定义软件工具创立网站的服务提供商,该公司的前端工程师南森o格雷迪指出,对免费员工餐征收的点子“令人失望”。他回应,获取员工餐可以增进社交,公司员工在用餐时可以精彩地聊天。

Weebly每天都获取免费午餐,从而建构这种交流的机会。“You start doing that, well then, do you start taxing free coffee as well?” Grady said. “It just doesn’t make sense.”格雷迪回应:“最开始是向免费员工餐征收,然后呢,是不是还要向免费咖啡征收?这显然没道理。


”Google, which popularized the free Silicon Valley buffet, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Facebook, which followed in Google’s footsteps by offering its employees free food, declined to comment.引导硅谷免费点心潮流的谷歌公司未马上公开发表对此事的观点。在获取免费食物方面跟随谷歌脚步的Facebook也拒绝接受公开发表评论。

The idea of a food tax rankles Matt MacInnis, CEO of the digital publishing startup Inkling. His company has served its employees free lunches for nearly four years via the catering business Ryan Scott 2 Go. ZeroCater, another caterer, was hired last year to serve dinner. MacInnis argued that free meals in the tech industry are a lot like standard benefits such as employers matching 401k contributions by their workers.Inkling数字出版发行公司首席执行官马特o麦金尼斯对征税食物税的点子十分反感。他的公司通过餐饮公司Ryan Scott 2 Go,早已向员工获取了近4年的免费午餐。去年,公司还聘用另一家餐饮公司ZeroCater获取晚餐。麦金尼斯指出,科技业获取免费员工餐就看起来雇员给员工获取401K企业养老保险一样,归属于常规福利。

Companies like Google GOOG 1.00% , Facebook FB 2.49% , and Apple AAPL 0.78% can easily afford to pay employees more to cover any additional taxes for free meals, he said. Therefore, their recruiting wouldn’t suffer. But start-ups, which feel compelled to offer free laundry, yoga classes, and free food to compete for top talent, would be put at a big disadvantage, he said. In Inkling’s case, MacInnis says he would need to increase employee’s annual salaries by more than $5,000 to cover any extra food taxes.像谷歌、Facebook和苹果(Apple)这样的公司可以精彩地给员工加薪,抵销免费员工餐造成的额外税费。但初创公司一般来说都被迫获取免费洗衣、瑜伽课程和免费食物,以此谋求顶级人才,这个政策不会让它们正处于十分有利的情况。麦金尼斯回应,在Inkling公司,他必须将员工的年薪提升5,000美元以上,才能抵销额外食物税对员工收益的影响。

“It seems there would be pretty terrible, unintended consequences,” MacInnis said.麦金尼斯说道:“看上去这将造成出人意料的可怕后果。