Fringe Benefit Overview - IRS Publication 15-B

A fringe benefit is a form of pay for the performance of services. For example, you provide an employee with a fringe benefit when you allow the employee to use a business vehicle to commute to and from work.

Performance of services.   A person who performs services for you does not have to be your employee. A person may perform services for you as an independent contractor, partner, or director. Also, for fringe benefit purposes, treat a person who agrees not to perform services (such as under a covenant not to compete) as performing services.

Provider of benefit.   You are the provider of a fringe benefit if it is provided for services performed for you. You are considered the provider of a fringe benefit even if a third party, such as your client or customer, provides the benefit to your employee for services the employee performs for you. For example, if, in exchange for goods or services, your customer provides day care services as a fringe benefit to your employees for services they provide for you as their employer, then you are the provider of this fringe benefit even though the customer is actually providing the day care.

Recipient of benefit.   The person who performs services for you is considered the recipient of a fringe benefit provided for those services. That person may be considered the recipient even if the benefit is provided to someone who did not perform services for you. For example, your employee may be the recipient of a fringe benefit you provide to a member of the employee's family.

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