SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Have you ever heard the saying, ‘There’s no such thing as a free lunch?’

That’s what the IRS is telling tech companies that offer employees gourmet meals as an added perk. Uncle Sam says techies should pay taxes on all that free food.

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The current tax code exempts free lunches, but only if they benefit the employer, not the employee.

For employees, free lunches are considered income, and there’s a growing push to tax them.

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Steve Sarner, VP at if(we) in San Francisco, insists free lunches are an essential part of the package.

“It’s really something we need to offer our employees to remain competitive with the bigger players out there like Google and Facebook,” he said.

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Tech companies may continue to offer free lunches for a while. Tax attorneys say even if the IRS revises the rule, it would likely be challenged in court.