What happened with the tax penalty of 5%?

In a previous article we already discussed the tax penalty of 5% for corporations who don’t pay the minimum of 45.000 euro to at least one of their managers. This measure was applicable since 1 January 2018. The goal of this measure was to avoid that self-employed allocate their activities in corporations to avoid taxes.

However, experts criticized that this measure was in fact a double sanctions for SME’s. A SME’s who didn’t payed the minimum remuneration of 45.000 was not only excluded from the advantageous tariff (20% on the first 100.000) but also were obliged to pay an extra tax of 5%. The measure was also very complex. Therefore, has the legislators decided to abolish this tax penalty immediately.

Sources (Dutch): IAB Studiedienst, Delbo advocaten

How to calculate the exemption of social liabilities in 2019?

Because of the introduction of unification of servants and workers, the total costs for some companies increased significantly. Therefore, the government introduced the exemption of social liabilities on 1st of January 2019. This also applies for employers who were not negatively influenced by the unification law.

How will this exemption be calculated? It is calculated as three weeks’ worth of remuneration per year of service. This amount is limited up to 100% of the remuneration on the first scale of €1.500, 30% of the second scale until €2.600 and does not apply to remunerations above €2.600. On top of this, starting from the 21st year of service, the number of additional weeks will be limited to one. This exemption will be spread over 5 years with 80% in the first year and 20% in the remaining years. The exemption can only be applied if the employee enters his/hers 6th year of service.

To be taken into consideration for this exemption, the employers has to hold a normative list of his employees and have a positive taxable result.

Source: Fiscal pro, number 4 (2019)

Should you pull up the remuneration of the manager/director to €45.000. 

There is a lot of discussion whether or not it is a good idea to increase the salary of the manager to at least €45,000. According to the new legislation non-compliance will lead to a tax penalty.

If the salary is insufficient for the reduced rate, then the company will not be able to apply the reduced rate in corporate income tax. In addition, there will be an additional special tax of 5% in 2018 and 2019 (10% from 2020) on the difference between the threshold of €45,000 and the effective granted remuneration. This additional special tax is deductible.

But is it necessary to lift the remuneration up to €45,000? This depends on several factors. The Bibf has made a nice piece that  we do not want to withhold (in Dutch).

Would you like to see the calculations be applied to your file, please reach out to your file manager.

What will change in the new company law for you? (UPDATE)

With the approval of the new company law there will be a number changes from May 1, 2019. What does this mean in practice for you and your company? We summarize the most important points.

  • Firstly, the number of forms of companies will be limited to four, namely BV, nv, CV and the partnership. However, there is a transitional period until 1 January 2020 to adjust your form of company. For adjusting the Articles of Association you even have time until 1 January 2024.
  • Secondly, BVBA is replaced by the BV or the private company. This BV is also the new primary form of company instead of the nv. As a result, it is no longer necessary to keep a minimum capital, according to the new regulation this must be available in adequate equity.
  • Thirdly, if you wish to extract capital from the BV’s capital through a dividend payment, you will be forced to apply to the so-called double benefit test.  More specifically, you should be able to demonstrate that the net assets will not be negative after the dividend payment and that you have sufficient resources after the dividend payment to satisfy your debts on the short term.
  • Fourthly, the BV can now also distribute shares with multiple voting rights, if approved by at least 75% of the total votes and if it the shares are at least 2 years registered. It will also be easier to transfer these shares. Before you needed approval of all partners.
  • Fifthly, the CV is now exclusively for companies which are really cooperative and therefore it is no longer suitable for groups of professions. The most obvious choice for such CV’s is a conversion to a BV. Agaian, there is a regularization period.
  • Sixthly, it is now sufficient to have one manager for both nv and the Belgian private law Foundation. In addition, the manager can be statutory appointed and therefore harder removable.

Also for non-profits there will be a change, these will now be allowed to have unlimited profits. However, this profit (obviously) will not to be distributed.

Finally, there is an adjustment on the managers liability. For all casual light errors is the managers liability is limited according to the size of the enterprise, this may vary between €125,000 and €12 million.

Sources: De Tijd (2019); Nieuw wetboek vennootschappen en verenigingen voor cijferberoepen, (2019)

Reforms of the Belgian code of companies

On July 20, 2017, the Federal Council of Ministers approved the draft law for the reform of the companies code. Per 1.5.2019 this law is into force. What will change now right? There are three main important changes.

1.      Abolition of the difference between civil and commercial companies

The distinction between commercial companies, which have a commercial purpose (e.g. a construction company), and civil partnerships, which have no commercial purpose (e.g. the practice of two doctors), falls away. All companies, non-profit associations and foundations in the new code are considered ‘ companies ‘. The importance of this is that civil partnerships and NPIs will also be able to apply for bankruptcy. A ‘ right ‘ that so far only is reserved for commercial companies.

2.      Inclusion of associations

The name says it all itself: the new ‘ code for companies and associations ‘ will dictate the law for both companies as associations. Not the kind of activities, but the pursuit of profit distribution is after the reformation the only criterion for companies and associations. With an association you are allowed to make a profit, as long as you pay them to a goalless purpose (and not to the founders, directors, members …).

3.      Less associations formats

Of all types of companies only four will remain:

1 ° the partnership: attractive because of its simple creation, but riskier because of the personal and unlimited liability. The vof and gcv go on in this form.

2 ° the cooperative: for at least three shareholders, all limited liability.

3 ° the private limited company (bv): the former bvba, especially interesting for small and medium-sized enterprises (no start capital).

4 ° the limited company (nv): for large companies (start-up capital: 61,500 euros).

To the European company and the economic interest grouping was nothing changed, since that falls under European supervision.

Other news

Also these changes will enter into force step by step:

  • The starting capital in the bv disappears: formerly, the starting capital of a bvba 18,550 euros. In the new bv you’re free to start without any capital.
  • ‘One headness’ in the bv and nv: one partner is sufficient, in order to establish a bv or nv. It does not matter anymore if it is a natural person or a legal person (e.g. a company).
  • More ‘ openness ‘ in the bv: the bv will be closer to the nv. For example, a bv will be able to transfer shares freely and even get a listing.
  • Limit on liability: the liability will be limited, depending on the size, turnover and total assets of your company.
  • The right ‘ moves ‘ no longer: a Belgian company that moved its registered office abroad, will also fall under the foreign company law.

What about existing associations?

They will receive a transitional period. They have until 2029 to adjust their statutes to be fully in line with the new corporate law. If they don’t, then their enterprise automatically transformed to the most compliant form.

What is changing in the coming years?

Measures from 2018 (tax year 2019)

Corporate tax rate

The basic rate of corporate tax declines from 2018 from 33% to 29%, and 25% starting from 2020.

Companies that qualify as an SME within the meaning of article 15 w. Venn. can enjoy a rate of 20% on the first tariff of EUR 100,000. Therefore, only small companies qualify for this reduced rate. The condition stating that there may not be payed a dividend by more than 13% of the paid-up capital, has been deleted. The minimum salary is raised to EUR 45,000 (see below under “fight against “incorporationizings “).

The crisis contribution that sits on top of the basic rate, drops in 2018 to 2% (instead of 3%) and in 2020 it will be completely abolished.


Minimum tax

In addition, there will be a minimum tax for companies with a profit of more than EUR 1 million. Businesses with a taxable result of over EUR 1 million can no longer deduct certain taxes above this amount.

The deduction of losses, previously transferred DBI, transferred deduction for innovation-incomes and the new incremental revenue and transferred NIA (see below) are now limited to an amount of EUR 1 million. This subtractions may only be reduced for 70% above 1 million EUR: 30% of the profit above 1 million can therefore no longer be neutralized by previously mentioned substractions.

This results in a de facto minimum tax of 7.5% on taxable income above 1 million EUR (in particular, 30% x 25%).

The subtractions that cannot be applied by this settlement, remain transferable to the future.

For starters, the losses carried forward during the first four fiscal years are not subject to this restriction.


To 100% DRD

Starting from 2018 (tax year 2019, for financial years beginning on 1 January 2018 at the earliest), the DRD (deduction of definitive taxable income) will be applied for 100% instead of 95%.


Review of the notional interest deduction

The regime of the notional interest deduction is no longer calculated on the equity of the previous year.

In the adjusted regime is the risk capital, to be taken into consideration, equal to one fifth of the positive difference between the annual amount of the capital at risk at the beginning of the taxable period and the annual amount of the risk capital at the beginning of the fifth preceding taxable year.


Fight against incorporationizings

Now the rate in the corporate income tax drops sharply, the Government wants to counter the conversion of sole proprietors (self-employed natural persons) into companies, on the basis of:

  • An increase in the minimum salary to at least one business leader of 36,000 EUR to EUR 45,000 to be able to enjoy the reduced tax. If the remuneration is lower than this amount, than it must at least be equal to the taxable result of the company.
  • An additional and separate tax of 5% on the deficit, when the remuneration is less than the minimum of EUR 45,000 or half of the tax base. This tax is tax deductible. For associated companies of which at least half of the business leaders are the same people, can the total of remunerations to this person be used to determine the height of the remunerations. The total of the minimum remuneration in this case is EUR 75,000. Start-up companies (set up within four years from January 1 of the tax year) are excluded from this particular tax.

The stoppage capital gains in the personal income tax drop to 10% of capital gains that a stand-alone realizes at the stoppage of his sole proprietorship from the age of 60 years because of death or forced stoppage. Stoppage capital gains on financial fixed assets and other shares are only subject to the rate of 10% when the taxable amount is higher than the total amount of the previously adopted tax assets impairment losses.


Capital gains on shares

The tax rate of realized capital gains on shares of 0.412% for large companies is cancelled starting from 2018.

The capital gains on shares are therefore again completely exempt from corporation tax. However, by analogy with the procedures for the DBI-deduction, this is only true if the participation is held for more than one year and at least is 10% or when the purchase price of the shares is at least EUR 2.5 million.



Prepaid expenses: tax matching principle

The matching principle works also in future tax accounting. This puts an end to the (end-of-year) planning technique, which costs accounting to the next fiscal year must be attributed, if payment is made in the current financial year as fully professional costs. By also applying the matching principle in the corporate income tax, costs associated with activities or income of a subsequent fiscal year are now only deductible in this next fiscal year.


Facilities and cost restrictions

In order to prevent that facilities prior to the tariff reduction in the corporate income tax (see above) would be laid out to take back later (without use) to a lower nominal tax rate, the take-back of these facilities is taxed at the nominal tax rate that applied at the time of construction of the facility. In addition, only facilities that result from a legal or contractual obligations are fiscally exempt.


Valuation of reinvestment gains

Also, enterprises can no longer anticipate a rate reduction under the system of the taxation when discussing reinvestment gains. The reinvestment gains that are taxed because:

  • They are not reinvested within the legal conditions and term;
  • Or the taxable capital gains spontaneously posed before the expiry of the reinvestment period

are now taxed at the rate that applied at the time the capital gains were achieved

In addition, on taxable capital gains that were made spontaneously without adequate interest payable reinvestment are from now on also obliged to pay negligence interests .


Withholding tax on capital reductions

Capital reductions are now subject to the withholding tax in proportion to the share of the remaining reserves in the charge of paid-up capital, increased by the reserves responsible for outside of the capital. Consequentially, to the pro rata charging of a capital reduction on the taxable reserves is therefore withholding tax of 30% (in principle).

Untaxed reserves remain in principle untouched. A capital reduction shall not result in tax-free reserves becoming taxable. That’s just the case when a capital reduction would exceed the total capital and taxed reserves. In addition, under article 537 WIB “fixed” reserves under the relevant conditions are completely tax free.


One-time investment deduction temporarily 20%

The one-time 20% reduction is raised from 2018 to 2019 from 8% to 20% for SMEs and sole proprietors. This temporary measure is not linked to a tax but to a period in which the investment takes place (from 1 January until 31 December 2018 2019).

The transferred investment deduction is not part of the basket of tax subtracts that from now on will be limited (see above, minimum tax).


Taxes supplements

Taxes with the exception of the DRD of the years themselves are no more allowed tax deductions on taxes supplements that are established as a result of a tax audit when a tax increase is imposed.

Exemption by deposit withholding tax

Exemption by deposit withholding tax that applies to staff employed in scientific research, has been extended to holders of certain academic bachelor degrees: biotechnology, industrial sciences and technology, nautical sciences, product development and business administration (focused on informatics). The exemption accounts for 40% in the year 2018 and 2019 and will be 80% in 2020.


Car costs


The deduction limit at passing on car costs will in future only apply to third parties in virtue of that third party and not the taxpayer who passes the costs on. The costs must be indicated separately and clearly on the invoice.


Measures from 2019 (tax year 2020) 


Transfers of constituents

For the transfers of constituents for the so-called ‘ inbound transfers ‘ where constituents (assets) from abroad are transferred to Belgium, these transfers with later realized capital gains, losses, depreciation and impairment losses will be valued at real value at the time of the operation and so not to  at book value or acquisition cost.

It concerns following transactions:

  • the transfer of components connected to a foreign device (whose profits in Belgium are exempt) to a Belgian company
  • transfer of constituents of a foreign corporation to a Belgian decoration
  • the transfer of components of a foreign decoration to a Belgian decoration as far as both are part of the same foreign company
  • The transfer of constituents (which permanently be used) of a foreign establishment of a foreign company of that establishment to Belgium


These arrangements will be active starting from 1st of January.


International taxation

The ATAD international directives are active from 2019 (assessment year 2020) or later transposed into national law:

  • Adjustment of the interest deduction on borrowed capital (as of assessment year 2021)
  • Introducing CFC legislation (starting from assessment year 2020)
  • Adjustments to the exit valuation (as of assessment year 2020)
  • Scheme against hybrid mismatches (as of assessment year 2020)


Fiscal consolidation

The Government wants as of assessment year 2020 (attached to a taxable period that begins at the earliest on 1 January 2019) enter a system of limited fiscal consolidation similar to the Swedish model. As a result, the group members still have different taxable bases, but they contribute in the losses of the group. A member of the consolidation can thus deduct a “group contribution” of his taxable reserved profits, and these group contribution is taxable at the receiving company in the same taxable period. An anti-abuse provision provides, however, that companies already have at least 5 taxable periods a connection before a deductible “intra-group contribution” can be done.


Measures from 2020 (fiscal year 2021)


Further tariff reduction in the corporate tax income

The tariff in the corporate tax rate drops further to 25% as of assessment year 2021 as explained above.



Interest on debts, loans, deposits, etc. are normally only deductible to the extent that they are not higher than the market interest rate. In addition, interest on money loans made by a shareholder or manager first category to the company are provided to the extent that the market interest rate is exceeded, reclassified in dividends. The height of the market interest rate on current account with credit stand turns out in practice to give rise to much discussion. For more legal certainty, the criterion ‘ market rate ‘ as maximum interest fee from 1 January 2020 (for interest relating to periods after 31 December 2019) will be replaced by the MFI interest rate (interest rate provided by the Belgian monetary financial institutions will be charged for loans of less than EUR 1 million to non-financial institutions with a duration of less than one year), and increased by 2.5%.

This measure applies from 1 January 2020 for the interest relating to periods after 31 December 2019.


Adjustments tax shelter for audiovisual works and performing arts

The regime of the tax shelter for audiovisual works and performing arts changes in accordance with the new rate in the corporate income tax, so that the same efficiency can be guaranteed as before the rate reduction.


Discount for debts

It in effect taking a discount for future debt for non-depreciable assets is no longer a tax-deductible costs.


Mobilize reserves

A temporary measure should encourage companies for two years to convert exempted reserves into loaded reserves, and this at a reduced rate of 15%. This rate drops further to 10% provided that the amount invested in:

  • property, plant and equipment, other than those listed in art. 75, 5° WIB92 (e.g. passenger cars)
  • that are depreciable and
  • not count as reinvestment for the staggered taxation of capital gains.


Please note: this exempt reserves will actually be taxed. There are no tax subtracts possible and no set off for charges. Also the increase because of insufficient advance payments shall apply.

A number of exempt reserves are not eligible for this voluntary take-back:

  • tax shelter for audiovisual works
  • spread taxable gains
  • Gains concerning corporate vehicles and inland ships
  • Temporarily exemptions from profit of reorganization or settlements
  • Capital subsidiaries
  • Investing reserves where the investment term of 3 years is not exceeded
  • Provisions of social passives including year 1990
  • Net-active VSO or commercial corporates
  • Exemption for actualizing diamonds supply


Final losses of foreign permanent establishments

Final losses of foreign permanent establishments will only be deductible if it is established that the taxable person has exhausted all opportunities abroad to deduct the losses there. In addition, the term “permanent establishment” will get a more economic interpretation.


Diggresive depreciation cancelled

The regime of digressive depreciation is cancelled rom 2020 abolished. In addition, SMEs are required to depreciate pro rata temporis.


Fee disallowed expenses

Some costs should in the future be completely accounted as disallowed expenses of the company, such as fines that until now were still deductible (e.g. proportional tax fines) and the tax on secret commissions.


For the deduction of car costs are the parameters for the deductibility changing and there will be a  maximum deduction of 100% as of assessment year 2021. Tax regimes that allow a deduction of 120% of car cost (e.g. electric cars, collective transport of staff for commuting as of assessment year 2021), will thus disappear.


Personal income tax

Tax on the securities account

As small change for the reduction of corporation tax from 1 January 2018 the government decided that  the much discussed tax on securities accounts (subscription fee) will enter anyway at a rate of 0.15%. The first 500,000 EUR is excluded. Securities accounts for retirement savings and life insurance are excluded.

There is also a new anti-fraud mechanism introduced: shares or other securities of a securities account will be converted to registered shares in order to stay under the limit of 500,000 EUR, still count for one year for the calculation the effects of dog.

The law on the introduction of a tax on securities accounts shall enter into force on 10 March 2018.


Exemption on savings income drops

The exemption on savings is halved from 1 January 2018. The exemption will only apply on interest on savings accounts for EUR 940 EUR instead of 1,880.


Tax reduction on dividends

Furthermore, there will be a partly exemption for dividend on shares. De exemption of 30% of withholding tax is active staring from 1st of January for the first 800EUR of dividends. The rule is meant to encourage to invest.


Collective profit premium

The introduction of a collective profit allows companies to let their employees share in the profits:

  • Without the obligation for the employer
  • Without participation in the capital
  • Accessible to all employees within an enterprise (but not for company directors)
  • Premium is not eligible for the calculation of the wage norm
  • No shift will be allowed at the expense of the awarded classic remuneration
  • Premium may not exceed 30% of the wage bill
  • For the employee: subject to the 13.07% employee social security contributions and 7% income tax
  • For the employer: the profit premium is tax not deductible

The new system applies from 1 January 2018. Profit premiums can then be awarded based on the profit for the financial year with closing date at the earliest on 30 September 2017.


Pension savings

Who wants to do to retirement savings, now has the choice between:

  • The current system: 30% tax reduction on 940 EUR;
  • or a new system: 25% tax reduction on 1,200 EUR.

The dual system shall enter into force as of assessment year 2019.


Harmonisation flat-rate professional expenses for self-employed

The expenses for self-employed persons in the personal income tax will be harmonized and progressively expanded in the advantage of the self-employed. The measure shall enter into force for gains obtained from 1 January 2018.


Tax shelter for growth companies

The existing tax shelter scheme for start-ups expands into growth companies and is therefore no longer only for start-ups.

Growth companies are small companies with at least 10 full-time equivalents and which have an annual turnover over the last two years that on average grows at least 10 or the number of full-time equivalents of staff increases with an average of 10% per tax year.

The tax reduction is 25%, with a maximum of EUR 100,000 per taxable period. This is called a global limit for the tax shelter for both starters as for these growth companies. The measure shall enter into force as of assessment year 2019.


Taxfree extra jobs

There can be tax free up to 6,000 EUR extra jobs per year, free of tax and social contributions. Employees and self-employed persons who already have a regular job should have at least a 4/5 employment. The extra activities are limited to so-called ‘ casual work ‘, such as income from sports activities, Babysitting, grass cutting, and others. A Royal Decree will provide a comprehensive but very specific list of extra activities.

The measure shall enter into force for income earned or obtained from 20 February 2018


Car taxation

Deduction of car expenses system undergoes a facelift with changed parameters for the deductibility and the introduction of a maximum deduction of 100%.

In the personal income tax the deduction of car expenses is determined as in the corporate income tax according to the CO2 emissions of the car. This means that the standard-deduction arrangement of 75% disappears for vehicles purchased from 1.1.2018. For the cars that were purchased before 1.1.2018, the deduction is determined in function of the CO2 emissions, but with a minimum of 75%.

As of assessment year 2021 (for taxable periods beginning on 1.1.2020 that at the earliest) also the deduction percentage changes on the basis of following formula:

120%-(0.5% x number of grams of CO2/Km)

for a petrol car is the aforementioned formula multiplied by 0.95.

Deduction is only possible for maximum 100%. The deduction of 120% for electric cars is therefore abolished. There will be a minimum of 50%, but when the CO2-emmision is more than 200 gr/km the deduction will be limited to 40% .

This is also true for the lesser values on passenger cars.

The professional gains realized on cars are also taxed in the same way as in the personal income tax based on CO2 emissions.

So-called ‘ false ‘ hybrid cars are excluded from tax regimes. When the battery has not sufficient energy capacity (0.5 KWh per 100 kg or a emissions of more than 50 g/km), the deduction of car expenses is calculated on the basis of the fuel engine present in the car.

Also the benefit in kind of such a hybrid commercial vehicle will be taxed as a car that runs purely on fuel. This is, just like the rules for deduction of car expenses, for hybrid vehicles purchased from 1 January 2018.


Measures applicable from 2018 onwards

Measures applicable from 2018 onwards (assessment year 2019)
Advantage Disadvantage
– The basic tax rate decrease to 29% – Revision of the notional interest  deduction scheme
– Crisis contribution 2% – Minimum tax
– SME benefit from a 20% tax rate on the first tranche of EUR100.000 – Capital gain on shares
– Non-spread investment deduction rate to 20% – Adoption of a fiscal matching principle
– 100% Dividend received deduction – Limitation of provisions for future expenses
– Prepaid costs
– Increase of the tax base due to a tax audit
– Non-submission punished more severely
– Withholding tax on capital decreases
– Minimum remuneration
– Investment reserve disappears
– Late payment and moratorium interest
– Company cars
Measures applicable from 2019 onwards (assessment year 2020)
Transfer of assets to Belgium:  ‘inbound transfers’ will be valuated at fair market value at the moment of transfer
Transportation ATAD Directives will be further transposed
Fiscal consolidation: a group contribution until the company group are related for at least 4 taxable periods.
Measures applicable from 2020 onwards (assessment year 2021)
Advantage Disadvantage
– The basic tax rate decrease to 25% – Car costs
– No crisis contribution – Secret Commissions tax
– SME benefit from a 20% tax rate on the first tranche of EUR100.000 – Debt discounts for non-amortisable assets
-Converting tax-exempt reserves into taxed reserves – The declining depreciation of assets will be abolished
– Fiscal consolidation – Notional interest dededuction 30%
– CFC legislation
– Fake Hybrid cars
– Abolition of the exemtion for complementary and additional staff
– Prorata temporis depreciation for all companies
– MFI rate

Corporate tax reform: the winners and losers

The federal government decided to lower corporate tax. From next year, the standard corporate tax rate will be 29 percent (or 29,58 percent taking into account a 2 percent crisis contribution). From 2020, the corporate tax rate will further drop to 25 percent and the crisis contribution will even expire.

The winners :

As from 2018 SMEs – Companies with an annual turnover of no more than 9 million euros, a balance sheet total of less than 4.5 million euros and less than 50 employees – will be taxed on their first installment of 100.000 euros at a rate of only 20 percent.

SMEs can also deduct 20 percent of their investments from taxes over the next 2 years, compared with 8 percent applicable today.

At the same time, the beneficial scheme “vvpr-bis” – in the jargon –  remains applicable to small companies allowing dividend payments to be subject to a withholding tax of 15 instead of 30 percent.

In addition, the liquidation reserve scheme remains unchanged which allows the company to pay out the  reserves “tax-free” at the moment of liquidation .

But: a company is now required to pay a salary of at least € 45.000 per year to a company manager. If she does not comply, she must pay a special 10% surcharge on that amount (or the difference between € 45.000 and the effective salary if it is lower). The amount of € 45.000 will also be the new minimum remuneration in Article 215 (3), 4 ° WIB 92 (instead of € 36.000). Failure to comply with that rule will not only lead to the levy of the 10% special surcharge but also to the loss of the SME status. It is enough to assign that amount of salary to only one manager. Starting companies remain free from that measure (that is, the first four years after the establishment).

The losers:

Mainly large companies are target of the first share of measures which enter into force as from next year:

  • Profits above the first million euro will be isolated for 30 percent on which the basic rate will be due (minimum tax);
    Costs that cannot be deducted due to the 30% isolation will be transferred to a subsequent year. Only deductions for investment and innovation can be fully charged;
  • Limitation of ‘Notional Interest Deduction’: Currently, the NID is calculated on equity. From next year the base is the growth of capital calculated on average growth over the previous five years. The transfer scheme remains unchanged;
  • The investment reserve disappears;
  • Prepaid costs will no longer be fully charged to the year of payment but will be deductible only in the following years (matching principle) E.g.: it will therefore no longer be possible to fully deduct prepaid rent in the year of payment;
  • Exemption of capital gains on shares becomes more restricted (additional condition as from 2018 in accordance with DBI terms: minimum participation of 10% or 2.5 million). Capital gains on shareholdings that do not comply to this are, in principle, always subject to a tax of 25%;
  • Capital reductions will now be charged pro rata to the paid-up capital and the reserves (whether or not capital incorporated). The possibility of allocating the reduction with priority and solely to the paid-up capital expires with as a consequence a more difficult avoidance of the withholding tax on movable income;
  • The tax benefits for enrollment companies (cfr. double exemption of the growth of taxable profits) are abolished;
  • Additional penalties for non-submission of tax returns: the minimum lump-sum profit that can be taxed in those cases increases – in two steps – from € 19.000 to € 40.000;
  • No deductions (such as losses) can be claimed to reduce the additional taxation imposed by the tax authorities.

The second share of measures expected in 2020 will also target SMEs:

  • Limitation of interest deductions on loans;
  • Fictional interest rates applicable to intra-group loans will no longer be deductible as costs;
  • Abolition of degressive depreciation;
  • Pro rata temporis depreciation for all companies;
  • Reduction of deductibility of certain costs (including stricter deduction of car costs and elimination of 120% deductibility for electric vehicles and safety);
  • Deductibility of both the secret commission assessment and VAT fines is abolished;
  • Abolition of the exemption for complementary and additional staff;
  • Difficulty to channel profits abroad without paying taxes due to the introduction of CFC legislation, which allows that the income of a “controlled foreign company” can still be taxed in Belgium;
  • Deduction of losses made by foreign branches will in most cases no longer be possible.


Large companies will again be able to fiscal consolidate from 2020: losses and profits from different group companies will be offset from then on. This would only apply to the future (i.e., no compensation of one company’s profits by transferred losses from another group company dating back to 2020) and predominantly for subsidiaries in the European Union.

In addition, the base rate for prepayments is increased from 1% to 3%. Companies that do not prepay will therefore pay more.

The above input is limited to the broad lines of the proposal since not all details are yet available. We will of course inform you as soon as more information is available about these new measures.