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)

VAT-regulations for vouchers changed from 1/1/2019

The regulations concerning vouchers has become a national law since 1/1/2019. This only concerns vouchers that give notification of conditions and vouchers that can be exchanged for a delivery of services or good, thus it does not include discount coupons.

For so-called single vouchers, or vouchers where the VAT is already known, the VAT is payable from the moment the voucher is made up. For instance a voucher that you can redeem for a beverage basket. Hereby, you already known the VAT (21%) beforehand. In case the voucher is not redeemed within the agreed period, the VAT cannot be recovered.

In case of multiple use, or vouchers where the VAT amount is not known beforehand, the VAT is payable when the voucher is redeemed. For instance, a voucher for a restaurant visit. When you make up the voucher you don’t know whether the person will use it for beverages (21%) or for meals (12%). In case of non-use of the multiple vouchers, there will be no VAT since the VAT is only calculated when redeemed.

Posted in VAT
Tagged with

Allocating advantages from offshore? Pay attention!

Many international corporations allocate their so-called RSU’s to their Belgian employees. A RSU, or restricted stock unit, is a free share that will be distributed definitely later. For instance, after reaching a certain objective. Because RSU’s are only definite somewhere in the future, the employee was only obliged to take it into account in his personal taxes in the year that it became definite.

Also, since there were not special regulations concerning these RSU’s, corporates were not obliged to hold a fiche. With the introduction of a new KB, this will no longer be the case. In addition, the NOSS has also changed his definition of remuneration. This means that these RSU’s are now also subject to NOSS.

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.

New bank account number for prepayments

Both for companies as individuals, the bank account number for prepayments changes in tax year 2020 (2019): BE61 6792 0022 9117 from ‘Inningscentrum – Dienst Voorafbetalingen, Koning Albert II-laan 33, bus 42, 1030 Schaarbeek’.

The structured communication for natural individuals and self-employed (who were using their national number for identification of their prepayments) will be changed and will be noted on the payment invitations.

There is a transition measurement for companies were the fiscal years doesn’t coincides with the calendar year and for companies were the remaining days of fiscal year 2019 are after the 31st of December 2018.

The payments made after this date, but still before tax year 2019, must be payed on the existing account: BE20 6792 0023 3056 – ‘Dienst Voorafbetalingen- vennootschappen’. These companies need to make their first payment on the new bank account number starting from tax year 2020.

If you want to know more, feel free to ask one of our staff members or leave a comment.

What with your salary if you are a business leader in two companies?

There is such thing called the ‘ fine ‘ on wage deficit (5.1%), this appears if the company does not meet the minimum remuneration of €45,000, or at least the taxable profit as a remuneration to the business leader if this is lower than €45,000.

If you are the manager of two or more (connected) companies then there is a special arrangement. According to this scheme, a total remuneration of €75,000, instead of the number of companies multiplied by €45,000, is sufficiënt.

Imagine you are a manager in two connected companies. In one company you have a remuneration, in the other you don’t. In this case, it is not always wise to have a salary in both companies (and thus avoid the fine) as this can result in a higher income tax. It might increase the persons taxes is greater amount than avoiding the fine.

An illustrative example:

You are a manager in two companies, a bvba and a nv. From the bvba you retrieve a wage of €55,000, from the nv for the time being, nothing. Set the nv has a taxable profit of €100,000. To meet the requirements you would also have to pay a wage of at least €20,000 to avoid the fine. However the fine only is €1,020 (5.1% of 20.000) while the increase in personal tax amounts to €10,800.

Source: Tipsenadvies-belastingen.be (2018)

Group insurance for self-employed – soon something for you?


By Sarah Delafortrie, Christophe Springael 

Published on 06/10/2017

Annex to the Council of Ministers of 6 October 2017


The Ministerial Council, on proposal of Finance Minister Johan Van Overtveldt, approves a preliminary draft law that regulates the tax concession of the new supplementary pensions for self-employed persons.


In accordance with the government agreement, self-employed persons   who are now active as natural persons have the opportunity to acquire a second pillar, similar to those of independent managers, in addition to their free supplementary pension for self-employed persons (VAPZ). The draft bill, approved today, governs the fiscal hatch of those new supplementary pensions for self-employed persons. In the area of ​​income taxes, this includes:


  • The contributions for the supplementary pension are eligible for a federal tax deduction to 30%

  • The amount of contributions eligible for a tax reduction is determined in accordance with an adjusted 80% rule


  • The benefits from the earliest possible retirement age or due to the death of the affiliates are, in principle, taxed in the income tax at the rate of 10%


It is also proposed to submit contributions and premiums to the annual tax on insurance operations at the rate of 4.4%.


The preliminary draft is submitted to the Council of State for advice.

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.