Compensation & Benefits

On 30 June, the federal Act of 27 June 2021 containing various tax provisions and amending the federal Act of 18 September 2017 on the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing and on the restriction of the use of cash was published. Below you will find a brief overview of the key elements of this act that are likely to be relevant to your compensation & benefits scheme.

This act includes three changes that may  affect your compensation & benefits activities, namely in the area of costs to be paid by the employer; the extension of the validity of eco vouchers and luncheon vouchers and the introduction of an exemption from paying withholding tax for certain training courses.

Costs to be paid by the employer

From 2021 onwards, variable allowances due to employees as reimbursement by the employer of expenses based on justification documents must be included in the  individual slips. Furthermore, a summary statement must be drawn up. The King will provide the applicable deadlines and a model of the statement.

As you are no doubt aware, there are already specific reporting obligations on salary slips for fixed daily/monthly allowances.

Eco vouchers and luncheon vouchers

The federal Act of 20 December 2020 on temporary support measures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic provided for the possibility of extending the validity of eco vouchers and luncheon vouchers that expired during certain periods of 2020.

Thanks to the present Act, eco vouchers and luncheon vouchers, whose validity period expired in 2020, will continue to benefit from the known (favourable) tax regime if they are reissued by the issuer of the vouchers for the same amount as the vouchers that expired in 2020.  One should keep in mind the validity period of twelve months from the moment the new voucher is deposited on the eco or luncheon voucher account. With regard to electronic eco vouchers, the validity period is even twenty-four months.

Exemption from paying withholding tax on certain training courses

From 2021 onwards, the legislator has introduced a new exemption from paying withholding tax if certain employees follow “qualifying training”. This exemption is retroactively extended, as of 1 January 2021, to public limited companies of public law, namely, Proximus and Bpost, as well as to the public limited company HR Rail, with the exception of the staff it makes available to the public limited companies SNCB/NMBS and Infrabel in the framework of their public service activities.

Action Point

If any of the above applies to your business, then of course you should take them into account.