• Teleworking (Update 5 July 2022)
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Teleworking (Update 5 July 2022)

12 July 2022

Covid-19 has had a hold on everyone and everything for some time now. All over the world, unprecedented measures are being taken to combat the spread of the virus. Compulsory or non-compulsory teleworking is one of the measures designed to prevent the spread of the virus. In many companies, this seems to be working smoothly and has become a permanent feature of the 'new normal'. But teleworking has social, legal and organisational consequences.

We would like to offer you an overview of what you need to pay attention to from a social and fiscal point of view.

 

Cross-border teleworking after 30 June 2022 (i.e. after COVID-19)  (Update 5 July 2022)

Are you an employee who has been teleworking cross-border as a result of the COVID-19 measures and who will continue to do so after COVID-19? Or, do you as an employer have employees in that situation? Then 30 June 2022 is an important date. This is specifically the case for employees who are teleworking in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Luxembourg or Germany.

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Cross-border workers, COVID-19 and teleworking

What are the tax and social security implications for cross-border employment?

COVID-19 has been affecting our daily lives and disrupting our living habits for a year now. To prevent its spread, unprecedented measures have been taken all over the world such as a ban on “non-essential” travel, mandatory quarantine when returning from abroad, and of course teleworking. Many people who usually carry out (part of) their professional activities abroad are now forced to work from home with possibly major tax and social security implications on their wages. We take a look at the exceptional measures Belgium and its neighbouring countries have adopted.

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Teleworking impact on employees and company directors benefitting from the special tax regime for foreign executives and specialists

The corona crisis has impacted our lives in an unprecedented way. Not only did we have to adjust personally and socially, our professional lives also significantly changed with organisations and its employees being obliged to reorganise their way of working in the blink of an eye. It’s likely that teleworking will become a habit as this ‘new normal’ we have been living in for over a year highly favours employees working remotely more frequently. This home office treatment will also have an important impact on employees working in a cross-border situation and the companies they work for. That is why employees and company directors benefitting from the Belgian special tax status for foreign executives and specialists should be given special attention.

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Working from home: what tax-exempted options does an employer have with respect to reimbursing costs and providing supplies for home offices as from 1 March 2021?

As from 1 March 2021, the new tax circular (Circular 2021/C/20), created in consultation with the National Social Security Office, comes into force for situations of working from home that have occurred since 1 January 2020. On the basis of this circular, the employer can confer certain allowances/goods exempted from income tax to employees who are working from home. This circular replaces the first circular concerning working from home allowances of 14 July 2020 (Circular 2020/C/100) and it will continue to apply after the mandatory working from home rule will be lifted. We summarise the most important points below.

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Impact of teleworking on international mobility of workers: employment right aspects

To avoid the spread of coronavirus, a large number of employers around the world have been forced to move their employees to teleworking. This mandatory remote working may impact the situation of certain internationally-mobile workers who now find themselves teleworking on Belgian territory. Let’s address certain employment aspects that may arise due to this situation.

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Teleworking and the implications for taxation in the context of company tax

How does remote working influence the place where the company’s profits will be taxed?

The OECD states that a company is taxable in the country where it is a tax resident unless it has a taxable permanent establishment in another treaty country. The location of the company’s directors/senior management/employees is a crucial element for determining a company’s tax residence and the presence of a permanent establishment . Due to the COVID-19 measures and mandatory teleworking, they (possibly partly) carry out their activities abroad – even if this is at the employee’s home. This raises the question whether that has an impact on the place where the company’s profits will be taxed.

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How do you coach employees and managers in a hybrid way of working?

Coaching and leadership is not an easy given in an environment where all employees work at the exact same time and location, let alone in a situation where the entire team switches to a hybrid working mode, adding an extra layer of complexity. Our Strategy & Transformation experts share their vision on successfully managing remote teams.

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