The mileage tax: how to register accounting wise?
24 October 2016
From 1 April 2016 the mileage tax on lorries is effective across Belgium. How does this new regional tax have to be registered? As an operating cost or as an income tax? In a (temporary) advice, the Belgian Commission for Accounting Standards has decided as neither of them.
New regional tax for lorries…
All lorries with a maximum permitted gross weight of more than 3,5 tons, are obliged to apply for an On Board Unit (OBU) on their front window. With the use of GPS-data the OBU registers the kilometers driven across Belgian territory.
In the Flemish and the Brussels Capital Region, the toll will qualify as a regional tax. In the Walloon Region the toll will be collected as a charge. The question that arises is if this difference in interpretation between the Regions also leads to a difference in accounting treatment?
… is part of the acquisition price…
In a (temporary) advice of 6 July 2016 the Belgian Commission for Accounting Standards has decided that the mileage tax is deemed to be part of the acquisition price. According to article 36 of the Royal Decree of 30 January 2001 implementing the Belgian Companies Code, the acquisition price consists not only of the acquisition price, but also includes the additional costs such as non-refundable taxes and the costs of transportation.
… if not, it is a cost related to a service or the supply of goods
That is what the Commission declares in its (temporary) advice. The mileage tax is a cost that is directly related to the rendering of services or the supply of goods by third parties within the course of business.
Accounting wise, no difference, therefore, has to be made between the taxes that are collected by the government itself (regional tax) or by an intermediate (charge). In both cases the mileage tax has to be accounted on a matching ledger account 61 miscellaneous goods and services (except if the tax is part of the acquisition price).
Should you have any questions regarding this topic, please do not hesitate to contact the author or your regular BDO contact.