This site uses cookies to provide you with a more responsive and personalised service. By using this site you agree to our use of cookies. Please read our PRIVACY POLICY for more information on the cookies we use and how to delete or block them.

CORONA BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES

Jean Santin , Senior Manager |

20 May 2020

Businesses experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 outbreak can apply for various social security and tax support measures. We will be happy to provide you with an overview.

FEDERAL MEASURES

 

BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE MINISTERY OF FINANCE AND FEBELFIN (Belgian Financial Sector Federation) (update 23.03.2020)

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE FLEMISH REGION

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE WALLOON REGION

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE BRUSSELS CAPITAL REGION

 

FEDERAL MEASURES

 

Deferral, reduction or exemption from payment social security contributions for self-employed workers

What?

  • Deferral
    • For all self-employed persons (main profession, secondary profession)
    • For provisional contributions of the first two quarters of 2020 and for regularisation contributions of quarters of 2018 due on 31 March 2020, 30 June 2020 and 30 September 2020 and not yet paid
    • Deferral for up to one year
    • Double guarantee
      • Increases are waived at the time of effective payment
      • Preservation of social rights
  • Reduction
    • For all self-employed persons (main profession, secondary profession)
    • Of provisional social contributions for the year 2020
    • Professional income is below the legal thresholds
    • Will be granted automatically in case of impact of coronavirus on activity
    • Level of reduction to be determined in consultation with the social insurance fund, on the basis of clarifications made and the specific case (level of reduction in sales/orders, reduction in turnover, etc.)
  • Exemption:
    • For self-employed workers in their main occupation and assisting spouses (including starters)
    • May be granted in whole or in part
    • May be requested for provisional contributions of first two quarters of 2020 and regularisation contributions of quarters of 2018 falling due on 31 March 2020, 30 June 2020 and 30 September 2020 (recovered in the second quarter of 2020)
    • No accrual of pension rights for the quarters for which there is an exemption. This can be regularised later (within 5 years) so that quarters are still eligible for the pension calculation.
  • Waiver increases:
    • Provisional social security contributions of the first quarter of 2020 that are not paid on time (before 31 March 2020) will not give rise to increases.
    • The same applies to the late payment of regularisation contributions due by 31 March 2020.

 

How to apply?

  • Application to be submitted to social insurance fund
    • Deferral
    • Application must be filed before 15.06.2020
    • Application must contain the following information: surname, forename and domicile, name and registered office of company, company number, justification of the difficulties encountered by the applicant as a result of the coronavirus (at least a clear declaration on honour).
  • Reduction
    • Application to be submitted to social insurance fund
  • Exemption
  • Recommended to contact social insurance fund to make an application
  • Waiver of increases:

Information source: NL / FR

 

 

Eased replacement income (transitional rights) in case of discontinuation of activities self-employed workers

What?

  • Full payment for:
    • Self-employed persons in their main occupation (including helpers, assisting spouses in maxi-status)
    • Self-employed persons in a secondary occupation who are subject to provisional contributions at least equal to the minimum contributions for self-employed persons in their main occupation
    • Self-employed persons in their main occupation equated with a secondary occupation (art. 37 ARS) who owe provisional social security contributions that are at least equal to the minimum contribution of self-employed persons in their main occupation
    • Student self-employed persons who owe provisional social security contributions that are at least equal to the minimum contribution of the self-employed persons in their main occupation
  • Partial benefit for:
    • Self-employed persons in a secondary occupation who owe provisional social security contributions calculated on a reference income between EUR 6,996.89 and EUR 13,993.77
    • Self-employed persons with a main occupation assimilated to a secondary occupation (art. 37 ARS) who are subject to provisional social security contributions calculated on a reference income between EUR 6,996.89 and EUR 7,330.52
    • Student self-employed persons who owe provisional social security contributions calculated on a reference income of between EUR 6,996.89 and EUR 13,993.77
    • Active retired self-employed persons who owe provisional social security contributions calculated on a reference income higher than EUR 6,996.89
  • Provided that the self-employed person is subject to social security contributions in Belgium and does not receive a replacement income
  • Either in the event of compulsory (partial or total) closure or, if no compulsory closure is imposed, in the event of a complete interruption of at least 7 calendar days as a result of Covid-19
  • For the months of March, April  and May 2020
  • The amount of financial support is EUR 1,291.69 in the case of a full payment without children at charge, and EUR 1,614.10 in the case the applicant has children at charge (EUR 807.05 and EUR 645.85 respectively in the case of a partial payment).
  • Cumulative with remuneration received by the self-employed person from the company and with benefits from the NEO for self-employed persons in secondary occupation who are technically unemployed in their main profession, federal payments limited to a maximum of EUR 1,614 per month.
  • The federal payments are completely separate from the Flemish contributions. Those who were already entitled to the one-off (and tax-free) Flemish compensation premium of EUR 1,500, will keep it. Anyone who is technically unemployed in their main occupation as an employee also retains the (one-off) Flemish energy premium of EUR 202.

Overview allowances self-employed workers as result of the Coronacrisis

 

How to apply?

  • Application to be submitted at social insurance fund
  • Via
    • Information form full transitional right - forced interruption due to coronavirus : NL / FR
    • Information form partial transitional right - forced interruption due to corona virus: NL / FR

Information source: NL / FR

 

 

Deferral for employers of payments to the NSSO

What?

  • Postponement of all contributions and payments collected by the NSSO from 20 March 2020 until 15 December 2020
  • Automatic deferment for the catering, leisure, culture and sports sectors and all undertakings affected by compulsory closure in accordance with the provisions of Ministerial Decrees of 13 March, 18 March, 23 March and 24 March 2020
  • Check here whether you are entitled to automatic deferment
  • Postponement after prior notification for businesses that are not targeted by compulsory closure but that have been closed
    • because they are unable to comply with sanitary measures, or
    • because they are closed for other reasons such as closure of customers or suppliers. Production and sales must have ceased. This does not prevent a limited number of employees from still being active within the company for reasons of safety, administration, necessary maintenance, and so on
  • Postponement after prior notification for companies which have not closed down completely and whose economic activity has been severely curtailed. They must declare that the corona crisis will lead to
    • a reduction of at least 65 % in the turnover resulting from the transactions to be included in box 2 of the periodic VAT returns referred to in Article 53(1)(1)(2) of the VAT Code relating to the second quarter of 2020, compared to the turnover resulting from the same transactions to be included in the periodic VAT returns relating to the second quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020
    • and/or a reduction of the wage bill declared to the NSSO for the second quarter of 2020 by at least 65 % compared to the second quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020
  • For the following amounts due to the NSSO:
    • The changes to the contributions still to be paid
    • The monthly instalments of the current amicable repayment plans
    • The third advance payment for the 1st quarter
    • The balance of the 1st quarter
    • The debit message annual holiday
    • Advances for the 2nd quarter
    • The balance of the 2nd quarter
  • The obligation to submit the NSSO declaration within the applicable deadlines remains in force.

 

How to apply?

Information source: NL  / FR

 

 

Payment by installments for employer social security contributions

What?

  • For companies that are confronted with difficulties in paying the social security contributions on their employees’ salaries as a direct result of the coronavirus
  • A payment by installments for the social security contributions due for the first and second quarter of 2020 can be requested
  • If granted, the social security debt can be paid in monthly installments over a maximum period of 24 months

 

How to apply?

  • Completion of an online application form addressed to the NSSO 
  • You will need to explain what the financial impact of the coronavirus is to your company

Information source: NL / FR

 

 

Temporary unemployment

What?

All temporary unemployment due to the COVID-19 outbreak can be considered temporary unemployment due to force majeure until 30 June 2020.

How to apply?

  • Simplified formalities for employees and employers
  • For the employer:
    • 1 unique application ‘Temporary unemployment due to force majeure’, comprising personal data, mentioning “Corona” as the only reason: in ASR scenario 5 (electronic notification social risk, in which the employer mentions the number of days during which the employee is temporarily unemployed due to ‘force majeure’ referring to the code ‘aard van de dag’ 5.4 and the reason “Coronavirus”) for the period as of 13.03.2020. This needs to be done as soon as possible (i.e. do not wait until the end of the month)
    • For the period from 1.03.2020 until 30.06.2020 control charts C3.2A do not need to be submitted.
  • For the employee:
    • Submission of a simplified form C3.2-EMPLOYEE-CORONA (Dutch / French) at the payment office (Union or Hulpkas)
    • No eligibility conditions for the period 1.02.2020 - 30.06.2020
    • From 1.02.2020 – 30.06.2020: unemployment allowance of 70% of the average capped salary (capped at EUR 2,765.75 per month). The temporarily unemployed worker due to force majeure (reason “Coronavirus) receives a supplement of EUR 5.63 per day from unemployment office on top the unemployment benefit.
  • A payroll tax of 26.75% is due on the payment.

 More information: FAQ Corona: NL / FR

 

 

Supplementary allowance granted by the employer to the NEO contributions for temporary unemployment

What?

  • Supplementary allowance granted by the employer on top of the NEO contributions which an employee receives in case of temporary unemployment due to force majeure for economic reasons
  • Free of social security contributions
  • Conditions:
    • The supplement does not result in the employee receiving a higher 'net amount’ than he would have received if he had worked
    • The 'net' refers to the taxable salary (gross - NSSO);
    • All employees of the same category are treated equally, by compensating up to a certain percentage of the net salary or by paying lump sum to everyone (but respecting the maximum of the employees with the lowest salary);
    • The average salary of the previous months is taken into account in the case of employees with variable pay
    • Only salaries on which social security contributions are due may be taken into account, i.e. no benefits such as meal vouchers.

 

How to apply?

  • Transmit to payroll provider
  • Any supplements granted for March but which are too high can be compensated by reducing the supplements for the following months
  • A payroll tax of 26.75% is due on the payment.

 

 

Postponement social elections

 

 

Corona parental leave*

What?

  • This leave allows employees to reduce their work performance by 1/5 or ½ for their child who has not yet reached the age of 12
  • In the period from 1 May 2020 to 30 June 2020
  • Inclusion in a continuous period until the end of the measure, or in months or weeks, whether successive or not
  • Additional leave: the corona parental leave is not taken into account for the determination of the outstanding ordinary parental leave
  • For full-time and part-time employees, provided that the part-time working arrangements amount to at least ¾ of a full-time job
  • For employees who have an employment contract with the employer for at least one month
  • Subject to the employer's agreement
  • Children must not have reached the age of 12 years
  • Also for adoptive and foster parents
  • Possibility of converting the ordinary parental leave or career break already provided for into corona parental leave, with the employer's agreement
  • The (gross) allowance is higher than the allowance for ordinary parental leave (25% more)
     

How to apply?

  • Apply to the employer 3 days in advance by registered letter or the submission of an (electronic) document, the duplicate of which must be signed for receipt (or confirmed electronically) by the employer
  • Apply for an interruption allowance from the NEO (NL /FR), at the latest 2 months after the start of the corona parental leave.

 

 

Student work during Q2 2020

What?

  • The working hours performed by students during Q2 2020 (i.e. April-May-June 2020) will not be charged on the quota of 475 hours that can be performed annually by students at a favourable social security rate
  • For all sectors

 

 

Posting of workers to employers in critical sectors

What?

  • During Q2 2020, employers from any sector will be able to flexibly lend their permanent employees to employers in critical sectors
  • For employees who were already permanently employed by their own employer before 10 April 2020
  • Employment contract with employer remains in place
  • Wages, allowances and benefits for the job may not be lower than those received by employees performing the same functions in the user's company
  • No prior approval is required from the user's trade union delegation in the user's company or the labour inspectorate.

 

How?

  • Lay down conditions and duration of the posting in advance in a written document signed by the employer, the user and the employee.

 

 

Postponement of the filing deadline to 30 April 2020 for corporate income tax, legal entities income tax and corporate income/ non-resident tax return that must be filed by 16 March 2020 under normal circumstances

What?

  • Postponement of the filing deadline to 30 April 2020 for corporate income tax, legal entities income tax and corporate income / non-resident tax

  • Measure is applicable to all tax returns that must be filed, under normal circumstances, by 16/03/2020 until 30/04/2020

 

How to apply?

  • Deferral is granted automatically

 

 

Postponement of the filing deadline with respect to VAT

What?

  • Postponement of the filing deadline for the monthly and quarterly VAT returns:
    • VAT return related to February 2020: postponed to 06/04/2020 (instead of 20/03/2020) - Note: ultimate filing deadline is 3/04/2020 if you would like to claim an accelerated refund of VAT credit
    • VAT return related to March 2020: postponed to 07/05/2020 (instead of 20/04/2020). However, if you are entitled to a refund arising from March 2020 declaration, you must submit your declaration no later than 3 May 2020. This refund will be carried out within the normal refund period.(Source: FPS Finance: Coronavirus - support measures VAT. Dutch/French)
    • VAT return related to the first quarter 2020: postponed to 07/05/2020 (instead of  20/04/2020)
    • VAT return related to April 2020: postponed to 5/06/2020). Starters and VAT taxable persons with a monthly refund license can count on an accelerated VAT refund (exceptionally on 24.05.2020 at the latest instead of 20.05.2020), provided that their VAT return for April is filed in due time. There is however no accelerated refund for regular monthly filers in relation to their VAT return of April 2020. (Source: FPS Finance: instructions for the VAT return of April 2020: Dutch / French)
  • Postponement of the filing of the EC Sales listing:  
    • Listing related to February 2020: postponed to 06/04/2020
    • Listing related to March 2020: postponed to 07/05/2020
    • Listing related to the first quarter 2020: postponed to 07/05/2020
    • Listing related to April 2020: postponed to 5/06/2020
  • Postponement of the annual VAT sales listing
    • Deadline is postponed to 30/04/2020 (instead of 31/03/2020)

 

How to apply?

  • Postponement is granted automatically 

 

 

Accelerated refund of VAT credit relating to the February 2020 monthly VAT return

What?

  • Accelerated refund of VAT credit relating to the February 2020 VAT return
  • For all monthly filers who wish to benefit from this accelerated refund: starters, license holders 'monthly refund' and all others - including those who do not have a license and who are not considered to be starters
  • Specific conditions:
    • The February 2020 must be filed by 3 April 2020 at the latest
    • Via Intervat
    • Check box 'Refund request'! (possibility to submit a corrective VAT return until 3 April)
  • All other basic conditions remain applicable
    • Minimum amount of the VAT credit: EUR 245
    • All VAT returns for the current calendar year must have been submitted
    • The VAT authorities are informed about your bank account number on which the VAT credit can be refunded
    • There is no opposition to this reimbursement (by garnishment or transfer of debt)

 

How to apply?

  • Accelerated refund of VAT credit on current account (with effect from 31.03.2020)
  • On 30 April 2020 at the latest
  • Attention: credit may still be subject to a withholding or settlement against another outstanding debt and to a 'VAT verification credit'.

Information source: Dutch / French

 

 

Automatic deferred payments for professional withholding tax, VAT, legal entities tax, corporate income tax, non-resident tax and personal income tax

What?

  • Automatic deferred payments for certain tax debts
  • VAT:
    • Payment related to February 2020: postponed to 20/05/2020
    • Payment related to March 2020: postponed to 20/06/2020
    • Payment related to the first quarter 2020: postponed to 20/06/2020
    • Payment related to April 2020: postponed to 20/07/2020
  • Withholding tax:
    • Payment related to February 2020: postponed to 13/05/2020
    • Payment related to March 2020: postponed to 15/06/2020
    • Payment related to the first quarter 2020: postponed tot 15/06/2020
    • Payment related to April 2020: postponed to 15/07/2020
  • Legal entities tax, corporate income tax, non-resident tax:
    • Normal period will be automatically extended by two additional months
    • This measure applies for tax settlements established as from 12/03/2020.
      • For debts established before 12/03/2020, the taxpayer can benefit from a payment by installments (see below)
    • No late payment interest due

 

How to apply?

  • Deferral is granted automatically  

 

 

Payment by installments for wage withholding taxes, VAT, personal income tax, corporate and legal entities tax

What?

  • Request for a payment plan with respect to tax debts
  • Additional measure on top of the automatic extension as described above
  • For enterprises (private individuals or legal entities), regardless of the sector, which can prove that they are facing difficulties directly resulting from the coronavirus spread (to be demonstrated and subject to additional conditions)
  • Enterprises with structural payment difficulties irrespective of the coronavirus do NOT qualify
  • Exemption of late payment interest
  • Remission of fines due to non-payment
  • Debts may not result from fraud

 

How to apply?

  • One request per debt, to be filed by 30/06/2020 at the latest
  • Upon receipt of the tax assessment note / payment notice
  • By e-mail or regular mail addressed to the competent tax office: Regional Collection Center responsible for your place of residence (natural persons) or seat of the company (legal persons)
  • Standard form is available
  • Reply within 30 days of request

Information source: NL / FR

 

 

Teleworking

  • Encouragement by the government to work from home  
  • Employer can provide its employees with equipment and/or internet or telephone subscription.
    • In case of private use: a benefit in kind arises on behalf of the employee:
      • PC: EUR 6 per month or EUR 72 per year
      • Tablet, mobile phone, smartphone: EUR 3 per month or EUR 36 per year
      • Telephone plan: EUR 4 per month or EUR 48 per year
      • Internet connection: EUR 5 per month or EUR 60 per year
  • Employer can intervene in costs for telework (i.e. purchase of PC and internet connection)
    • Beneficial lump sum valuation for social security purposes
    • Tax-free allowance for teleworking is possible in case the allowance is considered as a cost proper to the employer
  • Temporary fast track procedure for the application of an advanced tax ruling, in which the ruling service confirms the fiscal acceptability of granting of a fixed lump sum compensation for teleworking to employees
    • only valid during the corona crisis (not further defined)
    • Same teleworking allowance for all employees obliged to work from home: up to a maximum of EUR 129.48/month
    • In addition, the employer may grant their employees an allowance of up to EUR 40/month for the costs of using the equipment:
      • a private internet connection and subscription: maximum EUR 20
      • a private computer: maximum EUR 20
    • No cumulation possible with already existing office expenses reimbursements
    • Ruling only valid for tax purposes
    • Compensation up to this maximum amount is exempt from social security contributions and not taxable in the hands of the employees
    • Application: NL / FR  

 

 

Flexibility in executing a federal public contract

What?

  • No fines or sanctions will be imposed by federal government in case a federal public contract incurs delays or cannot be executed as a result of the coronavirus.  

 

How to apply?

  • The terms and conditions are still under development

 

 

Eased application of the conditions for exemption of write-downs on trade receivables due to the crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus

What?

  • Circular 2020/C/45 dated 23/3/2020 confirms that the crisis caused by the Covid-19 virus is a special circumstance, justifying the exemption of write-downs on trade receivables on companies that are in arrears with the payment of those receivables as a direct or indirect consequence of the measures taken by the federal government.

 

How to apply?

  • Companies will have to identify and explain any debtor with solvency problems in the annex to the corporate income tax return (non-residents) - form 204.3. The assessment of the loss on a claim will, as usual, have to be done per debt. However, some flexibility may be applied when assessing the collection difficulties for corporate debtors whose turnover has decreased considerably as a result of the restrictive measures imposed by the federal government.

 

 

Postponement expenses tax shelter audiovisual works and performing arts

What?

  • Under the tax shelter legislation, the producer must incur qualifying production and operating expenses within a certain period of time.
  • This period is 24 months for performing arts + animation (audiovisual) and 18 months for audiovisual works.
  • Both periods are extended by 12 months, i.e.:
    • 36 months (24 months + 12 months) for performing arts + animation (audiovisual)
    • 24 months (18 months + 12 baskets) for audiovisual works.
  • In the aforementioned cases, the tax shelter certificate must be issued by the Federal Public Service Finance no later than 31 December of the fifth year following the year in which the framework agreement is signed
  • the exemption is granted at the latest in the assessment year linked to the fifth taxable period
  • if the investor has not received the certificate at the latest on 30 June of the fifth year following the year in which the framework agreement is signed, the previously exempted profit will be considered as profit of the last taxable period during which the tax shelter certificate could lawfully be delivered.
     

How to apply?

  • In order to benefit from the measure, producers must demonstrate that they have suffered direct damage as a result of the measures taken by the State to combat the coronavirus, i.e. that these measures have prevented them from incurring the necessary expenses within the 'regular' time limit.

 

 

Change in percentages of advance tax payments


What?
 

  • Draft bill to increase the benefits of advance tax payments for the third quarter (due date on 12.10.2020) and fourth quarter of 2020 (due date 21.12.2020). As a consequence, the deferral of prepayments is less disadvantageous
  • For companies and self-employed persons with liquidity problems
  • Measure also applies to advance payments relating to a taxable period ending between 30.09.2020 and 31.01.2021. in this case, advance payments for the 3rd and 4th quarter of the accounting year (for the 10th day of the 10th month and for the 20th day of the last month).
  • The measure does not apply to:
    • Companies which
      • acquire own shares or reduce their capital
      • pay or attribute dividends between 12 March 2020 and 31 December 2020 (including distributions of liquidation reserves)
      • pay a variable remuneration to certain directors as listed in Article 3:6, § 3, second paragraph, 6° Companies and Associations Code
      • in the period from 12 March to 31 December 2020, be shareholders of or make payments to companies established in tax havens, companies affected by the CFC rules and companies established in countries which do not meet the data exchange standards
        • unless it can be proved that these payments are the result of actual and existing commercial relationships based on existing contracts on the day of entry into force of this provision
    • Natural persons who could receive an excess benefit as a result of advance payments
  • The percentages of the increases themselves and the expiration dates remain unchanged.
     
Advance payments     

Personal

income tax       

Corporate income tax

(no dividend distribution)

Corporate income tax

(dividend distribution)

Q1 (due 10.04.2020) 3% 9% 9%
Q2 (due 10.07.2020) 2.5% 7.5% 7.5%
Q3 (due 12.10.2020) 2.25% 6.75% 6%
Q4 (due 21.12.2020) 1.75% 5.25% 4.5%

 

 

Tax incentive for donations of medical equipment

Donation of medical devices and protective equipment free of VAT

What?

  • The donation of certain medical devices and protective equipment does not give rise to a so-called extraction of goods on the part of the donor
    • Only covers medical devices and protective equipment for healthcare professionals and patients
    • Medicines are not eligible
  • For donations to public institutions, hospitals, residential care centres and similar institutions (care for the elderly, child care for the disabled and disabled), schools, public authorities, humanitarian aid organisations
  • Eligible: producers, distributors, VAT payers who use goods for their economic activity, but also: VAT payers who buy the goods specially to donate them.

 

How to apply?

  • No prior approval from the tax authorities is required
  • However, a document determining the donation must be drawn up.

 

Gifts of medical devices and protective equipment are tax-deductible for corporate and personal income tax purposes

What?

  • No application of the 'abnormal or gratuitous advantages' scheme
  • Only subject to compliance with the VAT scheme outlined above
  • Conditions for tax deductibility are deemed to be met

 

Tax relief for private donations in personal income tax

What?

  • For donations in kind to hospitals, CPASs, the Belgian Red Cross, ...
  • Donations of medical materials or products useful in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Tax reduction of 45% for gifts of at least EUR 40
  • Valuation of donated goods on the basis of the purchase invoice for the donated material or, in the absence of a purchase invoice, on the basis of fixed values.

 

The measures relating to medical devices and protective equipment apply from 01/03/2020 to 31/07/2020.

 

 

Tax incentive for donations of computers

What?

  • Donations of computers to schools located in Belgium enjoy the same tax advantages as donating medical devices and protective equipment
  • Deductible as professional expenses (personal and corporate income tax)
  • No 'abnormal or benevolent advantage'.
  • Free of VAT
  • For private individuals, a donation of computers may also qualify for a 45% tax reduction
  • The value to be taken into account is determined on the basis of a purchase invoice, with a reduction of 25% per full year elapsed from the date of purchase, or in the absence of a purchase invoice, on an estimate of the market value of the donated computer at 29/02/2020.

 

 

Exemption of allowances granted by communities, regions, provinces and municipalities

What?

  • Allowances received in the context of support measures taken by the regions, communities, provinces and municipalities are exempt from income tax
  • Conditions:
    • It may not be a direct or indirect compensation in exchange for the supply of goods or the provision of services
    • The allowance must explicitly stipulate that this compensation is granted in order to deal with the direct or indirect economic or social consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic
    • The allowance will be paid or granted between 15/03/2020 and 31/12/2020
  • With regard to personal income tax: the reimbursements are mentioned on the calculation note attached to the recipient's personal income tax assessment notice.

 

 

Exemption from VAT and import duties for certain medical goods and protective equipment

What?

  • The import of certain medical goods and protective equipment can benefit from an exemption from VAT and import duties
  • This is a temporary measure for goods imported into Belgium between 13 March and 31 July 2020
  • The goods must be imported by or on behalf of government agencies, hospitals or other humanitarian aid organisations
  • A refund of VAT and import duties can be requested for the import of goods that meet the conditions of the exemption carried out since 13 March 2020.

 

How to apply?

  • If the institution concerned has not yet been recognised by the AAD&A, prior approval must be applied for
  • An EORI number (necessary for the import of goods into the European Community) will automatically be assigned to the organisations concerned
  • Furthermore, no prior approval from the administration is required. The Single Administrative Document must, however, contain certain entries.

 

 

Reduced VAT rate on the supply, intra-Community acquisition and import of protective equipment

What?

  • Reduced VAT rate of 6% on the supply, the intra-Community acquisition and the import of the following protective equipment:
    • Oral masks envisaged by codes NC 4818 90 10 00, 4818 90 90 00, 6307 90 98 10, 6307 90 98 91, 6307 90 98 99 and 9020 00 00 10
    • Hydro-alcoholic gels.
  • Temporary: from 04/05/2020 to 31/12/2020.

 

 

Tolerance for the new 'EBITDA interest deduction limitation'

  • New EBITDA interest deduction limitation in effect from 1 January 2020 for loans entered into as from 17.06.2016, or loans existing before that date but which have undergone fundamental changes since that date
  • Loans prior to 17.06.2016 are therefore not affected by this interest deduction limitation, unless they have undergone fundamental changes since 17.06.2016
  • The tax authorities have determined that allowing specific payment modalities for loans taken out before 17.06.2016 should not be considered as a fundamental change when:
    • The taxpayer can demonstrate that the payment problems (*) are the result of the crisis caused by Covid-19, and
    • The terms of payment appear in an approved application to a financial institution or are included in a supplementary agreement
  • Consequently, the 'old' interest deduction limitation (thin cap 5:1 rule) will continue to apply to these 'old' loans
  • The specific payment modalities for these 'old' loans must be authorised before 30 June 2020 and remain in force until 31 December 2020 at the latest.

(*) These payment problems, which are the result of a general liquidity and solvency problem, may in particular be reflected in a fall in turnover or activity, temporary or total unemployment among staff or temporary closure as a result of the measures imposed by the Federal Government as part of the fight against Covid-19.

 

 

Digital signature of authentic instruments

What?

  • Possibility of granting digital (authentic) power of attorney to a confidant or notarial assistant who can sign the deed
  • No need to go to a notary's office to sign deeds (deed of sale, deed of donation, ...).
  • Granting a power of attorney is free of charge.

 

How?

  • The parties appear before the notary by videoconference
  • The parties identify themselves and sign the deed electronically by means of an electronic identity card or a digital itsme ID; the use of the national register number is permitted for this purpose
  • The notary signs the deed electronically using an electronic identity card
  • The powers of attorney will be attached to the authentic ones. For this purpose, the notary will make a certified copy on paper of this electronically signed power of attorney.

 

 

Cross-border employment: agreements with the Netherlands, Germany and France on teleworking

What?

  • Employees who work from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic remain taxable in the State in which they formerly exercised their professional activity before the outbreak of the crisis
  • This scheme applies from 11/03/2020 to 31/05/2020 as regards Germany and the Netherlands, and from 14/03/2020 to 30/06/2020 as regards France
  • The agreement with the Netherlands still contains some specific provisions
  • The agreement with France does not apply to residents of France who qualify for the speacial tax scheme for frontier workers.

 

 

BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE FPS FINANCE AND FEBELFIN (Belgian Financial Sector Federation)

 

Charter for deferral of actual credit facilities

What?

  • A payment deferral of company credits in the context of the corona crisis implies that no capital repayments are required for maximum 6 months. The interest payments will remain due.
  • After the referral period of max. 6 months, the capital repayments will be resumed. The tenure of the credit facility will be prolonged with the period of the deferral (max. 6 months).
  • No administrative costs or fees will be applicable for this request for deferral.

 

Who?

Non-financial companies, small and medium sized companies, self-employed workers can request a payment deferral if each of the 4 following conditions are met:

  1. The company/organisation faces payment problems caused by the corona virus: 
    • Total revenue or activity has decreased or will decrease
    • Temporary or complete unemployment is applicable
    • The government has ordered the closure of the company in the context of the containment of the corona virus.
  2. The company/organisation has its permanent business establishment in Belgium.
  3. The company/organisation has no outstanding installments on the actual credit facilities, taxes or social security contributions on 1 February 2020 or the company/organisation has on 29 February 2020 outstanding installments on actual credit facilities, taxes and social security contributions no longer than 30 days .
  4. The company/organisation has fulfilled all contractual credit obligations during the last 12 months before 31 January 2020 and is not involved in any active credit restructuring process.

 

What credit facilities are in scope?

  • A payment referral can be requested for one of the following types of corporate credit facilities:
  • Credit with a fixed repayment schedule
  • A revolving credit facility like straight loans and overdrafts
  • Leasing and invoice financing are out of scope and are excluded. The company/organisation can always get in touch bilaterally with the leasing and factoring company in order to investigate in what manner a specific agreement can be obtained.

 

When?

  • Requests for payment deferral submitted until 30 April 2020, have a duration of maximum 6 months until 31 October 2020.
  • For requests submitted after 30 April 2020, the due date remains 31 October 2020. 
  • Payment deferral can only be granted for future monthly installments.
  • Request filed for submission before the publication date of this charter, will be evaluated according to the criteria defined in this charter. If necessary, the bank will contact the borrower.
  • The request can be filed only via a meeting or via all available digital channels of the bank (e-mail, chat, mobile app,…) and via telephone. The preferred period to get in touch is one week before the due date of the next installment.
  • Your bank can request additional documents in order to initiate the request process.

 

 

Bridge credit facilities (max. 12 months)

What?

  • For non-financial institutions, small and medium sized enterprises and self-employed workers (with or without a legal entity)
  • Maximum tenure: no longer then 12 months
  • Conditions:
    • There are no outstanding installments on February 1st 2020
    • The outstanding installments on February 29th are no longer than 30 days
  • The bridge credit facility is guaranteed by the government for all new credit facilities granted until September 30th 2020
  • Maximum interest rate for the new credit facility is 1,25% (excl. Fee)
    • Fee = 0,25% for credits to small and medium sized enterprises
    • Fee = 0,50% for credit to large corporations
  • This government guarantee is limited to a maximum credit amount of 50 mio EUR per legal entity (or group of related companies). Prior government approval is needed when the credit amount succeeds the 50 mio EUR.

 

How to apply?

  • A credit request has to be filled with your bank

Information source: NL / FR  

 

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE FLEMISH REGION

 

Nuisance incentive (‘Hinderpremie’) in case of mandatory shutdown

What?

  • For all companies, regardless their legal form, located in the Flemish Region
  • Granted per establishment to the extent that at least one full-time member of staff is employed in the additional establishments
  • Amounts apply per establishment but limited to a maximum of 5 premiums per enterprise
  • Affected by complete mandatory closure:
    • single incentive of EUR 4,000
    • as of the 21st day: EUR 160 per day
  • Affected by mandatory closure during the weekend:
    • onetime premium of EUR 2,000
    • as of the 21st: EUR 160 per day
  • Also in case of mandatory closure of the physical establishment, if one continues (or starts) to sell online
  • Catering industry: compulsory closure of the dining area is sufficient to be able to benefit from the premium, even if a takeaway service is organised
  • Combination with the transitional rights for self-employed workers is possible
  • Exempt from corporate income tax

 

How to apply?

  • Online application (via pink button)
  • Application to be filed until 19 May 2020
  • One application per company, for the different operating sites together
  • Possibility of registration via an online application form to receive updates
  • Retrospectively
  • The existing application with respect to the nuisance incentive in case of public works cannot be used
  • There is a simplified procedure so that the accountant/tax consultant can make the request for you. Please contact us for this if you need our assistance in this.
     

 

Compensation premium

What?

  • For enterprises that are not obliged to close down
  • Affected by a loss of turnover of at least 60% compared with the same period last year (reference period is 15 March 2020 to 30 April 2020)
    • For start-ups, the 60% drop in turnover must be determined on the basis of the financial plan laid down
  • A one-off compensation premium of EUR 3,000 (however, see below)
  • Self-employed persons in secondary occupation:
    • Income > EUR 13,993.78: premium of 3,000 EUR
    • Income between EUR 6,996.89 and EUR 13,993.78: premium of EUR 1,500
    • The compensation premium also applies to self-employed persons in a secondary occupation who are obliged to close (in that case the condition relating to a 60% drop in turnover does not apply), but does not apply to self-employed persons in a secondary occupation who combine this with a job as an employee of 80% or more.
  • A maximum of 5 premiums per enterprise if there are more than one operating seat per enterprise
  • Cannot be combined with the annoyance premium
  • The premium is exempt from tax, both in personal and corporate income tax
  • Certain companies are not eligible:
    • Enterprises being wound up, discontinued, declared bankrupt or being put into liquidation
    • Holdings and patrimony companies
    • Companies without one full-time equivalent working partner or member of staff
    • NPOs without one full-time employed member of staff
    • Enterprises of which the manager is affiliated as a director, partner or manager with another company that received the compensation premium and to which they provide business services.

 

How to apply?

 

 

PMV postponement of payment of 3 months

What?

  • Businesses who make use of the Start-up loan, Co-financing and Co-financing+ granted from PMV/z are temporarily not required to repay this financing. The direct debits foreseen for repayment of capital and/or interest are suspended for all borrowers.
  • The suspension shall be valid for three months and be extended to six months if necessary.
  • The automatic suspension for a minimum period of 3 months applies to all borrowers, irrespective of their sector.
  • As lender of a win-win loan, a deferral of payment in capital or interest may be granted to the borrower as a result of the corona crisis.

Source information: https://www.pmv.eu/nl/maatregelen-van-pmv-tegen-de-impact-van-het-coronavirus
 

 

Crisis warranty

What?

  • Extension of the existing guarantee scheme by the Participatie Maatschappij Vlaanderen (PMV/z)
  • Companies and self-employed workers can have a bridging loan guaranteed for existing debts
  • Can be obtained on top of the existing guarantees for investment loans and working capital
  • Existing debts: for self-employed workers who are unable to pay their employees, who cannot purchase raw materials, who are unable to pay their invoices
  • 1,000 loans of EUR 100,000 can be guaranteed (below the 75% regional warranty)
  • Measure is applicable until the end of 2020
  • It is to be proven that the financing request is caused by the coronavirus

 

How to apply?

  • Contact your bank/leasing company
  • The application process is still in progress

Information source: https://www.pmvz.eu/corona-uitbreiding

 

 

Increase of guarantee capacity PMV Gigarant

What?

  • The guarantee capacity of Gigarant will be increased from the current EUR 1.5 billion to EUR 3 billion
  • The COVID-19 guarantee is only granted to finance a company that was not a company in difficulty on 31 December 2019
  • A good spread of risk is ensured between the banks and the Flemish government.

 

Modalities?

  • The maximum term is 6 years.
  • For this crisis guarantee, the cash premium to be paid is reduced in comparison with the current Gigarant premium.
  • The amount of COVID-19 guaranteed financing per company is temporarily limited in accordance with European regulations:
    • twice the total annual gross wage bill 2019 or
    • 25% of total turnover 2019 or
    • subject to appropriate justification, the liquidity requirements for the next 18 months for an SME or for the next 12 months for a large enterprise
  • Cases that fall within the scope of the federal 'corona agreement' are excluded from the Gigant guarantee.

 

 

PMV 3-year subordinated loans to start-ups, scale-ups and SMEs

What?

  • PMV creates a medium-term financial buffer with subordinated loans over 3 years. This is in addition to very short-term bridging loans on the federal level.
  • The focus is on start-up companies and scale-ups, as well as mature companies that temporarily run into difficulties due to the corona crisis and need financial reinforcement to overcome the consequences of the corona crisis.

 

For whom?

  • For two target groups:
    1. Start-ups and scale-ups: (young) businesses that did not have a recurrent positive cash flow in the last 3 years and that develop or already market innovative products and/or services.
    2. SMEs and the self-employed: enterprises that before the Corona crisis had recurrent positive cash flows and were therefore eligible for conventional bank financing.
  • Intrinsically healthy and viable Flemish SMEs in distress by Covid-19
  • Companies without arrears on their current loans, taxes, VAT or social security contributions at the beginning of the Corona crisis
  • Not qualifying as a business in difficulty
  • In terms of employment:
    • Businesses with effective employment of a minimum of 80% of their total workforce at the end of 2019 (maximum 20% temporary unemployment), or
    • Businesses who undertake to return to effective employment of at least 80% of their total workforce at very short notice by the end of 2019 (maximum 20% temporary unemployment), or
    • Businesses that take at least 50% of their total number of employees out of the system of temporary unemployment and put them back to work.
  • If there are current (bank) credits, there must be a commitment from the bank to stay on board. This must be demonstrated by not cancelling the loans and/or by allowing deferred capital repayments on current financing.

 

Modalities

  • Amount
    • Minimum: EUR 25,000
    • Maximum: EUR 2,000,000
    • The maximum amount shall be limited to the greater of the following amounts:
      • 100% of the labour cost
      • 12.5% of turnover
    • The credit granted must fully cover the financing requirement of at least 12 months, possibly combined with investments committed by other parties
    • The amount can be increased to EUR 3.5 million if an additional investor or financier intervenes
    • The maximum amount is limited to EUR 100,000 for the agricultural sector and to EUR 120,000 for fisheries and aquaculture
  • Form
    • Subordinated credit
  • Appropriation
    • Appropriation in one tranche when awarded
  • Duration
    • 3 years
  • Repayment
    • For start-ups & scale-ups: full repayment at maturity (bullet loan)
    • For SMEs and self-employed:     
      • Exemption of capital repayments during the first 24 months, then monthly, quarterly or six-monthly capital repayments
      • Repayment in full at maturity (bullet loan) possible subject to justification
  • Interest
    • For start-ups and scale-ups: combined interest rate
      • For the loan up to EUR 800,000 (1st tranche)
        • An annual deferred interest of 5.00 %, payable in full at maturity
        • A conversion right permitting the conversion of the principal amount and outstanding interest of the Corona loan into shares at a discount of 25 % on the share price of that capital round/exit in the case of a capital round or exit
      • For the loan above EUR 800,000 (2nd tranche)
        • An annual minimum interest rate of 6%, payable in full at maturity
    • For SMEs and the self-employed: fixed interest rate
      • An annual deferred interest rate of 4.5%, payable in full on maturity.
  • Guarantees
    • None
  • Combination with nuisance incentive and compensation premium
    • The 3-year subordinated loan is incompatible with the nuisance incentive and compensation premium. The incompatibility with one or both premiums applies to both target groups for whom the loan is intended. Anyone who wishes to make use of the loan after receiving one or both premiums will have to repay the premium(s).

 

How to apply?

 

 

Employee incentive premium

What?

  • For workers employed by enterprises which, as a result of the corona crisis, experience a fall of at least 20% in turnover, production or orders in the month preceding the interruption compared with the same month in the previous year.
  • The employer must demonstrate this by drawing up a plan showing this reduction and what measures will be taken to redistribute labour.
  • The monthly (gross) premium for the employee varies between EUR 68 and EUR 172 and can start on 1 April 2020 at the earliest and end on 30 June 2020 at the latest.

Information source: www.vlaanderen.be/aanmoedigingspremie-bij-onderneming-in-moeilijkheden-privesector

 

 

Deferral of payment of annual road tax

What?

  • 4 months deferral of payment of the annual road tax:
  • On assessment notices sent from 26 March onwards, a payment period of six months is immediately indicated (instead of the usual two months).
  • For assessment notices that were sent recently and on which a payment term of two months is mentioned, the taxpayer may add an additional four months. This also gives them at least four months extra time to pay. No new default interest will be charged for that period.

Information source: https://belastingen.vlaanderen.be/coronamaatregelen-vlaamse-belastingdienst

 

 

Delay of payment with respect to property tax

What?

  • The tax assessment note with respect to the real estate tax will be issued later (i.e. expected in September)
  • Not payable until autumn (instead of spring)

 

How to apply?

  • Automatically (as mentioned above)

Information source: https://belastingen.vlaanderen.be/coronamaatregelen-vlaamse-belastingdienst

 

 

Extension of deadline for the payment of inheritance tax and registration rights

  • General extension of the deadline by two months after the end of the period of application of the stricter corona measures
  • Applicable to periods expiring during the tightened corona period and to periods expiring within 2 months after the tightened corona period
  • For now: general extension until 3 July 2020

For specifications and examples, please refer to the website of the Flemish Tax Administration: https://belastingen.vlaanderen.be/coronamaatregelen-vlaamse-belastingdienst.

 

 

Flexibility with respect to conditions for the support measures and subsidies

What?

  • Possible extension for the following VLAIO subsidies:
    • Baekeland mandates
    • Ecology incentive+
    • ICON: subsidies for cooperative demand-driven research
    • Innovation mandates (IM)
    • Research project
    • Development project
    • Strategical ecological support (STRES)
    • Strategical transformation support (STS)
    • Thematic ICON project

 

How to apply?

  • Contact and consultation directly with the account manager at VLAIO

 

 

Subsidies

What?

  • Possibility to apply for certain subsidies (mainly SME growth subsidy) by the Corona virus
  • For example: in the case of Coronavirus, a new strategy is being considered, new products or services are being launched, new markets are being explored, ...
  • Subsidies other than the SME growth subsidy may also be possible, depending on the specific situation of each company

 

How to apply?

  • In accordance to the regular rules stipulated per subsidy

Information source: https://www.vlaio.be/nl/subsidies-financiering/subsidiedatabank/kmo-groeisubsidie-strategisch-adviesaanwerving-bij

 

 

Support measures for the tourism industry

What?

Budget of EUR 5 million for youth and social tourism industry

Toerisme Vlaanderen will not collect any rent from the youth hostels

 

How to apply?

 Toerisme Vlaanderen is still working on the application process.

Information source: https://www.toerismevlaanderen.be/nieuws/coronavirus-concrete-steunmaatregelen-voor-toeristische-sector

 

 

Cities and municipalities

Additional support measures for the following cities and municipalities:

  • Antwerpen
  • Brugge
  • Gent
  • Geraardsbergen
  • Halle
  • Hasselt
  • Kalmthout
  • Kortrijk
  • Lier
  • Oostende
  • Scherpenheuvel-Zichem
  • Tongeren
  • Zandhoven

Information source: https://www.vlaio.be/nl/subsidies-financiering/subsidiedatabank/steunmaatregelen-coronavirus-door-steden-en-gemeenten

 

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE WALLOON REGION

At the initiative of the Minister of the Economy, a taskforce was created to inform, assist and support Walloon companies facing difficulties linked to the presence of the coronavirus in Belgium and the rest of the world. This taskforce consists of the following partners: SPW Économie-Emploi-Recherche, l’AWEX, la SOGEPA, la SOWALFIN, la SRIW, l’UWE, l’UCM, le SNI, le CGT, le WBT and the syndicates (FGTB, CSC, CGSLB). This taskforce will meet once a week, or more quickly if necessary in order to monitor the situation closely.

 

Information point

General information point:

  • Walloon companies and self-employed workers can call  1890  for all questions related to the coronavirus within the power of the Walloon government  
  • The service is accessible from 8 am to 7 pm with adequate answers for companies and self-employed people.
  • Website: https://www.1890.be/

For tax matters:

  • Specialised call center: 081 33 00 01 or
  • You can send an e-mail to [email protected] or call the nearest "Espace Wallonie" office to make an appointment : a tax specialist will contact you to deal with your request.

 

Up till now the following measures have been taken :

 

Corporate cash flow

The Walloon government has decided that the Walloon financial instruments as a whole (SRIW, SOGEPA, SOWALFIN) will allow a general suspension of outstanding loans until the end of March 2020. This suspension can be extended until the end of April 2020.

In addition, companies facing cash-flow problems because of the Coronavirus can, in agreement with the banking sector, receive support in the form of a bank guarantee or loan:

 

SOWALFIN

What?

  • Granting of 50% guarantees on existing credit lines granted by banks without an initial SOWALFIN guarantee, with a maximum commitment of EUR 500,000
  • Granting of 75% guarantees on increases of existing credit lines (Banks - Investments)
  • Granting of 75% guarantees on new short-term credit lines (Banks - Investments)

 

How to apply?

  • In order to benefit from SOWALFIN's support, your company will have to comply with the following criteria:
    • be an SME within the meaning of the definition adopted by the European Union
    • meet the independence requirement
    • be established in Wallonia
    • being active in a sector
    • not being in financial difficulties within the meaning of the definition adopted by the European Union
    • your financial institution must be approved/certified by Sowalfin
  • If you meet these conditions: contact your bank and ask for support from Sowalfin. Your bank will contact Sowalfin.

 

SOGEPA

Sogepa provides assistance for companies in difficulties (bankruptcy, judicial reorganisation, etc.).

 

What?

SOGEPA intends to introduce the following measures:

  • Grant loans similar to those granted by banks to meet the very short term cash flow requirements of companies: SOGEPA/Wallonie Santé will double the proportion of banks that support companies
  • Reinforce government guarantees on bank loans by 75%
  • Provide an amount of EUR 100 million:
  • To top up the guarantees automatically granted by SOWALFIN (to healthy companies before the crisis) to reach guarantees of up to EUR 2.5 million per beneficiary
  • For businesses in difficulties: 75% guarantee of maximum EUR 2,5 million per beneficiary
  • Grant a loan of up to EUR 200,000 to meet the urgent cash-flow needs of companies, without a private counterpart, with a 1-year non-repayment period and a fixed interest rate of 2% (from SOGEPA and Wallonie Santé)

 

How to apply?

  • If your company is already supported by Sogepa, contact the person responsible for your file
  • If your company wants to request a bank guarantee from Sogepa, the request will be sent by your bank, which will contact Sogepa directly
  • For all other requests, please contact Sogepa

 

SRIW

What?

  • There is a proposition to grant an automatic guarantee of 75% (with an overall maximum of EUR 1,500,000 per beneficiary) in the following cases:
    • On existing short-term credit lines initially granted by banks without a guarantee from the Walloon Region, in order to keep these funds at the disposal of the companies affected by the Covid-19 crisis
    • On short-term increases granted to companies to enable them to survive this crisis period. In addition, the granting of suspension of payments on medium-term loans could be regarded as an increase in short-term credit lines.

 

  • In terms of equity investments and loans :
    • Weekly dialogue between the government and the banks on equities and possible measures to be taken on both sides.

 

How to apply?

  • To submit your application, please contact SRIW
  • Please note that the projects supported by SRIW include applications for more than EUR 1 million

 

 

"Ricochet" loan (announced measure) 

What? 

  • A 'ricochet' loan of up to EUR 45,000 at a very favourable rate
  • Intended for companies and self-employed persons in need of cash flow  
  • Benefit from a capital franchise of up to 6 months 
  • Through the adaptation and reinforcement of the SOWALFIN 'automatic mixed product': 
    • A guarantee from SOWALFIN of maximum 75% on the envisaged bank loan of maximum EUR 30,000 EUR
    • With a SOWALFIN subordinated loan of maximum 15,000 EUR at 0% interest rate 
  • Cannot be cumulated with the two Walloon compensation mechanisms! 

 

How to apply? 

  • By contacting your bank 

 

 

Assistance of SOGEPA

What?

  • SOGEPA will assist companies who request assistance with more specific problems related to their industry.

 

 

Facilitation of regional procedures

What?

  • If the impact of the coronavirus on the company's activities needs to be justified, each situation will be examined on a case-by-case basis

 

How to apply?

  • For more information, contact the SPW department responsible for managing the premium in question

 

 

Subsidies for companies

What?

The Walloon government grants a one-off lump-sum premium of EUR 5,000 to any enterprise or self-employed person who is forced to close down or cease its activities as a result of measures taken by the National Security Council.

Conditions:

  • To be a small or micro-sized enterprise (taking into account the criterium of independency)
  • Be able to prove an activity before 12 March 2020
  • Have paid social security contributions in 2018
  • For start-ups and companies established after 2018, show that they have paid contributions in the 4th quarter of 2019 or that they have income that justifies the payment of social security contributions (individual examination of these files)
  • Performing a professional activity in Wallonia
  • Be active in one of the qualifying industries:
    • Catering (NACE code 56)
    • Accommodation (NACE code 55)
    • Travel agency, tour operator and related activities (NACE code 79)
    • Retail trade (NACE code 47 - excluding 47.20 and 47.73). Code 47.62 is eligible, except for newsagents).
    • Personal services (NACE code 96)
    • Other qualifying sectors :
      • Bus operators (NACE code 49390)
      • Tourist attractions (Article 110 d of the Walloon Tourist Code)
      • Fairground artists (NACE code 93211)
      • Carwash (NACE code 45206)
      • Driving schools (NACE code 85531)
      • Events sector (partial) (NACE codes 8230, 74.109, 90.023, 77392, 77293)

 

How to apply?

  • The application must be submitted on an online platform
  • Note: qualifying companies have 60 days to submit the application, counting from the closure of their enterprise or the interruption of their activity.
  • Here you will find the explanation for the introduction of a file, explained step by step
  • Note: if you accept the terms and conditions, the system requires that you officially identify yourself via eID or itsme
  • The first actual payments will be made in April

 

Measures announced 

  • Extension of the granting of the lump-sum allowance to additional sectors: 
    • Retailers and repairers of motor vehicles and motorcycles ; 
    • Arts, entertainment and recreation (sports halls, sporting and leisure activities) 
    • Intermediation in the purchase, sale and rental of real estate
    • Movie theatres
  • New lump-sum allowance of EUR 2,500 (in principle free of taxes) : 
    • For self-employed persons and companies who had to substantially interrupt their activities in March and April 2020, and 
    • benefited from full bridging rights for the months of March or April. 

 

 

Advice for companies in difficulties

What?

  • The "Enterprise and rebound" arrangement can provide legal, financial and economic expertise and advice to companies and self-employed persons in difficulties.

 

How to apply ?

 

 

Tax certificates for investments in environmentally responsible research and development

What?

  • The deadline for submitting application forms for the granting of a certificate of increased tax deduction for investments to encourage research and development of new products and advanced technologies which have no impact on the environment or which aim to minimize the negative impact on the environment is postponed from 31 March 2020 to 20 April 2020.

 

How to apply?

  • Exceptionally, it is possible to send completed and signed applications by e-mail to the following e-mail address: [email protected]
  • Note: if the attachments of the application form are (too) large, you will be requested to send them as a compressed file or to send the attachments via a link that makes it possible to download them afterwards.
  • However, in order to comply with the current regulations, it will also be necessary to submit the application by registered post as soon as possible.

 

 

Registration duties

What?

  • The registration duty in the event of the conversion of a mortgage mandate into a mortgage, established by notary deed before the entry into force of Walloon Government Decree No 10 of 26 March 2020 on the temporary suspension of certain tax provisions, is reduced to 0%.
  • The 2-year period referred to in Article 212 of the Registration, Mortgage and Registry Duties Code will be suspended as from 18 March 2020 (reimbursement of 3/5 of the registration duties paid on the purchase of the property in the event of resale of the property within 2 years).

 

 

Tax on automatic entertainment devices

What?

  • In order to support the companies liable for this tax, mainly active in the hospitality and restaurant industry, the Walloon Government has decided to reduce this tax by 1/12th per month or for the part of the month the taxpayer had to close his company or stop his activity obligatorily.
  • This reduction is also granted when the installation of the equipment was already planned but the equipment has not been effectively installed yet: reduction of a maximum of 1/12th per month or for the part of the month as from the time of the originally planned installation, while in the meantime the company in which the equipment had to be installed is closed.

 

How to apply?

  • Upon request of the debtor

 

 

Water and electricity bills

What?

  • For Walloon companies that have problems paying their water bill on time, payment can be spread on simple request to the Walloon Water Company (SWDE)

 

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE BRUSSELS CAPITAL REGION

In response to the presence of the coronavirus in Belgium, the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region has approved additional measures to support to the Brussels economy.

 

 

One-time incentive 

What?

  • A one-time grant of EUR 4,000 for shops and establishments closed pursuant to Article 1 of the Ministerial Decree of 23 March 2020, including take-away restaurants and hotels, which employ fewer than 50 full-time equivalents (per company and not per establishment) and which operate in one of the sectors listed in the annex to the Decision of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 26 March 2020 based on the NACE VAT codes registered with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises on 18 March 2020.
  • Note: The Government of the Brussels-Capital Region may amend the annex according to the evolution of the measures taken in the context of the Coronavirus crisis.
  • Grant applicable per establishment active in the Brussels-Capital Region, as registered with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises, up to a maximum of five establishment in total per company.
  • Targeted NACE codes

 

How to apply?

  • You must submit your application online - no later than 18 May 2020 - to Brussels Economie et Emploi (EEB), using the form which the EEB will soon make available on its website.
  • If you would like to be informed when this form will be available, you can leave your e-mail by clicking on this link
  • 2 documents must be attached to the application:
    • the most recently submitted VAT return (quarter or month);
    • a bank certificate relating to the company's bank account: this certificate must indicate the name of the bank, the name of the company and its contact details and the company's bank account number. Depending on the bank, you can request this certificate online. Please note: it is not possible to provide an account statement instead of a bank certificate because it is too often unreadable.
  • You may only submit one application per company for a maximum of 5 Brussels establishments (registered with the ECB).
  • Your company can only receive “de minimis aid” of up to 200.000 EUR during the current and the two previous financial years, in accordance with Commission Regulation (EU) No 1407/2013 of 18 December 2013.

 

When can you expect a response?

  • Brussels Economie et Emploi (EEB) will inform you of its decision to grant aid within three months of receipt of the application.
  • The Minister may extend the deadline for a decision if the available financial resources have been exhausted.
  • If the available budgets are spent, applications will be ranked according to the time of receipt of the application.

 

Measures announced  

  • The granting of the one-time premium should be extended to certain sectors:  
  • Renters of video cassettes and video discs (NACE 77.220) 
  • Carwashes (NACE 45.206), book stores (NACE 47.620) 
  • Real estate agencies (NACE 68.311) 
  • Compensatory premium of 2,000 EUR (in principle tax-free) intended to support entrepreneurs and micro-enterprises (between 0 and 5 FTEs) experiencing a significant drop in activity due to the measures taken to reduce the spread of Covid-19 

 

 

Property tax

 What?

  • Extension of the deadline for the payment of the property tax by 2 months
  • Applicable to all inhabitants of the Brussels-Capital Region without the need to prove a fall in income due to the coronavirus crisis.

 

How to apply?

  • When you receive your assessment notice, you have 4 months to pay the property tax.

 

City Tax 

What ?

  • The city tax is abolished for the first half of the year 2020.

 

 

Traffic and road tax  

What? 

  • Extension of the period for payment of the traffic tax and road tax by two months, in addition to the normal two months. 

 

 

Corporate cash flow

What?

  • Companies will be granted public guarantees (via the Brussels Guarantee Fund) on bank loans for a total of EUR 20 million EUR

 

How to apply?

  • The terms and conditions are still under development.

 

 

Cash flow of cultural and creative enterprises

In addition to the measures taken by the Brussels Government, the Government of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation has approved the emergency loan from the St'art investment fund for the cash flow of cultural and creative enterprises.

What? 

  • This emergency loan is intended for all cultural and creative enterprises active in sectors whose main objective is the creation, development, production, reproduction, promotion, distribution and/or marketing of goods, services and activities with a cultural, artistic and/or historical dimension.
  • This loan would be available for a period of 6 months (renewable for an additional 6 months if necessary) for an amount of EUR 20,000 up to EUR 100,000 at a fixed rate of 2%.
  • It also provides for the possibility of extending the payment of outstanding loans (interest and capital) at the request of the companies concerned.

 

How?

  • More information on the emergency loan can be found at Start-invest.be  
  • Concerning the postponement of payments, the measure will be introduced as from 31 March 2020. Any extension of the postponement or any request for a postponement of more than one month will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

 

 

Assignment of a delegated mission to Finance&Invest.brussels

What?

  • Companies who supply the hotel and catering industry can take out a loan at a reduced rate in order to grant a postponement of payment to their customers.
  • Businesses active in the hotel and catering industry and employing more than 50 people can take out a loan at a reduced rate.

 

 

Deferral of loans granted by Finance&invest.brussels 

What ?

  • The repayment of the principal amount of loans granted by Finance&invest.brussels can be postponed for companies affected by the measures imposed by National Security Council

 

 

Accelerated treatment, recording and authorisation of aid for economic expansion

What?

  • Support measures currently analysed by the department Economy and Employment of the Brussels Capital Region
  • This involves the catering  tourism, events and culture industry

 

Who?

  • Only for businesses active in the following industries: hotel and catering, tourism, event and culture.

 

 

Increased funding for the Centre for Enterprises in Difficulty (CED) 

 

What?

  • Increased funding for the Centre for Enterprises in Difficulty (CED) by 200,000 EUR to strengthen support for companies in difficulty

 

Call for solidarity

  • The Government invites all public authorities, administrations, public-interest bodies and municipalities to adopt measures of solidarity with the affected traders by deferring payable rents

 

 

In the social economy and for service vouchers

  • Socio-economic companies, which are normally excluded from economic support, can benefit from all the measures taken to support the Brussels economy in the light of the Covid-19 crisis
  • Within a harmonised federal framework, the payment of the regional intervention of 14,60 EUR per hour to service cheque companies is maintained, regardless of whether these services are provided. This should allow the salaries of domestic help to be paid. The underlying condition is that the company concerned does not apply for economic unemployment. 20 million EUR will be spent on this measure. This is only possible if the federal government agrees to abolish social security contributions for this sector.

 

 

Foreign Trade

  • hub.brussels is responsible for the regular monitoring of the impact of Covid-19 on the Brussels economy and in particular on high-risk sectors. They are closely working with private actors. Following on the cancellation of missions abroad (major fairs, missions in high-risk areas), hub.brussels contacts companies individually to clearly explain the technical details (information on the cancellation, explanations on how to organise the reimbursement of their costs, etc.).

 

 

In Brussels: image, sport, equal opportunities and social cohesion

To support the associations and events sector, tourism, culture and sport in Brussels:

  • Promotion "Image de Bruxelles" for events taking place between 1 March and 30 April 2020 (partially or entirely):
    • For events postponed until later in 2020, the grant will continue to be awarded without any change to the amount awarded
    • For cancelled events, the Brussels government allows the use of this subsidy to settle the invoices for the costs of the event already incurred which cannot be cancelled
  • In sport, equal opportunities and social cohesion:
    • In the case of complete cancellation and if non-recoverable expenses have been incurred, the grant is not repayable
    • In the event of postponement to a later date, it will not be necessary to start a new subsidy application procedure and the analysis of supporting documents will be made more flexible

 

 

Suspension of LEZ fines

  • Change of the effective starting date for sending fines in the low emission zone (originally planned as from 1 April 2020)
  • Temporary suspension of the dispatch of fines for the vehicles concerned since 2018. The entry into force of the fines is therefore postponed until the first day of the month following the end of the measures taken by the federal government in connection with the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The following measures are taken in addition to the measures announced by the Government on 4 March 2020:

 

Set-up of a Task Force

  • Unite the members of Economic Strategy Council to set-up a task force.

 

 

Contact point

Enhanced availability of the 1819 information service for businesses

website: https://1819.brussels/
e-mail : [email protected]
Tel. : 1819
 

 

www.coronavirus.brussels

  • Bilingual website providing the latest information on the coronavirus outbreak. (Source: 1819, Gouvernement Bruxellois )