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CORONA BUSINESS SUPPORT MEASURES

Jean Santin , Senior Manager |

29 September 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

GENERAL

 

SOCIAL LEGAL MEASURES

 

GENERAL TAX MEASURES

 

INCOME TAX MEASURES

 

INDIRECT TAX MEASURES

 

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

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE FLEMISH REGION

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE WALLOON REGION

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE BRUSSELS CAPITAL REGION

 

FEDERAL MEASURES

 

GENERAL

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.  

 

 

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.

 

 

SOCIAL LEGAL 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 4 quarters of 2020 and for regularisation contributions of quarters of 2018 due on 31/03/2020, 30/06/2020, 30/09/2020 and 31/12/2020 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 persons in their main occupation and their assisting spouse (including starters)
    • May be granted in whole or in part
    • May be requested for provisional contributions of all 4 quarters of 2020 and regularisation contributions of quarters of 2018 falling due in 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 two quarters of 2020 that are not paid on time (before 31/06/2020) 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 15.09.2020. In order to obtain a deferral for the fourth quarter 2020 contribution and the 2018 regularisation contributions which expire on 31/12/2020, the application must be submitted before 15/12/2020.
    • Application must contain the following information: surname, forename and domicile, ame 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:
    • Happens automatically, no request necessary
    • Application to the social insurance fund
    • More info: [email protected]
    • 02/546 60 19

Information source: Dutch / French

 

 

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

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 to December 2020: either in the event of compulsory (partial or total) closure imposed by the federal government or, if no compulsory closure has been imposed, in the event of a complete interruption of at least 7 calendar days as a result of corona
  • During the months of July to December 2020: either in the event of compulsory partial or total closure imposed by the federal government, or if no closure imposed by the government but forced to interrupt self-employed activity in whole or in part because of dependence on an activity that is subject to compulsory closure
  • For the months of July and August 2020: also possible if the corona crisis requires a complete interruption of activity for a period of at least 7 consecutive calendar days during the calendar month concerned. It will be necessary to demonstrate a clear causal link between the interruption and COVID-19 on the basis of objective elements
  • 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.

 

 

How to apply?

 

 

Reboot-bridging right (reinstatement allowance)

What?

  • A separate bridging right to support the self-employed during their restart
  • For self-employed workers in their main occupation and self-employed persons in their secondary occupation who are subject to provisional contributions at least equal to the minimum contributions for self-employed workers in their main occupation:
    • Whose activity was still prohibited or restricted on 3 May 2020, and
    • Whose turnover or orders during the second quarter of this year decreased by at least 10% compared to the same period last year, and
    • Whose the activity may be restarted for the whole calendar month without restrictions other than the rules on social distancing, and
    • Who do not benefit from another bridging allowance for the same month
  • The amount of financial support is EUR 1,291.69 in the case of a full payment and EUR 1,614.10 in the case of a family payment (EUR 807.05 and EUR 645.85 respectively in the case of a partial payment)
  • For the period 1.06.2020 - 31.10.2020.

 

How to apply?

  • Application to social insurance fund
  • More information via the website of Social Security Self-employed Entrepreneurs: Dutch / French

 

 

Deferral for employers of payments to the NSSO

What?

  • Postponement of all contributions and payments collected by the NSSO from 20.03.2020 - 15.12.2020
  • 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 to see whether you are entitled to the 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
    • 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?

  • Automatic postponement
  • Since 31.07.2020 the statement on honour can no longer be submitted
  • The NSSO will carry out the ex post checks.
  •  More Information on the website of the NSSO: Dutch  / French

 

 

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: Dutch/ French

 

 

Temporary unemployment due to force majeure

What?

  • All temporary unemployment due to the COVID-19 outbreak can be considered temporary unemployment due to force majeure up to and including 31.08.2020
  • For 'enterprises exceptionally hard hit by the corona crisis', all temporary unemployment resulting from the outbreak of COVID-19 will still be considered as temporary unemployment due to force majeure from 1.09.2020 to 31.12.2020. A company is considered exceptionally hard hit if during Q2 2020 it has at least 20% days of temporary unemployment for economic reasons or force majeure corona compared to the total number of days declared to the NSSO.

 

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 01.03.2020 until 31.08.2020 control charts C3.2A do not need to be submitted.
    • Inform the employee in an individual or collective manner at the latest on the day prior to the starting date of the (extension) of the suspension. In this notification, the employer shall indicate the period to which the notification relates and the days or number of days on which the employee is temporarily unemployed and, if applicable, the days or number of days on which the employee is expected to perform work. The same obligation to provide information shall also apply in the event of an increase in the initial number of days of unemployment or a change from a full-time to a part-time system
    • Inform the employee concerned about the possibility of obtaining NEO benefits
    • Inform the works council or, in absence thereof, the trade union delegation of the use made of this measure
    • Employers who wish to continue to use the simplified procedure for corona temporary unemployment from 01.09.2020 to 31/12/2020 must send the completed C106A corona-HGO form by e-mail to the local NEO office
      • And indicate by means of this proof that the company either belongs to a sector that is still affected by measures taken by the Minister of the Interior, for example because certain activities may not yet be carried out; or during the second quarter of 2020 it has at least 20% days of temporary unemployment due to economic reasons or force majeure corona compared to the overall number of days declared to the NOSS at the level of the legal entity (the enterprise number)
      • The NEO responds within 2 weeks. Only after receipt of a positive answer, the simplified procedure temporary unemployment due to force majeure corona can continue to be used from 01.09.2020 up to and including 31.12.2020 (or limited to the duration of the restrictive measure taken by the Minister)
      • Other modalities applicable until 31.08.2020 are maintained
  • 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 - 31.08.2020
    • From 01.02.2020 - 31.08.2020: 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
    •  From 01.09.2020 to 31.12.2020, the same conditions will continue to apply in the event of unemployment due to force majeure for companies hit exceptionally hard by the corona crisis
  • Days of temporary unemployment due to force majeure caused by Covid-19 shall be assimilated to 'days of normal actual work' for the purpose of calculating the duration of holidays and holiday pay for the period from 01.02.2020 - 30.06.2020.
  • A payroll tax of 26.75% is due on the payment.

 More information: FAQ Corona: Dutch / French

 

 

Temporary unemployment for economic reasons

What?

  • Existing system of economic unemployment for blue and white collar employees, but subject to more flexible conditions
  • For employers who from 1 September 2020 no longer meet the conditions to invoke temporary unemployment due to force majeure due to the coronavirus COVID-19
  • From 1.09.2020 - 31.12.2020
  • All conditions of the existing system of economic unemployment shall continue to apply, except for what is described here
  • For blue-collar employees: in the absence of sectoral provisions, possibility of full suspension of the employment contract for up to 8 weeks (instead of 4 weeks) until the end of 2020. A partial employment scheme can be introduced until the end of 2020 for a maximum duration of 18 weeks (instead of three months)
  • For white-collar employees:
    • The employer does not have to meet the normal preliminary conditions for access to the system. This means that the criteria to be considered an 'enterprise in difficulty' do not apply
    • However, the employer must be able to demonstrate that in the quarter prior to the introduction of economic unemployment, he has experienced a substantial decrease of at least 10% in turnover or production compared to the same quarter of 2019
    • The white-collar employees placed in economic unemployment must be offered two training days a month
    • The requirement of the existence of a collective labour agreement or business plan providing for the payment of a supplement is retained. However, it will not be possible to apply for a derogation from the supplement during this temporary period. The collective labour agreement or business plan must be filed with the registry of the General Directorate for Collective Labour Relations of the FPS WASO
    • In case of a business plan, the plan must demonstrate a 10% drop in turnover or production and offer training days for white-collar workers. The plan will not be submitted in advance to the Business Plans Committee
    • The maximum number of weeks will be increased until the end of 2020. The maximum of 16 calendar weeks per calendar year (in the case of a full suspension) or 26 calendar weeks per calendar year (in the case of part-time work) will be increased by 8 weeks.

 

How to apply?

  • For blue-collar employees: apply via the  RVA website: Dutch / French
    • Send electronic notifications of temporary unemployment to the NEO (prior notification of planned unemployment and notification of the first effective unemployment day)
    • Issue control forms C3.2A to workers who are temporarily unemployed and register them in the validation book
    • If necessary, send an ASR scenario 2 'Declaration establishing the right to temporary unemployment or suspension of white-collar workers', for example if the employee is temporarily unemployed for the first time or if the contractual working hours change
    • After the end of each month, send an ASR scenario 5 'Monthly declaration of the hours of temporary unemployment or suspension of white-collar workers'
  • For white-collar employees: apply via the  RVA website: Dutch / French
    • Deposit the collective labour agreement or business plan with the registry of the Collective labour relations directorate of the Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social - Ernest Blerotstraat 1, 1070 Brussels. See website FPS WASO (Dutch / French).
    • Send a copy of the business plan to the works council or, failing that, to the trade union delegation
    • submit a form C106A-CORONA-OVERGANGSSTELSEL (Dutch / French ) by registered mail and by e-mail to the RVA
    • At the earliest 14 days after sending form C106A-CORONA-OVERGANGSSTELS to the RVA, an electronic notice 'Employee Suspension' can be sent.
    • In addition, the normal procedure applies for the suspension of white-collar workers due to lack of work, see the RVA website (Dutch / French).

 

 

Corona time credit and landing jobs

What?

  • For employees working for employers recognised as being in difficulty or undergoing restructuring by the Minister of Employment
  • New form of time credit and landing jobs in addition to the ordinary time credit
  • During the corona time credit and landing jobs, the NEO grants an interruption allowance if the employee meets all the conditions
  • Entitlement for employees as of 1 July 2020 during the period in which the employer is recognised as a company in difficulty
  • Minimum 1 to maximum 6 months, for 1/2th or 1/5th
  • Corona landing jobs for employees aged 55 and over
  • Recognition of an employer as a business in difficulty or undergoing restructuring is based on the same conditions as for unemployment with company allowance, without the need for a collective agreement
    • An enterprise in difficulty is defined as 'an enterprise which, in the financial accounts of the last two financial years preceding the period for which recognition is sought, enters a loss on ordinary activities before tax, exceeding the amount of amortisation and depreciation on incorporation costs, tangible and intangible fixed assets in the last financial year'
    • An enterpsise undergoing restructuring is an undertaking meeting one of the following conditions:
      • An enterprise (= the technical business unit, TBE) carrying out collective dismissal. Dismissals affecting a certain number of employees shall be regarded as collective dismissals, in particular in the following situations:
        • At least 10% of the employees in enterprises with more than 100 employees
        • At least 10 employees in enterprises with more than 20 but less than 100 employees
        • At least 6 employees in enterprises with more than 11 but less than 21 employees
        • At least half of the employees in enterprises with less than 12 employees
        • The undertaking must carry out the collective dismissal within six months at the latest following the date on which it is recognised as being undergoing restructuring.
    • The enterprise (= the legal entity) which, during the year preceding the application, has known a number of days of unemployment at least equal to 20% of the total number of days declared for workers to NSSO.  This provision only applies to companies where at least 50% of the employees with an employment contract for blue-collar workers are employed"
    • Recognition shall take effect from 01.03.2020 - 31.12.2020.

 

How to apply?

  • The employer applies for the recognition as an enterprise in difficulty or restructuring to the Minister of Employment, in accordance with the procedure described on the website of the FPS WASO, without being obliged to conclude a collective agreement or a business plan
  • Both the employer and the employee complete a form C-61 Corona Time Credit with a copy of the decision to recognise the business as an enterprise undergoing restructuring or in difficulty
  • The employee sends the signed C-61 form to the NEO by registered mail no later than two months after the start of the corona time credit. The same procedure must be followed in the event of renewal or prolongation
  • Both the employer and the employee conclude and appendix to the employment agreement stating the part-time working arrangement no later than on the first day of the corona time credit.

 

 

NSSO target group reduction in case of temporary reduction of working hours

What?

  • Possibility for the employer to temporarily apply a reduction in working time as from 1 July 2020 to compensate for the reduction in activity and to reduce labour costs without having to resort to redundancies
  • The regulation applies employers who obtain recognition as an enterprise in difficulty or in restructuring from the Minister of Employment (see Corona-Time Credit and website of the FPS WASO, without obligation of collective agreement or business plan)
  • Generates entitlement for the employer to a flat-rate target group reduction in social security contributions if the weekly full-time working hours are reduced by 1/4th or 1/5th for all employees or a specific group of employees. The amount of the reduction in social security contributions is increased if the reduction in working time is accompanied by the introduction of the four-day week
  • The full-time employees covered by the reduction of working time remain 'full-time' employees
  • The reduction in working time implies a pro rata reduction in gross wages and thus a cost saving. The collective labour agreement (or work regulations) must therefore provide for some form of wage compensation. This wage compensation amounts to at least three-quarters of the amount of the lump-sum reduction in social security contributions
  • The target group reduction is a fixed amount per quarter and per employee concerned:
  • EUR 1,600 in the event of a reduction in working time of 1/5th or EUR 1,000 € if a four-day week is also introduced
  • EUR 2,750 in the event of a 1/4th or EUR 1,150 reduction in working time if a four-day week is also introduced.

 

How to apply?

  • Conclude a collective labour agreement (or work regulations) with minimum provisions, cf. FPS WASO website
  • Within 1 month following the signing of the collective labour agreement (or the amendment of the work regulations), the employer must send a copy of the collective labor agreement (or work regulations) to the competent manager of the General Supervision of the Social Laws Department of the FPS WASO
  • On the quarterly DmfA declarations to the National Social Security Office, the employees concerned are indicated with a specific reduction code. The dates of the start and end of the reduction in working hours must also be stated, as well as the weekly working hours both before and after the reduction in working hours.

 

 

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.

 

 

Suspension notice period during Corona unemployment as of 22 June 2020

What?

  • If the employer terminates the employment contract with a notice period (or has terminated it as of 1 March 2020), the notice period will be suspended as of 22 June 2020 for periods of temporary unemployment due to force majeure as a result of the Corona measures ('Corona unemployment'). The notice period will therefore be extended by these periods
  • Any notice period that starts as of 1 March 2020, and that has not yet expired, is in scope. Therefore, notice periods already started before this date will not be suspended during periods of Corona unemployment
  • Termination given by the employee will also not be suspended by periods of Corona unemployment, regardless of when the notice period starts.

 

 

Postponement social elections

 

Corona parental leave for employees

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. From 1 July 2020, single parents and parents of a child with a disability may also take the corona parental leave on a full-time basis, regardless of whether they work full-time or part-time
  • In the period from 01.05.2020 - 30.09.2020
  • The allowance increases to 150% for single-parent families and families with a disabled child
  • 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 (Dutch /French), at the latest 2 months after the start of the corona parental leave.

 

 

Corona parental allowance for self-employed persons

What?

  • By analogy with corona parental leave for employees, there is also a corona parental allowance for the self-employed on a temporary basis
  • Can be taken for the months May, June, July, August and September 2020
  • The allowance increases to 150% for single-parent families and families with a disabled child
  • Can be paid to self-employed workers who continue or resume their activity in May and June, but who have to reduce their working hours in order to care for one or more children aged 12 years or less in 2020 or with a disability
  • Also for adoptive and foster parents
  • For self-employed persons in their main profession, helpers, assisting spouses and student self-employed workers, as well as for self-employed workers in their secondary profession and those who are self-employed after the statutory retirement age, provided that the amount of their statutory provisional contributions is equal to that owed by self-employed persons in their main profession
  • Benefit of EUR 532,24 per month,
    • or EUR 875 per month for a single-parent family from 01.05.2020- 30.06.2020
    • or EUR 1050 per month for a single-parent family from 01.07.2020-30.09.2020
    • or EUR 638,69 per month for a self-employed person providing care to a disabled child from 01.07.2020-30.09.2020
  • Cannot be cumulated with another replacement income such as the bridging allowance, an incapacity benefit ...
  • Can be cumulated with a replacement income from a system other than that of the self-employed.

 

How to apply?

  • Submit an application to the social insurance fund
  • Applications must be submitted no later than 30 September 2020.

 

 

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 employees 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.

 

 

Aid to Public Welfare Centres (OCMW/CPAS)

What?

  • Public Welfare Centres will have EUR 100 million available to extend the benefits of certain social measures to vulnerable people in order to combat energy poverty
  • Public Welfare Centres receive an additional aid of EUR 10 million to cover operating costs related to an additional workload.

 

 

Consumer cheques

What?

  • Employers can grant their employees one-off consumption vouchers for a total maximum amount of EUR 300 to spend on catering, culture or sport, or in retail shops which were compulsorily closed for more than one month during lockdown
  • Grant is possible until 31 December 2020
  • Consumption vouchers shall not be considered as pay and shall be exempt from social security contributions if the following conditions are met:
    • The cheque may not be granted to replace or convert wages, contributions or other benefits
    • The award must be the subject of a collective labour agreement concluded at sector or company level. In the absence of trade union representation in the company or if the award relates to a category of staff for which it is not customary to conclude a collective agreement, the award can also be arranged by means of an individual agreement
    • The collective agreement or individual contract specifies the highest nominal value of the consumer cheque (max. EUR 10/cheque)
    • The cheque is issued in the name of the employee
    • The cheque is on paper or in electronic format, issued by a recognised issuer
    • The cheque must contain certain mandatory provisions
    • Cheques may not be exchanged for cash
    • The total amount of cheques granted is a maximum of EUR 300 per employee
  • The tax exemption and the deductibility of consumption vouchers as professional expenses would also be subject to the above conditions. More information will follow later.
  • Validity period of the cheque: 8.06.2020 - 7.06.2021
  • Cheques may be issued in establishments belonging to the hotel and catering industry, the cultural sector (recognised, approved or subsidised by the competent authority), sports associations (for which a federation recognised or subsidised by the communities exists or belongs to one of the national federations) and retail shops that were compulsorily closed for more than one month during the lockdown and that, in the simultaneous physical presence of the consumer in the establishment, offer goods or services to the consumer and fulfil the conditions to be considered as micro-enterprises within the meaning of the Companies and Associations Code (average annual number of employees not exceeding 10, balance sheet total not exceeding EUR 350,000 and annual turnover not exceeding EUR 700,000).

 

 

Postponement of payment of company contribution

What?

  • In principle, companies have to pay an annual contribution before 30 June, the amount of which depends on the balance sheet total
  • This year, payment must exceptionally be made before 31.10.2020
  • In this sense, the social security funds will not, as usual, send the maturity notices in April-May, but only from September onwards.

 

 

GENERAL TAX MEASURES

 

Tax incentive for donations of computers

What?

  • Act of 29.05.2020 containing various urgent fiscal provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 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 60% tax reduction (limited to 20% of the share of the net income eligible for the tax reduction for donations)
  • 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
  • Measure applies until  31.12.2020.

 

 

New measures aimed at encouraging investment

What?

The act of 15.07.2020 containing various urgent fiscal provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (CORONA III) provides for a number of additional fiscal measures

  • Exemption from payment of wage withholding tax
    • Exemption amounts to 50% of the difference between the wage withholding tax on for each of the months of June, July and August 2020 on the one hand and the wage withholding tax for the month of May 2020 on the other hand. The withholding tax on the basis of calculation is equal to the withholding tax still to be paid after application of any other exemptions
    • On condition that temporary unemployment for at least 1 employee per day was claimed for an uninterrupted period of 30 calendar days between 12.03.2020 and 31.05.2020. This concerns a period of 30 consecutive days, including weekends and public holidays, unless these days are not working days in the company.
    • Requirements for those who are an employer between 12.03.2020 and 31.12.2020:
      • no repurchase of own shares or capital reduction or grant of dividends; and
      • no link with companies established in a tax haven or payments to such companies (unless they are justified)
  • A new tax shelter system Covid-19
    • Reduction in personal income tax for the acquisition of new shares of SMEs that suffered a decrease in turnover of at least 30% in the period between 14/03/2020 and 30/04/2020 compared to the same period in 2019 as a result of the corona crisis
    • The SME may not use the capital injections received to pay dividends, capital reductions, repurchase own shares or issue loans
    • Excluded are investment, financing or treasury companies, real estate companies, management companies, listed companies, companies linked to tax havens or companies in difficulty
    • Maximum amount of contribution per company EUR 250,000
    • Cumulation with existing tax shelter systems is possible
    • Tax reduction of 20% and a maximum of EUR 100,000 - any balance can be carried forward to three following taxable periods
    • Shares must be retained for at least 5 years
  • An increased investment deduction (25%):
    • For fixed assets acquired or created between 12/3/22020 and 31/12/2020 by SMEs
    • The investment deduction that cannot be used for the taxable period in which the investments were made is carried forward to the next taxable period and is lost afterwards
    • In addition, the transferability of the 'ordinary' investment deduction for investments made in 2019 was exceptionally extended to the two following taxable periods
  • The tax deductibility of reception costs is increased from 50% to 100% for costs incurred between 8/06/2020 and 31/12/2020
  • The suspension of the VAT advance of December 2020:
    • Neither monthly nor quarterly declarants have to pay an advance on the VAT due on the transactions of December 2020 or the fourth quarter of 2020 respectively (in principle due no later than 24.12.2020).
    • VAT for the aforementioned period is only due by 20.01.2021
  • Tax reduction for donations in personal income tax:
    • An increase from 10% to 20% of the share of the net income eligible for the tax reduction for donations
    • The tax reduction for donations to approved institutions will be increased from 45% to 60% in  2020  to support NGOs and non-profit organisations whose activities in the public interest have been severely affected by the crisis.
  • Introduction of the consumer cheque
    • The employer can give his employees a cheque with a maximum value of € 10 per cheque and a maximum of € 300 per employee. The employee can use the cheque in the catering industry, but also in the cultural or sports sector, under certain conditions
    • The cheque of € 300 is tax-deductible on the part of the employer and completely exempt from income tax and social security contributions
    • For more information, cf. social legal measures - consumer cheques.

 

INCOME TAX MEASURES

 

Automatic deferred payments legal entities, corporate income, non-resident tax and personal income tax

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.

 

 

Payment by installments for personal income, corporate, non resident 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 (only for legal entities, personal income, corporate income and non-resident tax)
  • 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 31.12.2020 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: Dutch / French

 

 

Extension of deadline for filing corporate income tax return, legal entity tax and non-resident tax return (companies)

  • For companies and legal entities that originally had to file their declaration no later than 24.09.2020
  • Automatic extension until 29.10.2020
  • Companies that file their declaration before 1.10.2020 and wish to make use of the COVID19 reserve (carry-back scheme - see below) will be treated first and will be enrolled in October so that they can still recover the balance of the advance payments for assessment year 2020 in the course of 2020.

 

 

Postponement of the DAC6 notification obligation

  • Cross-border tax arrangements with a potential risk of tax avoidance that took place between 25.06.2018 and 30.06.2020 had normally to be notified to the Belgian tax authorities by 31.08.2020 at the latest. The Belgian tax authorities will share the information in a European database accessible to all European tax administrations
  • Tax schemes set up as from 1.07.2020 must be reported within 30 days
  • The reporting obligation concerns in the first instance BDO (as an intermediary service provider), but, under certain circumstances, also you as a taxpayer
  • Because of the COVID-19 crisis, an administrative tolerance was granted a 6-month postponement
  • For additional information, we refer to our newsflash 'Obligation to report cross-border tax arrangements as from 1 July 2020'.

 

 

Change in percentages of advance tax payments


What?

  • The act of 29.05.2020 containing various urgent fiscal provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic provides for an increase of the benefits of advance tax payments for the third quarter and fourth quarter of 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 in the period between 12/03 up until the last day of the taxable periode concerned if they:
      • Acquire own shares or reduce their capital
      • Pay or attribute dividends (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
      • are 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%

 

 

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.

 

 

Tax shelter audiovisual works and performing arts: support measures

What?

  • Act of 29.05.2020 containing various urgent fiscal provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 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 31 December 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
  • The investor must pay the sums to which he has committed himself in performance of the framework agreement within three months of signing it
  • This period may be extended by 3 months, provided that the initial 3-month period expires after 12.03.2020
  • If the investor is still unable to make the deposit after the period extended by 3 months, the previous temporary exemption becomes a taxable profit of the first taxable period ending after that extended period
    • The taxpayer must inform the Tax Shelter cell about this - in this way, all administrative sanctions can be avoided, nor will interest on negligence apply
    • The above may also apply, subject to conditions, if only partial payment of the sums can be made
  • On certain conditions, the work that would be produced can be replaced in the framework agreement by another work, without adverse tax consequences (only one-time change allowed)
  • Concerning performing arts, a lot of performances have been postponed. However, the expenses made following the performances that were programmed in the month after the Première, but which could not take place, will be taken into account as Belgian production and exploitation expenses in the month after the Première. However, they must be incurred in the extended period referred to above.
  • In addition to a postponement of expenditures, there will also be an increase in the maximum exemption and, as a result, an increase in the maximum investment:
    • For companies closing no later than 30 December 2020:
      • maximum exemption: EUR 1,700,000 (instead of EUR 850,000).
      • maximum investment: EUR 477,528 (EUR 1,700,000/356%)
    • For companies closing between 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2021:
      • maximum exemption: EUR 2,000,000 (instead of EUR 1,000,000)
      • maximum investment: 475,059 EUR (EUR 2,000,000/421%)

 

How to apply?

  • In order to benefit from the extension of the deadlines for production and operating expenditures, the producer must demonstrate that the eligible work has suffered direct damage as a result of the measures taken by the Federal Government to combat the coronavirus, i.e. that these measures have prevented him from incurring the necessary expenditure within the 'normal' deadline.
  • In order to benefit from the investor's deferral of payment of the sums, the investor must demonstrate that he has been affected by the measures taken by the federal government in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • either he did not have the necessary liquidity at his disposal at the end of the initial three-month period
    • or used its liquid assets to rescue and/or restart its activities (which will be evidenced by a significant drop in liquid assets following the expiry of the initial 3-month period).
  • In order to benefit from the wider eligibility as Belgian production and operating expenses incurred within the month following the Première, the production company must demonstrate that the postponement of the performances is due to the federal government's decision to close the auditoria and the other performance arts spaces.

 

 

Tolerance for the new 'EBITDA interest deduction limitation'

  • New EBITDA interest deduction limitation in effect from 1.01.2020 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 30.06.2020 and remain in force until 31.12.2020 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.

 

 

Carry-back of tax losses - COVID-19 reserve

  • Act of 23.06.2020 on fiscal provisions to promote the liquidity and solvency of undertakings in the context of combating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Temporary exemption of all or part of the taxable profit of assessment year 2019 or 2020 (taxable periods ended between 13.03.2019 - 31.07.2020 - i.e. also 31.12.2019), amounting to the tax losses of the next taxable period
    • The exemption is granted by (fiscally) creating a (temporary) tax exempt reserve in the taxable period ending between 13.03.2019 and 31.07.2020
  • Exemption may not exceed the taxable profit of the taxable period (ending between 13.03.2019 and 31.07.2020) with a maximum of EUR 20 Million
    • The initial taxable result (increase in taxable reserves, disallowed expenditures and dividends) should be taken into account, prior to application of the carry-back but after the dividend received deduction and the innovation deduction/patent deduction
  • No requirement for the COVID-19-reserve to be reported and retained in one or more separate equity accounts (‘condition of intangibility’ does not apply), however, a separate form (275 COV) needs to be added to the tax return
  • The exemption will be reversed in the tax return related to the subsequent financial year, corrected for the rate difference (if applicable), to avoid the loss being deducted twice. The tax losses will as such be set off against the taxable profit of 2019, hence the term ‘carry-back’
  • The aim is to match as closely as possible the amount of the estimated tax losses and the actual and final amount of the tax losses
  • Excessive deviation: sanction in the form of a  separate assessment, however, with a tolerance of 10% of the actual losses
  • Not possible in case of a dividend distribution (incl. liquidation bonus and liquidation reserve), capital reduction, or purchase of own shares in the period as of 12.03.2020 up to and including the day of submission of the corporate income tax return for the assessment year 2021
  • Exclusion of certain companies, such as investment companies and regulated real estate companies (including participation in or payments to tax havens)
  • There can be no benefit due to the different (lower) corporate income tax rates regarding the years in question (exemption first at a higher rate, then tax at a lower rate) - an adjustment to the taxable base will be made for this
  • Companies that were already in difficulty before the COVID-19 pandemic are also exlcuded
  • There should be no benefit by changing rates over years (exemption first at higher rate, then tax at lower rate) - an adjustment is made for this (see above).

 

 

Carry-back of tax losses in personal income tax and non-resident income tax (individuals)

  • Act of 23.06.2020 on fiscal provisions to promote the liquidity and solvency of undertakings in the context of combating the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Part of the profit or gain of income year 2019 (assessment year 2020) may be exempted, amounting to the expected tax losses of 2020
    • Application must be made on a separate form 276 COV (as the personal income tax return form has already been published).
      • The amount of the expected tax loss must be justified
    • Limited to net profit (net gain) of Belgian origin of 2019; the exemption cannot therefore lead to a negative result
  • During the income year 2020 (assessment year 2021), the exemption is reversed in order to avoid the loss being deducted twice
  • If there are no tax losses, or the tax losses are lower than the exempted amount, a tax increase is applied
    • This tax increase depends on the degree of overestimation of the loss: the higher the overestimation, the higher the rate of the tax increase
    • The maximum increase is 18%
    • There is a tolerance of 10% of actual losses
  • Not to be combined with lump-sum taxable bases: the use of such bases should be abandoned if the carry-back is to be applied
  • The tax scheme doesn't apply to undertakings which were already in difficulty before the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

 

Recovery reserve or reconstruction reserve

  • In the assessment years 2022, 2023 and 2024, a tax exempt reserve ('recovery reserve' or 'reconstruction reserve') can be created, amounting to the accounting loss of 2020
  • Maximum reserve to be established over these 3 years: accounting loss of financial year 2020, with an absolute maximum of EUR 20 million
    • On an annual basis,  the maximum amount of the recovery reserve that can be created cannot exceed the taxable reserved profits of that year
  • This should allow companies to bring their equity as much as possible back to pre-COVID-19 levels
  • The tax exempt reserve must be reported in one or more equity accounts and meet the ‘condition of intangibility’, in order to ensure its (temporary) tax free character
  • Equity must be maintained (no purchase of own shares, capital reduction or dividend payment) + employment level must be maintained
  • There cannot be any links with tax havens (payments, participations in tax haven companies, …)
  • Total or partial reversal – and consequently, taxation of the tax exempt reserve - in case of purchases of own shares, dividend payments, capital decreases or distributions of equity, or in case of a significant decrease (> 15%) in its employment (measured by labour costs)

(Information based on draft legislation)

 

 

Teleworking

  • Possibility of granting a lump sum homeworking allowance (cost proper to the employer) to employees: allowance for all employees who regularly and structurally work from home (i.e. at least 5 working days/month): up to a maximum of EUR 126.94 (for March 2020) and EUR 129.48/month (from 1.04.2020):
    • Covers costs incurred for using the home office (including rent and possible depreciation): printer and computer equipment, office supplies, utilities such as water, electricity and heating, maintenance, insurance, property tax, ... in the employee's place of residence
    • Not taxable in hands of the employee
    • The employer can deduct the cost as professional expenses
    • Exempted from social security contributions
    • Employer may not already reimburse the costs in any other way
    • Ruling request possible for costs proper to the employer if:
      • the conditions for the lump sum homeworking allowance are not entirely met
      • the employer wants to create a distinction between different job categories
      • the employer wants to reimburse other expenses
  • In addition, the employer may grant its employees an allowance of up to EUR 40/month for the costs of using the following equipment:
    • private internet connection and internet subscription: max. EUR 20/month
    • use of the employee's private pc: max. EUR 20/month
  • The employer can provide its employees with equipment and/or internet or telephone subscription. However, in case of private use: a benefit in kind arises on behalf of the employee:
    • PC: EUR 6/month or EUR 72/year
    • Tablet, mobile phone, smartphone: EUR 3/month or EUR 36/year
    • Telephone plan: EUR 4/month or EUR 48/year
    • Internet connection: EUR 5/month or EUR 60/year

 

 

Cross-border employment: agreements with the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxembourg 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 as regards Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, and from 14.03.2020 as regards France. It is valid until 31.12.2020
  • 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

 

 

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

What?

  • Act of 29.05.2020 containing various urgent fiscal provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 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 - 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
  • Examples: nuisance incentive, compensation premium, ...

 

Exception

  • Circular 2020/C/94 of 8.07.2020 on the tax regime of financial benefits obtained under the COVID-19
  • Not covered by the above exemption scheme
  • The tax scheme depends on the nature of the interrupted activity in the context of which the self-employed person obtained those benefits
  • The tax scheme of those benefits therefore also depends on the category of income to which the income from the interrupted activity of the recipient belongs:
    • profit or income
    • remunerations of employees or company directors
    • remunerations of assisting spouses.

 

 

INDIRECT TAX MEASURES

 

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 13.03.2020 - 31.07.2020
  • 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 13.03.2020.

 

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 - 31.12.2020.

 

 

Donation of medical devices and protective equipment free of VAT

What?

  • Act of 29.05.2020 containing various urgent fiscal provisions as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • 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 between 1.030.2020 - 1.09.2020 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.

 

 

Temporary reduction in the VAT rate on certain restaurant and catering services

What?

  • Temporarily a 6% VAT rate applies to restaurant and catering services, including serving non-alcoholic beverages (if accompanied by sufficient relevant ancillary services) in all types of on-trade (pubs, taverns,...).
  • From 8.06.2020 up to and including 31.12.2020
  • Alcoholic beverages are excluded from the regulation and remain subject to 21% VAT:
    • beers with an actual alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 0.5% vol.
    • other beverages of an actual alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 1,2 % vol.
  • If you have a registered cash system, it is highly recommended to adjust the programming as soon as possible. More info (Dutch / French).

 

For whom?

  • All permanent or temporary establishments providing restaurant or catering services.

Source: Royal Decree of 8 .06.2020 amending Royal Decree No 20 of 20.07.1970 laying down the rates of VAT and classifying goods and services in those rates with regard to measures to support the hotel and catering industry

 

December Advance VAT 2020

What?

Are you a VAT taxable person and do you already submit quarterly or monthly tax returns?
If so, you will not have to pay an advance for the month December on the VAT relating to your  transactions of this year for:

  • the fourth quarter of 2020 (if you submit quarterly returns) or
  • December 2020 (if you submit monthly declarations).

 

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 until 31.10.2020 at the latest. This period is now extended until 31.12.2020
  • 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 1.02.2020 or the company/organisation has on 29.02.2020 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 31.01.2020 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 must be requested and approved before 30.09.2020
  • Payment deferral can only be granted for future monthly installments
  • 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
  • For initial deferrals running until 30 September 2020 at the latest, the extension request can be made at the earliest 30 days and at the latest 10 days before the final expiration date of the initial deferral. At the time of applying for the extension, the applicant must still meet the conditions for obtaining the initial postponement
  • For initial deferrals running until 31 October 2020, the application for extension may be submitted between 1.09.2020 - 20.09.2020. Some banks apply longer deadlines for submitting the application, but the deadline for submission can never be later than 20 .09.2020.

 

 

Bridge credit facilities (max. 12 months and for SMEs extention possible up to 36 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. For SMEs (which often need longer-term credit facilities), an additional guarantee scheme is foreseen for SME credits between 12 and 36 months
  • Conditions:
    • There are no outstanding installments on 1.02.2020
    • 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 between 22.03.2020 - 31.12. 2020. The original deadline of 30.09.2020 therefore expires
  • 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: Dutch / French  

 

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE FLEMISH REGION

 

Corona support premium

What?

  • Premium for all businesses, regardless of their legal form, in the Flemish Region
    • Undertakings which were not initially obliged to close but had operating restrictions and which faced a 60% drop in turnover in the period from 1.05.2020 to 31.05.2020 as a result of the corona crisis
    • Undertakings which were obliged to close their business and physical location at the beginning of the corona measures and were confronted with a fall in turnover of at least 60% in the first month of reopening due to the corona crisis. Companies must have reopened their business within the period of one week after the lifting of this mandatory closure, or at the latest one week after 22.06.2020
  • Reference period is the corresponding month in 2019 
  • One-off premium of EUR 2,000 for a main occupation and a secondary occupation with a professional income in excess of EUR 13,993.78 - EUR 1,000 for a secondary occupation with a professional income in 2019 of between EUR 6,996.89 and EUR 13,993.78, and which is not a salaried employment of 80% or more.
  • Will be granted per establishment to the extent that at least one full-time member of staff is employed in the additional establishments (max. 5 bonuses in total per enterprise)
  • The following undertakings are eligible
    • Self-employed persons in main profession
    • Self-employed persons in secondary employment who in 2019 had a professional income (net taxable income) of at least EUR 13,993.78
    • Self-employed persons in secondary employment who in 2019 had a professional income (net taxable income) of between EUR 6,996.89 and EUR 3,993.78 and are employed as an employee for less than 80% (= half of the premium)
    • A company with legal personality under private law with at least 1 full-time equivalent working partner or at least 1 full-time equivalent staff member registered with the NSSO
    • A foreign enterprise with comparable status with at least 1 full-time equivalent working partner or at least 1 full-time equivalent staff member registered with the NSSO
    • An association with an economic activity with at least 1 full-time equivalent staff member registered with the NSSO
  • Excluded undertakings:
    • Holding companies, patrimonial companies, activities of head offices, management companies, etc.
    • Undertakings of which the director provides business services to a company which has already received the compensation premium and in which this same person is a director or shareholder
    • Enterprises in arrears with the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship as a result of the recovery of a corona nuisance premium or corona compensation premium wrongly received,
    • Undertakings in dissolution, cessation, bankruptcy or liquidation
    • Undertakings that had not started up on 1.05.2020 and did not have an active operating seat in the Flemish Region in accordance with the CAB.
       

How to apply?

  • Via the pink button on the Vlaio website  
  • Manual
  • Application can be submitted until 31.08.2020
  • Submit one application per company, for the different operating sites together
  • Retroactive
  • Undertakings which did not apply for a corona nuisance premium or a corona compensation premium shall provide a detailed justification in their application for the causal link between the substantial operating restrictions they faced as a result of the corona virus measures and the decrease in turnover.

 

 

Corona subsidy

What?

  • For all companies whose turnover in the months of August and September is at least 60% lower than in the same period last year as a result of the anti-covid-19 measures and for companies which were obliged to close within the aforementioned period given the measures of the National Security Council as of 29.07.2020 regarding the covid-19 virus
  • Amounts to 7.5% of the turnover realised in the months August and September 2019, up to a maximum of EUR 15,000
  • For self-employed persons in their main and secondary profession, companies with legal personality (not: public companies), foreign companies with a similar status and associations with an economic activity that had an active operating seat in the Flemish Region on 1.08.2020 and that fall within the scope of the corona nuisance premium, corona compensation premium or corona support premium
  • There is a separate regime for companies that did not achieve full turnover in 2019, such as start-ups or companies that went into collective closure in August 2019
  • Catering establishments and caterers can only receive a subsidy of EUR 3,000 or more if they have a white cash register
  • Patrimony companies or companies that previously attempted to defraud with one of the corona premiums are excluded
  • This subsidy is in addition to the corona nuisance premium (which could be applied for until 19.05.2020) for compulsory closure, the corona compensation premium (which could be applied for until 30.06.2020) for a significant drop in turnover in the period from 14.03.2020 to 30.04.2020, and the corona support premium (which could be applied for until 31.08.2020) for a significant drop in turnover in May or the first month of the start-up period
  • A more detailed overview of the conditions is available on the Vlaio -website

 

How to apply?

  • Between 1.10.2020 and 15.11.2020 at VLAIO (Flemish Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship)
  • Companies that are still obliged to close down in August and September as a result of the federal coronavirus measures, can request an advance payment of up to EUR 2,000 before 1.10.2020.

 

 

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 31.12.2019
  • 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?

  • The existing Flemish incentive premium has been extended and is also granted to employees of undertakings who, 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 to the same month in the previous year
  • The employer must demonstrate this by drawing up a plan showing this fall and what measures are being taken to redistribute labour
  • The monthly (gross) premium for the employee varies between EUR 68 - 172 and can start on 1.04.2020 at the earliest and end on 31.12.2020 at the latest
  • Since 29.07.2020, this Flemish incentive bonus can no longer be combined with the federal wage compensation in case of a reduction of working hours of at least 20%.

 

 

Deferral of payment of annual road tax

What?

  • 4 months deferral of payment of the annual road tax:
  • On assessment notices sent from 26.03.2020 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 inheritance tax and registration duties

  • 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
  • Measure is valid until 31.07.2020, which comes down to a general extensionof deadlines until 30.09.2020.

Source: 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/

 

 

Other regional and sectoral support measures

 

 

MEASURES ANNOUNCED BY THE WALLOON REGION

 

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.

The following measures have been taken :

 

Corporate cash flow

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 

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.

 

 

"Coup de Pouce" loan

What?

  • New "Coup de Pouce" loan set up by the Walloon Government:
    • allows private individuals to lend money to Walloon companies and the self-employed, to finance their activities
    • in return, they receive a tax advantage in the form of an annual tax credit amounting to 4% during the first four years.
  • This new measure will be valid until the end of 2022
  • Possibility of obtaining a subordinated loan from SOWALFIN together with the "Coup de Pouce" loan.

 

How?

 

 

Implementation of a zero-rate credit for the payment of rent

What?

  • The 'Société walonne de crédit' grants a zero-rate credit to an applicant domiciled in the Walloon Region who is at least 18 years old (or to an emancipated minor) and affected by the Covid-19 crisis in order to cover the payment of his rent for a period of up to 6 months.
  • The credit application can be made until 31.12.2020.

 

How?

 

 

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 enterprises

Compensation premium of EUR 5,000

  • The deadline for submitting an application for this premium has expired
  • Article 6 of the law of 29.05.2020 on various urgent fiscal measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic provides for the exemption of this premium.

 

Compensation premium of EUR 2,500

  • The deadline for submitting an application for this premium has expired
  • Note: companies that have applied for the premium cannot pay dividends on shares for their financial year 2020 (via the application form)
  • Article 6 of the law of 29.05.2020 on various urgent fiscal measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic provides for the exemption of this premium.

 

Compensation premium of EUR 3,500

What?

Bonus intended for micro-enterprises or small businesses which are still closed, have ceased or whose activity is very substantially limited, because of the covid-19 crisis, in the following sectors:

  • Discotheques, dancing and the like
  • Projection of cinematographic films
  • Organization of trade shows and congresses
  • Management of theatres, concert halls and the like
  • Fair activities
  • Body maintenance
  • Urban and suburban passenger transport
  • Other passenger land transport
  • Holiday cottages, apartments and furnished holiday accommodation - B&B
  • Lodging and other short-term accommodation-Catering services
  • Photographic activities
  • Exhibition stand designs
  • Rental of crockery, cutlery, glassware, kitchenware, electrical and household appliances
  • Tent rentals
  • Travel agencies, tour operators, booking services
  • Creative, artistic and entertainment activities.

 

How?

  • The modalities for submitting the claim will be communicated later by the Minister of Economy,
  • The platform still under construction.

 

 

Advice for businesses 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 ?

 

 

Extension of the deadline for the filing and payment of (federal) registration duties

What?

  • The deadlines for the filing of deeds subject to registration are (see Article 32 in connection with Article 9 Regisrtatie Fees Code) are extended by 4 months, pursuant to an administrative tolerance, provided that these deadlines expire between 16.03.2020 - 30.06.2020
  • The deadlines for the payment of registration duties (see Article 35, paragraph 5 of the Belgian Registration Fees Code) have been extended by a maximum of 4 months by way of administrative tolerance, provided that these deadlines expire between 16.03.2020 - 30.06.2020.

 

 

Extension of the deadline for filing the declaration and for the payment of inheritance tax

What?

  • By virtue of an administrative tolerance, this deadline for rectification and payment is extended by a maximum of 4 months, provided that the above-mentioned initial rectification period expires from 16.03.2020 - 30.06.2020.

 

 

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

 

 

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-off incentive 

 

Compensation of EUR 4,000

  • The deadline for this allowance has expired
  • Article 6 of the law of 29.05.2020 on various urgent fiscal measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic provides for the exemption of this premium.

 

Compensation premium of 2,000 EUR

  • The deadline for this allowance has expired
  • Article 6 of the law of 29.05.2020 on various urgent fiscal measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic provides for the exemption of this premium.

 

 

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.

 

 

Extension of the deadline for the filing and payment of (federal) registration duties

What?

  • The deadlines for the filing of deeds subject to registration are (see Article 32 in connection with Article 9 Regisrtatie Fees Code) are extended by 4 months, pursuant to an administrative tolerance, provided that these deadlines expire between 16 March 2020 and 30 June 2020
  • The deadlines for the payment of registration duties (see Article 35, paragraph 5 of the Belgian Registration Fees Code) have been extended by a maximum of 4 months by way of administrative tolerance, provided that these deadlines expire between 16 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.

 

 

Extension of the deadline for filing the declaration and for the payment of inheritance tax

What?

  • By virtue of an administrative tolerance, this deadline for rectification and payment is extended by a maximum of 4 months, provided that the above-mentioned initial rectification period expires from 16.03.2020 - 30.06.2020.

 

 

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.

 

 

Micro credit: rescue loan 'BRUSOC Recover'

What?

  • Rescue loan granted by BRUSOC to ease cash flow tensions and promote the restart and development of economic activities impacted by the current crisis.

 

Scope

  • Maximum of  EUR 15,000
  • Redeemable over a maximum of 3 years
  • Fixed interest rate of 1.75%.

 

Qualifying entities

  • All undertakings that have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis and need cash flow:
    • Undertakings as a natural person: self-employed as a main or complementary activity
    • Commercial companies.

Attention, this is a cash loan. This loan must therefore be allocated to the following entries:

  • Reconstitution of working capital
  • Goods purchased for resale
  • Payment in arrears

Any tangible and/or intangible investment financing is excluded.

 

Terms and conditions

  • For companies older than 2 years:
    • For commercial companies, at least 2 of these 3 criteria must be met:
      • Company in growth between 2018 and 2019
      • Positive result at 31.12.2019
      • Positive equity
    • For undertakings as a natural person, the following criteria must be met:
      • The company must show a profit as at 31.12.19 
      • Sales growth between 2018 and 2019
  • For companies less than 2 years old :
    • If applicable, the last published balance sheet (or the warning for the natural person)
      • A recent accounting situation, certified by the accountant
      • The financial plan carried as drawn up at the time of the company's incorporation.

 

Criteria for exlcusion

  • Discontinuation of a loan by a financial institution
  • Tax and social security debts that are more than 2 quarters overdue, and this, before the Covid-19 crisis, unless the settlement plan(s) is (are) accepted and proof that it (they) is (are) respected.

Guarantee: Personal guarantee
No application fee

 

How to apply?

  • Send an email to the following address: [email protected]. You will then receive a link to a form to be completed.
  • Below is a list of the mandatory documents to prepare in order to attach them to the form:
    • All of your 2018, 2019 and 2020 VAT returns
    • If applicable, the detailed annual accounts for 2017 and 2018 (or the assessment notice for private individuals)
    • An accounting position as at 31 December 2019, certified by the accounting officer
    • A declaration of honour concerning your tax, ONSS and VAT debts
    • A declaration of honour concerning the absence of a credit denunciation by a financial institution before 13/03/2020 (if a company) or the BNB certificate (if self-employed)
    • If your business is less than two years old, the financial plan established when the company was incorporated
    • A copy of both sides of your identity card
    • A copy of the complete articles of association of the company

Information source: 1819.brussels

 

 

Subsidies for events cancelled or postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic

What?

  • Events subsidised by the Brussels-Capital Region which are cancelled are eligible for the grant, provided that :
    • the beneficiary certifies that costs for these events and activities have been incurred and that these costs could not be cancelled
    • the recipient is not eligible for other aid and measures related to the Covid-19 crisis, whether federal, under the general economic measures of the region, or private aid.
  • Events subsidised by the Brussels-Capital Region which are postponed and which will take place during the year 2020, are also eligible for the liquidation of the subsidy, despite the change of date.

 

How?

 

 

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 01.03.2020 - 30.04.2020 (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.

 

 

Contact point

Enhanced availability of the 1819 information service for businesses

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