Mazars Info March 2020

GLOBAL MOBILITY SERVICES

COVID-19: Supporting measures for affected companies

Many companies are economically affected by the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19)
outbreak. Next to the procedure for temporary unemployment, the Belgian Minister of
Finance Alexander De Croo has taken a number of measures in consultation with the
Belgian federal government to aid and support affected firms.

Companies that get into difficulties directly caused by the coronavirus (e.g. cancelled
orders, decrease in turnover, import to/export from Asia, …) and have problems paying
their taxes, can apply for a payment plan, an exemption of late payment interests and/or a
waiver of penalties due to non-payment.

In order to be able to benefit from these supporting measures, the affected companies
should be able to proof that the coronavirus has an impact on their business.

The following taxes are in scope of these supporting measures: VAT, wage withholding tax,
personal income tax, social security contributions, legal entities tax and corporate income
tax.
The supporting measures can be applied as from March 7, 2020 and as long as there is a
direct effect of the coronavirus on the companies.

If you believe that your business is affected by the coronavirus, a request for support should
separately be filed for each debt upon receipt of the tax bill(s) or social security payment
request(s) and can be done through the following application form that can be found here.

For more up-to-date information on the supporting measures implemented by the Belgian
government for companies and self-employed persons affected by the Corona virus, we
refer to our separate news alert that can be found on our website. In case of any questions,
please contact us.

VAT

The National Bank of Belgium requests new statistical data from
members of VAT Groupings

As of January 24, 2020, the new Royal Decree of December 11, 2019 is implemented in
the Belgian legislation. It concerns new statistical reporting of members from large VAT
groups. Based on this data, the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) will be able to draft its
quarterly statistical national accounts.

Members of a VAT group with an annual turnover of at least 15 million EUR, will be obliged
to provide the NBB with additional information of incoming and outgoing transactions. The
turnover figure declared by VAT groupings are fully allocated to the main activity of the VAT
unit. However, it occurs that individual members of the group are active in other sectors.
This information is not available on Statbel, FPS Finances or other authorities/institutions.

Therefore, the NBB has to obtain this information by the members individually.

  • operations subject to a special regulation;
  • transactions for which VAT is payable by the declarant at the rate of 6%, 12% or 21%;
  • services for which the foreign VAT is due by the co-contractor;
  • transactions for which VAT is payable by the co-contractor;
  • exempt intra-Community supplies carried out in Belgium and triangulation sales (ABC);
  • other exempt transactions and other transactions carried out abroad;
  • amount of credit notes issued.

As for the incoming transactions, only the VAT data included in VAT boxes 81, 82 and 83
must be reported

  • amount (not including deductible VAT) of the purchases of commercial goods, raw materials and consumables;
  • amount (not including deductible VAT) of purchases of services and miscellaneous goods;
  • amount (excluding deductible VAT) of purchases of investment goods.

The NBB will therefore contact the members directly of each qualifying VAT unit. As of then,
the members have to report the data every quarter on Onegate.

The first return concerns the first quarter of 2020. The deadline is set on the 20th day
following the concerning quarter.

LEGAL 

Extended possibility for the management body to make written decisions

The general meeting of both the NV (public limited liability company), the BV (private
limited liability company) and the CV (cooperative company) can make use of the possibility
of a written decision-making process, provided that all shareholders unanimously agree
and provided that it does not concern decisions that must be drawn up by authentic deed.

As a result of the reform of Belgian company law, the management body now has a similar,
albeit extended, possibility. Under the old Belgian Company Code, the board of directors
could, only within the NV, take decisions by unanimous written agreement. However, this
was only permitted in exceptional cases, i.e. when the urgent necessity and the interest of
the company so required. In addition, the possibility for written decision-making had to be
provided for in the articles of association of the company.

With the new Belgian Companies and Associations Code, the above principle has been
significantly expanded. First of all, the possibility is no longer reserved for the NV alone,
but has been extended to both the BV and the CV. The requirement of exception has
been abolished, and the conditions have been reversed: written decision-making within
the management body is now permitted as a matter of principle, unless the articles of
association exclude this in whole or in part.

Note that with regard to the conduct of the general meeting, there is still the possibility
of voting by means of a communication tool made available by the company. However,
this possibility must be provided for in the articles of association, and it is advisable to
elaborate the procedure of remote participation as extensively as possible - in order to
avoid discussions or problems.

The above arrangements make it much easier for shareholders or directors who are abroad
to take part in the decision making within the company. The conditions have been made
more flexible, and the principles have been incorporated into the three company types.

With the preparation of the annual meeting documents coming up, it is advisable to take
the above possibilities into account in order to ensure a smooth decision-making process.

Mazars can assist you with regard to the above. Please contact us for further information.

CORPORATE INCOME TAX RETURN

Q1 advance tax payment due by April 10th, 2020

For the tax year 2021 (if your financial year equals the calendar year 2019, the due date
for the first tax prepayment is April 10, 2020). If no or insufficient tax prepayments are
made, the Belgian corporate income tax due will be increased with a substantial deductible
surcharge of 6,75%. When a Belgian company/branch makes advance tax payments, the
surcharge can be avoided. Indeed, credits – which can be offset against the surcharge – will
be granted. For assessment year 2021, credits are calculated by multiplying the amount of
the advance tax payment with 9%, 7.5%, 6% or 4.5%, depending on the timing of the advance
tax payments. If the surcharge is higher than the credit for a given assessment year, the
balance will always be due.

Depending on the (forecasted) cash available within the company/group and the estimated
taxable basis of assessment year 2021, it is highly advisable to consider making an advance
tax payment in the first quarter. Such first quarter advance tax payment gives a credit of
9%. This means that a company should pay less advance tax payments as compared to
paying in a later quarter, e.g. the fourth quarter only giving rise to 4,5%.

Please keep in mind the following practical changes for the performance of the Q1 advance
tax payment:

  • Advanced tax payments for tax year 2021 should be made on the bank account number of the Tax Authorities, namely BE61 6792 0022 9117 (new since tax year 2020).
  • In light of the digitalization of the services of the Tax Authorities, no prepayment overview will be sent on paper anymore. The CIT prepayment overview should,similar to the VAT current account statement, be consulted via MyMinFinPro (https://eservices.minfin.fgov.be/myminfin-web/). All requests for rectification, reimbursement or transfer of prepayments will have to be made via the MyMinFinPro platform as well.
  • Supportive financial measures have very recently been introduced by the Belgian government as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

Should you require additional information on the advance tax payment system in Belgium
or should you like us to assist on an estimation of your advance tax payments in 2020, do
not hesitate to contact your Mazars contact person.

KEEP IN MIND!

Support measures due to the Corona crisis are being taken. Find hereafter the new deadlines.

  • VAT return February 2020: deadline postponed to April 6, 2020
  • Client listing (Financial Year 2019): deadline postponed to April 30, 2020
  • Wage withholding taxes of March 2020 : deadline June 15, 2020
  • Wage withholding taxes of the first quarter of 2020 (January until March) : deadline June 15, 2020
  • Social security contributions (Q1/2020) (employee/employer) :
    • 3rd month prepayment before April 5, 2020
    • Final settlement first quarter of 2020: deadline April 30, 2020
    • => Companies that experience economic hindrance and therefore have difficulties to pay their social security contributions on time can apply for an amicable repayment plan from the NSSO.
  • Prepayment corporate income tax : deadline April 10, 2020

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