Mazars Info May 2020

CORPORATE INCOME TAX

Fee forms 281.50 : filing deadline of June 29, 2020

Each company or branch annually has to file tax fee forms 281.50 for commission payments, consultancy fees, benefits in kind, rebates granted via credit notes, etc. paid or attributed in the course of the preceding calendar year to (Belgian or foreign) beneficiaries for whom these payments are professional income.

Although the Belgian government has delayed many filing- and payment due dates to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, no communication has (currently) been made regarding the filing due date of the fee forms 281.50.

In principle, the fee forms related to calendar year 2019 have to be filed electronically via the online platform ‘Belcotax-on-web’ ultimately on 29 June 2020.

Those who fail to comply with the rules in time (late or no filing) risk to be subjected to a separate assessment (‘secret commissions tax’) of 102% (or 51% in case it can be demonstrated that the beneficiary of the income is a legal entity and subject to corporate income tax).

The secret commissions tax does not apply in case it can be demonstrated that the beneficiary properly has declared the income. Further, in case the income was not properly declared by the beneficiary, no secret commissions tax is levied if the beneficiary is identified at the latest within 2 years and 6 months following January 1st of the tax year concerned.

The secret commissions tax itself is, in principle, no longer tax deductible for corporate income tax purposes as from January 1, 2020.

Do not hesitate to contact your Mazars contact person if you would have any question or if you would like to have our assistance with the filing of these forms. Indeed, proper compliance of these forms will decrease the risk of tax audit questions and avoid cash-out through the payment of the 102% assessment in the medium term.

Covid-19 update new tax measures

As we speak, the Belgian Government is currently examining the possibility for companies to carry-back the losses incurred during the COVID-19 crisis (2020) to compensate the taxable profits of the previous financial year (2019). We will inform you in detail once draft legislation is introduced.

Please keep a close eye on our dedicated Mazars webpage with all the latest news. We update this page on a regular basis to make sure you are correctly informed with the most recent updates.

To support your business, Mazars is also hosting a global webinar series where Mazars’ tax experts from Europe, Africa, Asia, North America and Latin America will discuss the impact of Covid-19 on tax around the world, and business-related issues that have arisen as a result of the crisis.

GLOBAL MOBILITY SERVICES

Legislation concerning tax-free side income annulled by the Constitutional Court

Since the summer of 2018, it is possible for self-employed, employed and retired individuals to earn some additional income up to a tax-free amount of EUR 6.000 per year (EUR 6.340,00 for income year 2020) when performing:

  • Associative work (e.g. sports club);
  • Occasional services between citizens (e.g. gardening, listminut.be);
  • Services of the sharing economy provided via an approved electronic platform.

One of the conditions is that these services have to be provided in the spare time of the individual and cannot take place in a professional context.

On Thursday April 23, 2020, the Constitutional Court has annulled the legislation of July 18th, 2018, that allows the above side earnings to be exempt from Belgian taxes and social security contributions because the Court finds the concerned law in conflict with the principle of equality and non-discrimination.

Indeed, services performed under this regulation are not covered by the general Belgian labour law and are not taken into account for building up social security rights. Furthermore, no Belgian social contributions or income taxes are due on this income, while these are applicable on similar activities performed in another (professional) context (i.e. when the same work (e.g. gardening) is performed by a professional (e.g. professional gardener).

To mitigate the negative impact for individuals as a result of this Court decision, it will remain possible to continue to perform activities under the annulled favourable regime until December 31, 2020.

Services rendered via an approved electronic sharing economy platform will become subject to the legislation concerning sharing economy introduced in 2016 as from January 1, 2021. This means that the activities up to EUR 5.390,00 (not indexed) will be taxed at a flat rate of 20% with a lump sum cost deduction of 50%, resulting in an effective flat tax rate of 10%.

The (future) Belgian government or parliament will have to come up with a new alternative to the annulled legislation about sharing economy before 2021 if they want the tax and social security free side earnings to have a future. This will probably be continued!

VAT

Postponement of the next EU E-commerce package by 6 months

The European Commission has decided to postpone the next step of the E-commerce package by 6 months, due to the current Corona crisis. The commission wants to give the Member States more time to prepare for the new VAT e-commerce rules. The new E-commerce package will enter into force on July 1, 2021 instead of January 1, 2021.

The new VAT E-commerce package implements following measures:

  • Extension of (M)OSS-scheme to all B2C services and all B2C distance sales;
  • No VAT exemption for imported goods by private individuals, also for low value goods;
  • Full customs clearance document for import goods with an exceeding value of 150 EUR;
  • Electronic interfaces will be deemed to exist and will act as both buyer and supplier for VAT purposes of goods sold to customers within the EU by non-EU-companies using such electronic interface.

LEGAL

Amendments to the Companies and Associations’ Code

The reparative legislation relating to the Companies and Associations’ Code has been adopted by Parliament on April 16, 2020. In addition to a number of purely technical adjustments, the following materiel amendments, among others, were adopted:

  • The identity of the sole shareholder of a private company must be mentioned in the company file kept at the registry of the Enterprise Court, as was already the case for the public limited liability company.
  • The exclusion or exit of a shareholder in a private company is also possible after the first six months of the financial year.
  • The procedure for conflicts of interest must not be followed by the directors when carrying out the liquidity test in the private company.
  • An extension of the powers of the general meeting of shareholders in the articles of association cannot be invoked against third parties, even if it has been published. This principle applies to the public limited liability company, the private company and the cooperative company.

Any question with regard to the above? Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

Transposition of the amended Shareholder Rights Directive

The law transposing the amended Shareholder Rights Directive (‘SRD II’) has also been approved on April 16, 2020. SRD II seeks to strengthen the position of shareholders within listed companies and to promote their long-term involvement by implementing the following key principles:

1) Identification of shareholders

Since the shares of listed companies are generally held trough a chain of intermediaries, these companies are now given the opportunity to identify their shareholders as to facilitate direct communication between the company and shareholders.

2) Involvement policy

The involvement policy describes in what way asset managers and institutional investors monitor the companies in which they invest, how they exercise their rights as shareholders, how they cooperate with other shareholders and how they communicate with company bodies. One can opt not to draw up such a policy, provided that the reasons for not doing so are published (so called ‘comply or explain’).

3) Say on pay

SRD II requires companies to draw up a remuneration policy and a remuneration report to be voted on by shareholders. The individual remuneration of all persons in charge of management should be published in this respect.

4) Related party transactions

Finally, material transactions with related parties must be publicly announced at the time they are carried out.

Any question with regard to the above? Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

KEEP IN MIND!

VAT

  • VAT return May 2020 - filing and payment: June 20, 2020 (at the moment, no postponement has been announced)

PAYROLL

  • Wage withholding taxes May 2020 : June 15, 2020
  • Second monthly prepayment for social security contributions Q2/2020 : June 5, 2020

CORPORATE INCOME TAX

  • Prepayment corporate income tax Q2/2020 : July 10, 2020
  • Forms 281.50 - calendar year 2019 : June 29, 2020
  • CRS filing 2019 : September 30, 2020 (extended deadline)

PERSONAL INCOME TAX

  • Personal income tax return - Belgian residents

         o On paper: June 30, 2020

         o Via Tax-on-web: July 16, 2020

         o Via proxyholder (Tax-on-web): October 22, 2020

Document

Mazars Info May 2020
Mazars Info May 2020