Coronavirus: consumption vouchers are here!

Author: Isabelle Caluwaerts - Anne Ghysels (Legal Experts)
Date:

In the context of the health crisis, the hospitality, cultural, events and sports sectors have been particularly affected by the containment measures.

The government has decided to support them by creating consumption vouchers. These vouchers, which are issued on paper, may only be used in hospitality establishments, the cultural sector or sports associations.

Every employer can decide to grant consumption vouchers to his employees. Provided certain conditions are met, they will not be subject to social security contributions or withholding tax.

On the social level

A Royal Decree of 15 July 2020 lays down the exemption conditions on the social level; it enters into force on 17 July 2020.

To be exempt from social security contributions, the paper consumption vouchers must comply with the following conditions:

  • The granting of consumption vouchers must be laid down in a collective labour agreement (CLA) on sector or company level. In the absence of a trade union delegation, the granting may be governed by an individual agreement;
  • The agreement (sectoral CLA, company CLA or individual agreement) must determine the maximum nominal value of the consumption voucher, with a maximum amount of €10/consumption voucher;
  • The consumption voucher must be issued in the name of the employee. This condition is deemed to have been fulfilled if the granting and the information relating to the same (number and amount of the consumption voucher) occur in the employee’s individual account;
  • The consumption voucher must mention the following:
    •  that it is valid until 7 June 2021;
    • the date on which it was issued (it may be issued until 31 December 2020);
    • that it may only be used:
      • in hospitality establishments or
      • in cultural sector establishments (recognised, approved or subsidised by the competent authority), or
      • in sports associations (for which there is a federation, recognised or subsidised by the Communities or belonging to one of the national federations);
  • Consumption vouchers cannot be exchanged partially or totally in cash;
  • The total amount of consumption vouchers granted by the employer may not exceed
    € 300/employee.

On a tax level

Consumption vouchers granted in accordance with the social security conditions referred to above are exempt from income tax.

In addition, they are a deductible professional expense for the employer if the same conditions for exemption are met.

Do you need a model of a collective or individual agreement regarding consumption vouchers? Please contact our Legal Partners via legalpartners@partena.be.

Sources: Royal Decree of 15 July 2020 inserting an article 19quinquies into the Royal Decree of 28 November 1969 implementing the Act of 27 June 1969 revising the Decree-Law of 28 December 1944 on social security for workers, Belgian Official Gazette, 17.07.2020; Draft law containing various urgent tax provisions as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic (CORONA III).

 

 

 

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