Coronavirus: cross-border employment in Belgium and France

Author: Isabelle Caluwaerts (Legal Expert)
Date:

Belgium has concluded an agreement with France on the tax situation of cross-border workers, as it has done with the Netherlands, Germany and Luxembourg. As a result of the coronavirus measures, many Belgian and French cross-border workers work from their country of residence. This may have consequences for the applicable tax rules. Belgium and France have therefore concluded an agreement clarifying the situation of cross-border workers in the context of the COVID-19 health crisis.

Days of homework

A Belgian resident who is employed in France shall in principle be taxed in France on the remunerations received for such employment. The same rule (taxation in the State of employment) applies to French residents working in Belgium (with the exception of workers enjoying the special tax status of "cross-border worker").

As a result of the measures taken by the French and Belgian governments to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, many French and Belgian cross-border workers are working in their country of residence.

Belgium and France have therefore agreed that these home working days may be treated as working days performed in the State where the workers would normally have worked, provided that the remunerations for these home working days are effectively taxed in that other State.

This fiction cannot be applied to working days which workers would have worked from their place of residence or in a third State independently of the measures taken to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, it shall not apply to workers who, in accordance with their employment contract, generally work from home or to teleworking days already planned before the introduction of the special measures.

Cross-border workers who use this fiction are obliged to apply it consistently in both Contracting States and must keep a statement from their employer at the disposal of the administration indicating the number of days on which they have worked at home solely because of the government's health regulations.

Duration

This agreement between Belgium and France initially applied from 14 March 2020 until 30 June 2020. It has been extended until 31 August 2020 and may be further extended by the two competent authorities.

Reminder

For natural persons residing in France who benefit from the special scheme for cross-border workers, the COVI-19 epidemic is a case of force majeure which means that the days on which the cross-border worker stays at home are not included in the number of days on which the cross-border worker leaves the border zone. This derogation has been extended until 31 August 2020. More information about this subject can be found in our infoflash of 19 March 2020.

We are fully at your disposal

If you have any questions about the agreement between Belgium and France, please contact our Legal Partners by email on innovation@partena.be or by phone on the number 02/ 549.30.10.

Sources: Mutual Agreements between the competent authorities of France and Belgium concerning the cross-border workers in the context of the fight against the spread of COVID-19 of 15 May and 23 June 2020. 

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