Due to the coronavirus measures, French cross-border workers will most likely work from home, in France, in the next few days. Does this have an impact on their tax status?
Status of cross-border worker
Remuneration of French residents is taxable only in France until 2033 if the workers meet the following three conditions:
- they have their only permanent home in the French border region;
- they perform their work activities in the Belgian border region;
- they do not leave the Belgian border region for more than 30 days per calendar year as part of their work activities.
A worker who wishes to benefit from the status of cross-border worker must therefore carry out his work activities in the Belgian border region on a continuous basis. Absences due to illness, holidays or unemployment cannot be considered as interruption of work activities. Consequently, the cross-border workers scheme remains in force in such cases.
Teleworking due to the coronavirus measures
As a result of the coronavirus measures, French cross-border workers will most likely work from home, in France, and thus leave the Belgian border region in 2020 for more than 30 days as part of their work activities. In that case, there is a risk that they will lose their status of cross-border worker. It will not come to that, however.
The Belgian and French authorities consider that the current situation satisfies all the characteristics of a case of force majeure. If the worker works at home in his place of residence in France following a coronavirus measure, that presence shall not be taken into account for the calculation of the 30-day period. Consequently, the French cross-border worker does not lose the status of cross-border worker by teleworking.
Source: Notice of the FPS Finance - Belgium-France - Cross-border workers scheme - Coronavirus (COVID-19).