Coronavirus: NSSO: postponement of payment UPDATE

Author: Anne Ghysels (Legal Expert)
Date:

In order to contain the corona epidemic, the government has taken several measures. One of these measures taken on 20 March 2020 is the postponement of the payment of sums due to the NSSO until 15 December 2020.

On its website the NSSO gives more details of this new measure.

The measure taken on 6 March 2020 concerning amicable payment plans remains in force (see our infoflash of 12 March 2020). 

Types of postponement of payment

The measures concern two types of postponement:

1) Automatic postponement

The horeca, recreational and cultural sectors, as well as any company concerned by the compulsory closure (in accordance with the provisions of the Ministerial Orders of 13, 18, 23 and 24 March 2020) will automatically benefit from this postponement (see our infoflash of 19 March 2020 for an analysis of the Ministerial Order of 18 March 2020).

Via its application Coronacrisis - Check postponement of payments to the NSSO (only in French and Dutch), the ONSS offers you, as of today, the possibility to check whether the postponement of payment has been granted to you with good reason.  Just enter your company number and you will get the answer immediately.

The application can be found here: https://www.reportpaiementsonss.be.

If you think that you have wrongly benefited from a postponement, you can report this online to the NSSO by means of the electronic form provided. The NSSO will then examine the application, make the necessary corrections, if any, and inform you.

2) Postponement after prior declaration

  • Companies that are not affected by a compulsory closure (as referred to in the Ministerial Orders of 13, 18, 23 and 24 March 2020) but which are closed completely because they are unable to comply with the health measures may obtain a postponement on the basis of a declaration of honour. 
  • Companies which are not obliged to close and which, for reasons other than failure to comply with the health measures, have themselves decided to close completely.
    • As a result of the coronacrisis, some companies which are not obliged to close, but which closed anyway for reasons other than non-compliance with the health measures as they had to stop production and sales. So these companies are also completely closed down. An example is the closure of suppliers or the closure due to customers being closed.
    • These companies may also benefit from the postponement until 15 December on the basis of a declaration of honour.
  • For companies that are not affected by a compulsory closure but whose economic activity is nevertheless sharply reduced for the second quarter of 2020.

The form is available on the portal website of the social security and on our website https://www.partena-professional.be/en/faq-coronavirus-for-employers.

3) Concept of ‘complete closure’

In all cases, ‘complete closure’ means that production and sales have stopped. This does not prevent a limited number of workers from still being active in the company for reasons of security, administration, necessary maintenance, etc.

Which measure is of interest to you?

I. Companies concerned by the automatic postponement

The measure applies to companies in the following categories:

Type of activity:

NSSO index

Horeca (JC 302)

017 and 317

Establishments belonging to the cultural, festive, recreational and sports sectors

 

  • Tourist attractions (JC 333)

095

  • Exploitation of cinemas (JSC 303.03)

323

  • Performing arts (JC 304)

562 and 662

  • Socio-cultural sector (JC 329)

262, 362, 762 and 862

  • Sportsmen

070, 076 and 176 + other categories of employers who also have one of these three indexes

For public employers NSSO (DmfA), the NSSO has drawn up a nominative list:

0930007-86

Théatre Royal de la Monnaie

0930135-90

Palais des Beaux-Arts

0006940-34

Musée royal de l’Afrique Centrale

0009314-90

Musées Royaux d'Art et d'Histoire

0009364-37

Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique

0009366-31

Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique

0009311-02

Bibliothèque royale de Belgique

0003062-28

ADEPS - Fonds des Sports

0829034-74

SPORT VLAANDEREN

For employers in the local public sector (DmfAPPL), the determining criterion is the NACE code:

NACE code:

Activity

55209

Tourist and other short-term accommodation

79901

Tourist information services

90012

Performances by artistic ensembles

90021

Promotion and organization of live performances

90029

Other activities in support of the performing arts

90031

Artistic creation, except support activities

90032

Activities in support of artistic creation

90041

Management of theatres, concert halls and the like

90042

Management of cultural centres and multifunctional cultural halls

91011

Management of libraries, media and toy libraries

91012

Management of public archives

91020

Museum management

91030

Management of historical sites and monuments and similar tourist attractions

91041

Management of botanical and zoological gardens

91042

Management and conservation of natural areas

93110

Management of sports facilities

93191

Activities of sports leagues and federations

93199

Other sports activities

93299

Other recreational and leisure activities

Note: With the exception of the services mentioned above, the public authorities and their institutions and services may not benefit from these measures of postponement of payment nor may they make use of the 'declaration of honour' in this context.

All shops and stores that are closed in accordance with the provisions of the Ministerial Orders of 13, 18, 23 and 24 March 2020, with the exception of: 

  • food stores, including night stores;
  • pet food stores;
  • pharmacies;
  • bookstores;
  • gas stations and fuel delivery companies.

II. Companies concerned by the postponement after prior declaration of honour

1. Non-essential companies as referred to in the Ministerial Orders of 13, 18, 23 and 24 March 2020, which are closed because they are unable to comply with the health measures, may also benefit from a postponement on the basis of a declaration of honour confirming that they are in this situation.

2. Companies which are not obliged to close and which, for reasons other than failure to comply with the health measures, have themselves decided to close completely.

As a result of the coronacrisis, some companies which are not obliged to close, but which closed anyway for reasons other than non-compliance with the health measures as they had to stop production and sales.

So these companies are also completely closed down. An example is the closure of suppliers or the closure due to customers being closed.

3. Companies that are not affected by a compulsory closure, as referred to in the Ministerial Orders of 13, 18, 23 and 24 March 2020, but whose economic activity is nevertheless significantly reduced for the second quarter of 2020.

These employers must confirm in their declaration of honour that the coronacrisis in their company will lead to:

•    a substantial loss of turnover in the 2nd quarter of 2020, which will translate into a reduction of at least 65 % in the turnover resulting from the transactions to be included in box 2 of the periodic VAT returns relating to the 2nd quarter of 2020, compared with the turnover resulting from the same transactions in the 2nd quarter of 2019 or the 1st quarter of 2020

•    and/or a reduction in the wage bill declared to the National Social Security Office for the 2nd quarter of 2020 by at least 65 % compared to the 2nd quarter of 2019 or the 1st quarter of 2020. ‘Wage bill’ means the sum of the amounts on which the basic social security contributions are calculated.

The NSSO will organise the necessary checks afterwards.

For what amounts due to the NSSO?

The postponement concerns all payments to be made since 20 March 2020.

So the following payments are understood:

  • rectifications of contributions still to be paid;
  • the monthly instalments of current amicable payment plans;
  • the 3rd provision of the 1st quarter;
  • the balance of the 1st quarter;
  • the annual vacation debit notice that is sent to employers as of 1 April 2020 and payable by 30 April 2020;
  • the provisions of the 2nd quarter (payable on 5 May, 5 June and 5 July 2020);
  • the balance of the 2nd quarter (payable on 31 July 2020).

Note: for the companies that do not close down completely but that will have financial difficulties due to a strong decrease in their economic activity (category 3) above), the postponement of payment until 15 December 2020 concerns the following payments:

  • the balance of the contributions due for the 1st quarter;
  • the annual vacation debit notice;
  • the provisions for the 2nd quarter 2020;
  • the balance of the contributions due for the 2nd quarter;
  • rectifications of contributions still to be paid;
  • the monthly instalments of the current instalment plans that are still due.
    The postponement of payment applies to all types of contributions collected by the NSSO (employer contributions, employee contributions and special contributions, including existence security contributions) and is valid until 15 December 2020.
    Of course the obligation to submit the NSSO declarations within the set deadlines remains in force.

Practical arrangements

As explained above

  • the companies that are not affected by a compulsory closure (as referred to in the Ministerial Orders of 13, 18, 23 and 24 March 2020) but which are closed because they are unable to comply with the health measures
  • the companies which are not obliged to close but have decided themselves to close completely for reasons other than non-compliance with health measures
  • and the companies which are not completely closed but which will run into financial difficulties as a result of a sharp reduction in their economic activity

may obtain a postponement on the basis of a declaration of honour, the form for which is available on the portal site of the NSSO and on our website https://www.partena-professional.be/en/faq-coronavirus-for-employers.

Important notes if you want to fill in the form on the social security portal website

Application form/declaration of honour

If you choose this option, you declare that your situation corresponds to the criteria defined to benefit from this postponement and that you are aware that the NSSO will carry out checks afterwards.

You must therefore ensure that the motivation for your application is sufficient and keep it.

In order to submit the declaration you must have a secure access for your company.

How can you register?

The registration procedure is described in detail under the heading ‘Je souhaite traiter moi-même mes obligations administratives envers l'ONSS’ on the following page of the portal website: https://www.socialsecurity.be/site_fr/employer/infos/employer_onss/registration_gen/register/register.htm (only in French, Dutch and German).

Source: www.socialsecurity.be

 

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