The Government has decided to grant all employers a reduction in employer social security contributions in 2023 as well as the option of requesting deferral of payment of a portion of these contributions.
The legal text has not yet been published in the Belgian Official Gazette. It could therefore still undergo possible changes.
Can you avail of these measures?
The following employers can avail of these measures:
- private sector employers (subject to the Law of 5 December 1968 on collective labour agreements and joint committees);
- independent state-owned companies (including HR Rail);
- certain public sector health employers.
The following companies are excluded:
- companies that hold a direct stake in a company established in a state included in one of the lists referred to in Article 307 §1/2 of the Belgian Income Tax Code or a state included in the list referred to in Article 179 Royal Decree/Belgian Income Tax Code 1992;
- or companies that have made payments to companies established in one of these states provided that these payments total, during the taxable period, an amount of at least €100,000 and that it has not been shown that these payments were made in the context of genuine and proper transactions resulting from legitimate financial or economic needs.
The aim here is to exclude companies with links to tax havens. Taxpayers making unjustified payments to companies established in a tax haven and those with a direct stake in such companies are excluded.
What is this support?
Two types of measures are being taken:
- a reduction in employer contributions for the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2023;
- the possibility of requesting a deferral of payment of part of the employer contributions for the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2023.
Reduction in contributions in the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2023
The reduction amounts to 7.07% of the amount due in respect of the total net basic employer’s contribution.
“Total net basic employer’s contribution” means your basic employer’s social security contributions, after deduction of the structural reduction and any target group reductions.
Example: you fall under joint committee no. 200. Your total net basic employer’s contribution (i.e. 25% of employer social security contributions minus the structural reduction and any NSSO target group reductions) is €10,000 for all your workers and/or apprentices for the 1st quarter of 2023.
The amount of the reduction for the 1st quarter of 2023 will be 7.07% x €10,000 = €707
This reduction is applied in the 1st and 2nd quarters of 2023. It will be calculated and applied automatically by the NSSO, unless the condition of not having any connection with a tax haven is not met.
Deferral of payment in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2023
The payment deferral amounts to 7.07% of the amount due of the total net basic employer’s contribution.
The calculation methods are the same as those applicable to the reduction described above.
You can defer payment in the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2023. Social security contributions that have been deferred must be paid to the social security authorities in 4 tranches, divided into equal parts over the 4 quarters of 2025, at the same time as the contributions due for these quarters.
Unlike the reduction, you will have to take action in order to be able to avail of this deferral: this must be requested quarter by quarter from the NSSO via the DMfa. Details of the procedure are not yet known.
Source: Draft Programme-Law 55 3015/001, Articles 136 et seq.