Allowances for long-term foreign missions: new amounts as of 15 February 2023

Author: Peggy Criel (Legal Expert)
Read time: 5min
Publication date: 28/02/2023 - 08:33
Latest update: 28/02/2023 - 08:41

The costs incurred by an employee during a long-term professional stay abroad may be reimbursed as a daily flat-rate allowance. The amounts of these flat-rate allowances applicable as of 15 February 2023 have been published recently. 


The FPS Finance accepts that for a work-related business trip abroad of more than 30 days, daily flat-rate allowances can be granted as a reimbursement of costs incurred by the employee (or the company manager) and that these can be exempt from taxes.

Workers concerned

This system only applies to persons who receive remunerations as an employee or a company manager.

Conditions to be met

The daily flat-rate subsistence allowances granted as a reimbursement of costs incurred by the employee (or the company manager) during a business trip abroad of more than 30 consecutive calendar days are considered as costs proper to the employer provided that:

  • the maximum amount of these daily flat-rate subsistence allowances does not exceed the daily flat-rate subsistence allowances established per country for the officials "posted" abroad (see list of countries) of the FPS Foreign Affairs, on the understanding that the amount 37.18€ can still be applied. If the daily flat-rate subsistence allowances exceed the amounts stated on this list, they must be considered in principle as taxable remuneration;
  • the granting or payment of these flat-rate allowances for the same mission is limited to a maximum of 24 months;
  • the granting or payment is interrupted should the employee (or company manager) settle definitively abroad.

The business trip abroad must be long-term, this implies more than 30 consecutive calendar days (but with a maximum of 24 months) for the same mission for professional purposes. The subsistence period voluntarily extended by the employee (or company manager) is not taken into account for the calculation of those 30 days.

Nature of the subsistence allowance

The amount of the daily flat-rate subsistence allowances is deemed to cover the expenses for meals and minor expenses.

The daily flat-rate allowance covers the following expenses:

  • lunch and dinner expenses;
  • beverage and snack expenses;
  • local travel expenses;
  • telephone communication expenses;
  • costs associated with other cash expenses.

The allowances cover neither housing costs nor travel costs to reach the destination, and back.

If meal expenses are borne directly by the employer or company, the daily flat-rate allowance is reduced by 35% for lunch and by 45% for dinner.

We note that it is currently unclear whether the deduction of 15% for breakfast or 5% for minor expenses, respectively, still applies when the employer directly bears these expenses. The FPS Finance will need to specify this further.

Daily allowances

The full amount of the daily flat-rate subsistence allowance can be can be considered as a non-taxable reimbursement of costs for each full day of absence (this is a day between two overnight stays during a mission abroad).

For the days of departure and return of a business trip abroad, the amount of the daily flat-rate subsistence allowance must be divided by two. The above reductions in the form of a % will not be applied.


  • If the mission abroad takes place in several countries, the amount of the daily flat-rate subsistence allowances in connection with the location of the last overnight subsistence will be determining for the following twenty-four hours' period.
  • If the employer grants luncheon vouchers to reimburse the meal expenses during the subsistence abroad, the employer's contribution to the luncheon voucher (maximum 6.91€/luncheon voucher - amount 2023) must be deducted from the flat-rate subsistence allowance.
  • The employer cannot combine the granting of the daily flat-rate subsistence allowances with a reimbursement of meal expenses and minor expenses based on supporting documents.
  • The daily flat-rate subsistence allowances cannot be combined with the benefit granted to Belgian employees who are employed in a country outside Europe with which Belgium has not concluded a double tax convention. That benefit consists of a 30% deduction of professional expenses.

List of countries

The Belgian Official Gazette of 15 February 2023 has published the list with the flat-rate allowances per country, that are applicable since 15 February 2023.

The list can be accessed through this link.

Sources: circular letter no. Ci.RH.241/609.972 (AAFisc Nr.38/2013) of 10.10.2013; Ministerial Decree of 10 January 2023 establishing subsistence allowances granted to staff members and delegates of the Federal Public Service Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation assigned to missions abroad or serving on international committees, Belgian Official Gazette 15 February 2023. 

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