New amounts for domestic subsistence expenses as from 1 December 2023

Author: Peggy Criel (Legal Expert)
Read time: 3min
Publication date: 11/12/2023 - 09:50
Latest update: 11/12/2023 - 09:58

As a private sector employer, you can reimburse the subsistence expenses made by employees on the occasion of business travels in Belgium. To determine the allowance, you may refer to the subsistence allowances allocated to federal government staff members. The amounts of the subsistence allowances changed on 1 December 2023.

Principle: tax-free allowance

The flat-rate allowances you allocate to your employees as a reimbursement for the subsistence expenses during business journeys in Belgium are not taxed, provided that they do not exceed the corresponding allowances allocated by the federal government to its staff members. These allowances are considered as ‘serious standards’.

Overview of the amounts as from 1 December 2023

By applying the indexation mechanisms, the following amounts will be applicable as from 1 December 2023:


Daily flat-rate allowance (meal expenses)

Monthly flat-rate allowance

Supplementary daily allowance for housing costs.

Indexed amount

20.39 EUR/day

Max. 16 x 17.41 EUR/month (for full-time employment)

152.99 EUR/night

Daily flat-rate allowance for meal expenses

You can allocate a daily flat-rate allowance for subsistence expenses (meals) if:

  • the business journey takes at least 6 hours;
  • the meal expenses on the occasion of the journey are not paid by you or a third party;
  • the journey does not give rise to any other benefit that covers the meal expenses. 

If you allocate luncheon vouchers to compensate for meal expenses during domestic business travels, you will have to deduct your contribution in the luncheon vouchers from the flat-rate allowance.

Abolition of daily flat-rate allowance for federal civil servants

The daily flat-rate allowance for subsistence expenses in Belgium for federal civil servants will be abolished from 1 January 2024 but the administration accepts, however, that this allowance may continue to qualify as a 'serious norm', provided the above conditions are met.

Monthly flat-rate allowance

When the employee’s job implies regular journeys outside the company (in general itinerant staff members), you can allocate the monthly flat-rate allowance.

The monthly flat-rate allowance is equal to a multiple of the daily allowance. The number is identical for employees carrying out the same job and is determined on the basis of the average of the full-time regime worked by the employees in the course of the preceding year. However, the monthly flat-rate allowance must be at least 16 times the daily flat-rate allowance in the event of a full-time employment. 

For the allocation of this monthly flat-rate allowance the condition with regard to the duration does not apply (minimum 6 hours). The meal expenses on the occasion of the journey cannot be paid by you or a third party, neither can the journey give rise to any other benefit covering the meal expenses.

Supplementary daily flat-rate allowance for subsistence expenses

A supplementary daily flat-rate allowance for subsistence expenses also serves as a cover for housing costs. You can allocate this allowance to employees who stay overnight at another location in Belgium during the performance of their job.

You can allocate the allowance when all of the following conditions are met:

  • the housing costs on the occasion of the journey are not paid by you or a third party;
  • the journey does not give rise to any other benefit of the same nature.


Source: Circular 2023/C/98 on subsistence allowances in Belgium.


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