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Companies that achieved good results during the crisis have the possibility to award a purchasing power bonus of up to 750€ to their employees in 2023.
This purchasing power bonus benefits from advantageous social and fiscal treatment and is not taken into account for the wage norm.
The purchasing power bonus is awarded in the form of (electronic or paper) consumption vouchers. It can be issued from 1 June 2023 until 31 December 2023.
UPDATE! The final payment date of the purchasing power bonus in the form of consumption vouchers is extended by 3 months until 31 March 2024. There is no change to the deadline for the decision to award a purchasing power bonus (arising of the entitlement), which remains 31 December 2023. For more info see our Infoflash on this topic.
Provided certain conditions are met, the purchasing power bonus is not subject to the ordinary social security contributions. However, a special contribution will be payable by the employer.
The purchasing power bonus is not subject to (personal and employer) social security contributions if the following conditions are met:
If such a CBA is concluded at the level of a joint committee (or subcommittee), it must, in order to be legally valid, contain two definitions based respectively on high profits in 2022 and exceptionally high profits in 2022, thus delimiting companies where good results have been achieved during the crisis.
UPDATE! Numerous joint committees now stipulate that a purchasing power bonus must be awarded. You can always find this information in our sector documentation, which we update each time we are in possession of a final regulation. Please contact your payroll consultant if you have any questions about this topic or if you think your company falls under the sector requirements for the award of a purchasing power bonus. For more info see our Infoflash on this topic.
If such a CBA is concluded at company level, it must contain a justification that it is a company where good results have been achieved during the crisis.
If a CBA cannot be concluded due to the absence of a trade union delegation or if it concerns a category of staff that is not normally covered by such a CBA, the award may be governed by an individual agreement. This agreement must be in writing and the amount of the purchasing power bonus may not be higher than that provided for in the CBA in the same company.
The purchasing power bonus in the form of electronic vouchers must also meet the following conditions:
The electronic consumer voucher is valid until 31.12.2024 and can be used:
Specific information is required on the consumption voucher if the purchasing power bonus is awarded in the form of paper consumption vouchers:
If this information is not indicated on the paper consumption voucher, the purchasing power bonus is subject to the ordinary social security contributions.
The employer is liable for a contribution of 16.5% on the amount of the purchasing power bonus awarded to his employees.
The purchasing power bonus that does not qualify as remuneration for social security purposes is exempt from income tax up to a (non-indexable) amount of 750€.
If an employee receives purchasing power bonuses from more than one employer in 2023 and the total amount of these purchasing power bonuses exceeds 750€, the part exceeding 750€ will nevertheless constitute taxable income.
Exception: A purchasing power bonus awarded to a self-employed company director is not exempt.
Sources: Royal Decree of 23 April 2023 on the purchasing power bonus, Belgian Official Gazette 28.04.2023; Act of 24 May 2023 laying down measures concerning wage negotiations for the period 2023-2024, Belgian Official Gazette 31.05.2023.
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