Catering industry – Reminder: mandatory registered cash register system – social and tax incentives

Auteur: Peggy Criel - Anne Ghysels

The obligation for the employer who regularly serves meals to dispose of a registered cash register system will be effective as from 1 January 2015. This obligation goes hand in hand with the granting of benefits in the form of a reduction in social security contributions and tax burdens.


As from 1 January 2015, the registered cash register system will become mandatory for the employer if he regularly serves meals. This is the case if the turnover of his restaurant and catering services equals or exceeds 10 % of the total turnover of his catering activities.

The tax administration uses the data of calendar year 2014 as a basis to determine whether the employer is obliged to introduce a registered cash register system.  If that is the case, the employer must register his business on 28 February 2015 at the very latest.

When the employer registers, he will be assigned one of the following dates as a deadline for putting the registered cash register system in his business into service: 30 June 2015, 30 September 2015 or 31 December 2015. These 3 dates constitute administrative deviations on the mandatory legal introduction date of 1 January 2015.

However, the employer may voluntarily choose to register and put a registered cash register system into service as early as now.

For further details regarding the registration of your registered cash register system and specific questions regarding this subject (calculation of 10 %, specific activities), we refer to the website

The tax penalties with regard to the obligation of the registered cash register system shall be suspended until 1 January 2016.

Social incentive

Since 1 January 2014, the employer who disposes of and uses a registered cash register system is entitled to a target group reduction of social security contributions if he meets certain conditions.

The conditions are the following:

  • Come under Joint Committee 302;
  • Employ maximum 49 workers (regardless of the joint committee);
  • Use a registered cash register system that is certified and registered with the tax authorities in every establishment unit from the 1st day of the quarter concerned and during the entire quarter concerned;
  • Register the daily attendance of all permanent workers (even the workers who do not come under joint committee 302) through the registered cash register system or through the alternative system of attendance registration.

The reduction of employer's social security contributions amounts to:

  • 500 EUR/ quarter/ permanent worker who works full-time;
  • 800 EUR/ quarter/ permanent worker who works full-time and is younger than 26 years. 

The employer may be entitled to this reduction for maximum 5 workers who come under joint committee 302.

These workers must have concluded a full-time employment contract, but do not necessarily have to be in service during the entire quarter.  

Tax incentive

Certain employers are entitled to an exemption of the advance payment of withholding tax for some categories of workers who work overtime. The worker, for his part, is entitled to a tax reduction.

This reduction of the tax burden for working overtime is only granted for the first 130 hours the worker has performed as overtime during the taxable period.

Since 1 January 2014, this restriction is increased to 180 hours for the catering industry, provided that the worker is employed by an employer who uses a registered cash register system in every place of business and has declared this cash register system to the tax administration according to the applicable procedure.


Auteur: Peggy Criel - Anne Ghysels