CO2 contribution (2): what's new?

Auteur: Anne Beckers
Datum:

The national social security office’s (NSSO) 2nd quarter 2014 guidance to employers has clarified some matters relating to the CO2 contribution.

Essentially, they relate to:

  • The private use presumption for general-purpose vehicles;
  • What is meant by “a fixed place of work”;
  • What is meant by "very occasional" private use.

The first issue has been treated in an earlier infoflash.

Generally

The CO2 contribution is payable if the worker travels between his home and a fixed place of work using a general-purpose vehicle provided by the employer. As a general rule, no levy is due for travel between home and a non-fixed place of work.

The question, therefore, is: when is a place of work a fixed place of work? The NSSO’s administrative guidance for the 2nd quarter 2014 spells out the two criteria that determine whether a place of work is fixed.

New definition

The NSSO now defines a fixed place of work as being a place of work (business premises, worksite, customer’s premises, etc.) that meets both of the following two conditions:

  • The worker actually does a significant amount of work there.

Examples:

The work done by a technician who works at his normal place of employment all morning repairing machinery which he will then install on customers’ premises in the afternoon before returning directly home is sufficiently significant to meet the first criterion .

By contrast, a technician who comes to his normal place of employment in the morning just to load goods which he will then deliver to customers all day before returning directly home does not meet the first criterion.

  • The worker travels in the vehicle to the same place on at least 40 days a year, which may but need not be consecutive. Once that 40 day total is reached for a place, the CO2 levy is due for the entire year. It may if applicable be limited to the period for which the vehicle was provided where, for example, it was purchased during the year.

The situation now

If the worker travels between his home and a fixed place of work in a general-purpose vehicle and the place of work meets both of the above conditions, the CO2 contribution must be calculated and deducted.

The NSSO specifies that if a vehicle (utility or general-purpose vehicle) is used for private purposes very occasionally (e.g., to move house over a weekend provided the vehicle is immediately returned to the place of employment afterwards), the CO2 contribution need not be calculated.

Note that "very occasional" use will be assessed in each individual case by the NSSO inspectorate, so employers should be circumspect in determining what counts as a "very occasional" use.

Source: Administrative guidelines NSSO 2014/02.

Auteur: Anne Beckers

17/06/2014