Companies in which shift and/or night work is done are exempted under certain conditions from paying on to the authorities part of the wage withholding tax that is retained at source on the salaries of the employees in question. In the context of the tax shift, two measures have been taken with a view to bolstering this exemption measure. In the meantime, these measures have become final.
Rise in exemption
The portion of the withholding tax that does not have to be remitted, is a given percentage of the taxable remuneration of the employees concerned. In 2015, this percentage was 15.60 %. Since 1 January 2016, the percentage amounts to 22.80 %.
Additional reduction of burden for production of high-technology products
The existing exemption from having to pay withholding tax for night and/or shift work is reinforced for companies producing high-technology products.
From 1 January 2016, the percentage of the exemption will be increased by 2.2 % (up to 25 %) for these companies if it is apparent from the judgement made by the European Commission that this increased exemption does not constitute incompatible aid, as referred to in article 107 of the Treaty on the operation of the EU. The Minister of Finance announces the fulfilment of this condition by a notice published in the Belgian Official Gazette.
The increased percentage will only be accorded for employees to the extent that they are actually employed in the production of high-technology products. For employees who are also assigned to the production of other than high-technology products, the increase will be limited pro rata the actual employment in the production of high-technology products.
The criteria that the high-technology products have to comply with, still have to be laid down in a royal decree.
To recall, companies working with a fully continuous work system already qualify for an increase of the exemption percentage by 2.2% (up to 25%).
Source: Act of 26 December 2015 laying down measures for the reinforcement of job creation and purchasing power (1), Belgian Official Gazette 30 December 2015.
Auteur: Peggy Criel