As mentioned in our newsflash of 9 june 2020, the federal government has agreed that employers will be able to grant consumption cheques to their employees to support the sectors most affected by the corona crisis. On 22 October, the Belgian Tax Authorities have published an administrative guideline clarifying some practicalities for employers to offer consumption cheques to their employees.
Employers may grant employees consumption cheques up to a maximum amount of EUR 300 (max. EUR 10/check) for the purchase of goods and services in the catering sector (bars & restaurants), the cultural sector and the sports sector. These consumption cheques are considered to be remuneration. However, when several conditions are met, the cheques are exempt from income tax in the hands of the employee and deductible for 100% as professional expenses in the hands of the employer.
Self-employed company directors are explicitly excluded from this regime. Company directors with an employment agreement are however also entitled to the consumer cheques.
If you, as an employer, would like to grant such cheques to your employees, you will have to do so before the end of this year. The cheques will be valid until 7 June 2021.