Data automation and XML conversion for the social passive exemption


The introduction of the unified employment status as from 1 January 2014 results generally in increased dismissal costs for employers. To support employers in dealing with these increased costs of dismissal, the legislator introduced the so-called ‘Exemption for social passive’. See one of our previous posts for more detail on the “corporate tax exemption for social passive”.

If you are planning to claim the exemption for social passive in the corporate income tax return for assessment year 2020, the company is required to submit so-called forms 281.78 within the same due date as the corporate income tax return (or 30 March of year X+1 if this is on a later date). The forms 281.78 contain amongst others details about the relevant employees and the amount of the claimed exemption.

The calculation of the temporary exemption for social passive is in most cases made in a spreadsheet containing data on a line by line basis.

We at PwC have been successful in deploying data preparation and analytics software to perform data cleansing, structuring, conversion and creating of the XML-file to be submitted via

This time-consuming task with a high possibility of errors that was anticipated to take several hours in the event of manual data population in has now been automated using data as available at the company or the company’s payroll office.

Having data available in payroll software and deploying data preparation and analytics apps to perform XML-tagging make applying the exemption for social passive in the corporate income tax return now possible!

If you are as excited as we are, please feel free to contact your regular contact person of PwC, Tim Pieters or Tom Heremans for more information.