New legislative proposal: net compensation replacing eco vouchers

Written by Nicolas de Limbourg 6 February 2017


Members of the four federal majority parties (N-VA, MR, CD&V and Open VLD) have introduced a new legislative initiative concerning the abolishment of eco vouchers and the replacement of this system by cash compensation equivalent to the value of eco vouchers.

As an alternative way of payment, eco vouchers are paper or electronic vouchers that employers may provide to their employees. Typically, an eco voucher enables recipient employees to purchase ecological products and services. An employer may provide eco vouchers for a maximum value of EUR 250 per year to each employee. If certain conditions are fulfilled, the attribution of eco vouchers is exempt from Belgian social security contributions and individual income taxes.

Replacing the system of eco vouchers by net ‘cash equivalents’ would be neutral from a tax and social security point of view for employees. Moreover, going forward, employees would be able to purchase the products and services they want with the cash equivalent of the eco vouchers, without any related spending restrictions.

The above initiative is still subject to discussion in Parliament. In the past, a similar legislative initiative was undertaken with respect to meal vouchers, without success.