Businesses around the world are hit by the Corona (COVID-19) pandemic outbreak. Fortunately tax authorities in many countries recently took the initiative to alleviate undesirable tax burden in order to support taxpayers suffering from the Corona outbreak.
More specifically with respect to Belgium, following measures were introduced by the Belgian tax authorities: (i) special deferral of the payment of certain Belgian tax liabilities (ii) a general extension of the tax return periods and (iii) a delay of normal payment terms. These measures should provide for additional financial breathing room for all companies, businesses and entrepreneurs.
A. Deferral of payment Belgian tax liabilities
1. Which tax liabilities?
The payment deferral is possible for the following Belgian tax liabilities:
- Corporate income taxes
- Personal income taxes
- Taxes on legal entities
- Payroll withholding taxes
Furthermore, the Belgian tax authorities will waive late payment interests, as well as administrative penalties due to late payments.
2. Which taxpayers?
Individuals and legal entities with a Belgian company number can file a request for payment deferral provided that these taxpayers were negatively impacted by the Corona outbreak. This negative impact should be demonstrated with supporting information (e.g. decrease of turnover, decrease of the sales orders, certain level of dependency from business partners, etc.).
Deferral will not be granted to companies that, regardless of the coronavirus, already experience structural payment difficulties regardless of the Corona crisis.
The payment deferral plan will be withdrawn in case the conditions of the plan are not respected by the taxpayer (unless the tax authorities are timely notified in this respect) or in case of collective insolvency proceedings.
3. What to do?
Taxpayers can apply for these measures until 30 June 2020 by completing and filing a formal request to the Belgian tax authorities. A request should be filed for each tax liability.
Besides the above described payment deferral, the government decided to provide for a general delay of two months on top of the normal payment term (no formal request required).
This general delay applies to tax liabilities regarding:
- Personal income taxation
- Corporate income taxation
- Non-residents income taxation
- Legal entity taxation
The measure relates to tax liabilities of TY 2019, assessed as from 12 March 2020. No late payment interests or penalties will be imposed. With regard to the tax liabilities assessed prior to 12 March 2020, the exceptional measures sub A apply.
B. Extension of tax return filing dates
Tax returns with filing due dates between 16 March and 30 April 2020 can be filed up to 30 April 2020 (midnight). (no formal request required)
The extensions apply to tax returns regarding:
- Corporate income tax
- Legal entity taxation
- Non-residents income tax (companies)
C. Payment of VAT and Professional WHT
A delay of payment for VAT and professional WHT applies. Similarly no late payment interests or penalties will be imposed. (no formal request required)
- VAT: see VAT alert: COVID-19 Belgian VAT measures and other possible VAT/CUSTOMS reliefs
- Professional WHT:
|Payment for||Delay postponed up to|
|Monthly return – February 2020||13 May 2020|
|Monthly return – March 2020||15 June 2020|
|Quarterly return – 1st quarter 2020||15 June 2020|
D. VAT – extension filling VAT returns – Intra-Community sales listing – Annual sales listing
E. Other support measures
Employers who have difficulties to pay employer’s social security contributions due to the Corona outbreak can also file a request with the social security services in order to obtain a deferral for the payment of the installments regarding the first and second quarter of 2020. The application form can be found on the website of the Federal Public Service Social Security (Dutch – French)
In addition to the aforementioned tax measures, a deferral for the payment of property tax will be granted to Belgian companies as well. The property tax assessment notices for companies will be issued as from September.
Do not hesitate to contact your trusted EY business advisor for any assistance and support you would require for any of these specific measures.