by Elien Verbrugge and Els Van Eenhooge
The tax authorities want to get a better idea of business expense reimbursements to be borne by the employer. For reimbursements paid as from 1 January 2022, the total amount of all types of business expense reimbursements must always be reported on the tax form.
When an employee or manager incurs expenses that are to be borne by the employer or company, the reimbursement of these expenses is not taxable for the employee or manager concerned. The actual expenses incurred can be reimbursed on the basis of supporting documents. Another way of reimbursing expenses is on a flat-rate basis.
For some expenses, the tax authorities will provide a flat-rate estimate (or ‘serious norm’). For instance, for reimbursements of business trips within Belgium, or for the kilometre allowance for professional travel by private vehicle or motorcycle, moped or bike. The employer may also reimburse other expenses on a flat-rate basis. These include expenses for working from home and entertainment expenses. The flat-rate estimate of these expenses is usually a matter of fact.
Until now, flat-rate reimbursements that were repayments of expenses to be borne by the employer had to be reported on individual tax forms (tax form 281.10 for employees and tax form 281.20 for company managers). For flat-rate reimbursements that did not comply with serious norms, only the amount of the reimbursed expenses was required to be reported. Flat-rate reimbursements were deemed to be in compliance with serious norms solely on the basis of the statement, "YES, serious norms". Similarly, reimbursements that relied on supporting documents required only the inclusion of the statement "YES, supporting documents" on the tax form.
However, such statements are no longer sufficient. From income year 2022 onwards, the requirement to report will be extended to include the total amount of all types of expense reimbursements on the tax form. This principle will be applied to all reimbursements by the employer for all business expenses as from 1 January 2022.
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