by Hannelore Durieu and Biene Ongenaert
Do you usually work abroad, but have you worked mainly from home in the past few months due to the coronavirus? Under normal circumstances, this would mean that you now had to pay tax and social security contributions in Belgium instead of your country of employment. To prevent this, two measures were created. These measures have now been extended through 31 December 2020.
If you work in another country, you generally also pay income tax in that country. However, in the past few months, people have been advised to work from home as much as possible to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This would mean that income in these months is subject to Belgian taxation instead of being taxed abroad.
To address this situation, Belgium has concluded an agreement with its neighbouring countries. The specific countries involved are the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and France. These have agreed that any days in which you work from home due to the coronavirus will be designated as days that you normally work abroad. That means the income for these days will not be taxed in Belgium, but in the country of employment.
To qualify for this ruling as a Belgian citizen, two conditions apply:
This ruling will remain in effect until 31 December 2020.
Within the European Union, employees may only be covered under one country’s social security system at a time. If you work abroad, this is generally the social security system for the country of employment. What happens if you work in multiple countries? In that case, you are covered by the system for the country in which you carry out at least 25% of your work (hours or duties). However, home working runs the risk of social security obligations shifting from the foreign country to Belgium.
To avoid this, the Belgian authorities have decided to disregard the home working period in determining which social security system is applicable. To qualify for this ruling, two conditions apply:
This ruling will remain in effect until 31 December 2020 as well.
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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