by Dries Torreele
The government has created a compensation scheme for social security contributions over the third quarter as additional support for employers in heavily affected sectors and sectors forced to close due to the coronavirus crisis. The compensation will be equivalent to the basic employer’s contributions and portion of the student solidarity contribution owed by the employer. To help with this measure, the NSSO also recently set up the online ‘NSSO compensation check’ service.
The premium is intended for enterprises that are heavily affected by the coronavirus crisis or were forced to close pursuant to the ministerial decrees of 18 October 2020 and 1 November 2020.
Employers can make use of the online ‘NSSO compensation check’ service. By entering their enterprise’s CBE number, they can determine whether the enterprise qualifies for this premium. Enterprises that disagree with their lack of eligibility may object by means of a web form.
The premium is calculated automatically by the NSSO and granted in two stages. Based on tax returns for the first quarter of 2020, the NSSO will calculate a temporary premium in the course of November. Employers will be informed of the amount of this premium in the week of 23 November via e-Box Enterprises. The payment will subsequently be deposited in their NSSO account.
Once the returns for the third quarter have been finalised, the NSSO will calculate the contributions for that quarter and compare these to the temporary premium. If the contributions exceed the amount of the temporary premium, the excess amount will be paid out. If the contributions for the third quarter are lower than the temporary premium, the employer may keep the difference.
For some employers, their premium may turn out to be very low or even zero. This can have various causes. Perhaps the employer already received an earlier NSSO reduction for some of their employees that fully or partially cancels out the basic social security contributions. It is also possible that they only employ people in flexible working arrangements or as temporary workers.
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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