Allocation of consumption vouchers
23/07/2020

A Royal Decree published today stipulates that employers may grant their employees so-called consumption vouchers that can be used in establishments belonging to the hospitality, culture and sports sectors. These consumption vouchers will not be considered as remuneration subject to social security contributions provided that the conditions set out in the Royal Decree are complied with.

 

Given the heavy impact of the lockdown on the hospitality, culture and sports sectors, the government wished to support these sectors. In this context, the government has decreed that employers can grant their employees one-off consumption vouchers with a value of up to EUR 300 before 31 December 2020. The consumption vouchers may only be spent in the sectors mentioned.

 

The Royal Decree stipulates that these consumption vouchers are not regarded as remuneration (and are therefore exempt from social security contributions) provided that the following conditions are met:

  • The voucher may not be granted as a replacement or conversion of the remuneration, contributions or other benefits, whether or not subject to social security contributions;
  • The granting of consumption vouchers must be included in a collective agreement concluded at sectoral or company level. If there is no trade union delegation at the company level or if the allocation concerns a category of personnel for which it is not customary to conclude a CBA, the granting can also be arranged by means of an individual agreement;
  • The CBA or the individual agreement mentions the highest nominal value of the consumption voucher, with a maximum of EUR 10 per consumption voucher;
  • The consumption voucher is delivered in the name of the employee;
  • The consumption voucher must contain certain mandatory provisions (including the fact that it is only valid until 7 June 2021);
  • The consumption voucher may not be exchanged for cash;
  • The total value of consumption vouchers granted by the employer may not exceed EUR 300 per employee.
  • The above-mentioned conditions would also apply to the tax exemption and deductibility of consumption vouchers as business expenses for corporate tax purposes. However, there is no (draft) text in this respect on the tax side yet.

The consumption vouchers can be ordered from a recognised issuing company but it will (in principle) also be possible for anyone (including the employers) who meets the above legal conditions to issue such vouchers. However, given the urgency, consumption vouchers will not be issued in electronic form because the procedure for recognising a service provider would take too long.

 

Related : Claeys & Engels


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