The 2022 Belgian budget round
08/11/2021

On the 29th October, the council of ministers agreed on the draft program law outlining the 2022 Belgian budget measures. 

On 9 November at 16.00, PwC Belgium will organise a webinar where our experts will reflect on this set of measures and the impact this may have for businesses in Belgium. If you are interested, feel free to register for our webinar via this link:  Join us via this link. 


What has been decided?

The draft program law includes a package of measures aiming to transition the Belgian economy post Covid. A number of measures focus on a more sustainable and green economy. Other measures aim to increase the tax revenue in view of reducing the budget deficit. The program law is draft, as the law still needs to be approved by the parliament.

Please find below an overview of the main measures proposed by the council of ministers:

  • Measures reforming the tax position of professional sports players and sport clubs. 
  • Introducing a new Belgian expat regime based on Belgian tax residency and allowing a tax and social security free cost reimbursement of costs proper to the employer/company (one off expenses and recurring expenses, the latter limited to 30% of the remuneration with an absolute cap of 90.000 EUR). The new regime is limited in time and applies only for expats moving to Belgium from a distance of more than 150 km outside of Belgium and which earnings are higher than 75.000 EUR (exceptions for researchers are foreseen). 
  • Regulated real estate companies can benefit from a specific withholding tax regime provided they invest for at least 80% in healthcare real estate (increase of the threshold from 60% to 80%).
  • A boost of the existing tax shelter for start-ups and scale-ups doubling the maximum amounts for using the tax shelter to support start-ups and scale-ups to attract funding.
  • With effect from 1 January 2022, the provision of furnished accommodation subject to VAT can no longer benefit from the exemption scheme for small businesses.
  • Changes to the excise duties on electricity and gas to compensate for the current price development (aim to maintain the price level of 2021 for electricity and gas also in 2022 by adjusting excise duties) and reduction of excise duties refund for professional fuel.
  • Establishment of a legal framework for cooperation between the tax administration, the Public Prosecution Service and federal judicial police in view of combating tax fraud. In this context, at least 25 tax inspectors of the special investigation team (BBI/SSI) will receive broader (judicial) investigation powers (‘officier de police judiciaire, auxiliaire du procureur du Roi’/’officier van gerechtelijke politie, hulpofficier van de procureur des Konings’). 
  • The introduction of an incentive mechanism for cargo transportation via the railway system.
  • Some other measures include an increase in the tax deduction for child care, an exemption for subsidies granted in respect of bottleneck professions, an increase of the overtime performed in the construction sector that can benefit from the increased compensation allowance, measures to ensure that the temporary unemployment because of Covid and the floods in Belgium will not impact the annual holiday pay of employees, etc…


What are the next steps?

The draft program law will now be reviewed by the Council of State and will then continue the legislative process. This agreement at the level of the council of ministers is an important step, but the law remains draft until final approval by the Belgian parliament. 
 

Author: Pieter Deré, Director

 

Related : PwC Belgium


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