Today, employers have a reporting obligation for the reimbursements of "expenses proper to the employer" that they grant to their employees/managers, by including them in the 281.10 (employees) or 281.20 (managers) forms. As of income year 2022, this obligation will be extended for these allowances. The tax authorities want to put a stop to the double use of reimbursements of costs proper to the employer. Failure to comply with this new reporting requirement may result in tax non-deductibility or an administrative penalty.
Current chit obligation
An "expense proper to the employer" (also known as "expense reimbursement") is an expense paid by the employee or manager but on behalf of the employer/company. Reimbursements of these expenses are not taxable on the employee/manager and are also a deductible professional expense on the part of the employer/company. The reimbursement of these costs can be based on actual supporting documents or on a predefined lump sum.
According to the current reporting requirement, the reimbursement of an expense proper to the employer for employees and managers must be reported on sheets 281.10 and 281.20, respectively. In principle, a statement of the existence of the expense reimbursement is sufficient. Only in exceptional cases is a statement of the exact amount required.
Costs proper to the employer anno 2022
A new legal text now extends the current reporting obligation for remunerations paid from January 1, 2022. This change in the law will therefore have an impact at the earliest on the forms that will have to be drawn up at the beginning of 2023. Both for reimbursements to employees (sheet 281.10) and executives (sheet 281.20), the actual amount reimbursed will have to be reported for each expense reimbursement granted as of January 1, 2022, whether or not it is fixed. Note that a debit entry on the current account of the manager is also considered as a reimbursement.
By increasing transparency, the legislator hopes to better combat double deduction of expense reimbursements. Depending on the type of expense reimbursement, a different penalty applies in the event of non-compliance with the new reporting obligation:
Failure to properly disclose lump-sum expense reimbursements results in the non-deductibility of the reimbursement and may result in the application of the secret commissions assessment
Expenses that are reimbursed on the basis of supporting documents and are not correctly stated will still be deductible but will result in an administrative penalty. It is still unclear whether this will be a sanction per sheet or a sanction per violation. Unlike for fixed expense allowances, however, not correctly stating the amount will not result in the application of the secret commissions tax.
The new chapters 281.10 and 281.20 have not been published to date, so for now we will have to wait for the further practical elaboration.
In any case, it is certain that the new reporting obligation seems to allocate the burden of proof regarding expenses proper to the employer to the taxpayer, which plays into the tax authority's hands. An elaborate policy regarding reimbursement of expenses proper to the employer will be more and more on the agenda as of 2022. If one wishes to avoid discussions regarding the tax classification of the reimbursed costs, a ruling can always be requested from the advance decisions department.
Summary sheet entries
|Type of reimbursement||Entry sheet 2021||Entry sheet 2022|
|Cost reimbursement determined based on evidence.||"Yes - supporting documents"||"Yes - supporting documents" + specify amount|
|Flat-rate cost reimbursement determined based on serious matching standards.||"Yes - serious standards"||"Yes - serious standards" + specify amount|
|Lump-sum cost reimbursement not established based on serious matching standards.||Indication of amount||Indication of amount|
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