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New year, new corona (support) measures

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Due to the ongoing pandemic, companies need additional support more than ever. This week, therefore, some extensions of support measures were announced as well as some new protective measures.


1. Exemption/discharge of rent

Where a taxpayer operating a store or a café is temporarily required to pay only part of the rent or no rent to a leasing company as a result of the mandatory closure due to the pandemic, the benefit provided will not, in principle, be considered an abnormal or benevolent benefit on the part of the lessee.

Whether such a trade rental receivable booked as revenue is deductible as a professional expense for the renting company must be considered on a case-by-case basis. If the company makes this remission in accordance with Article 49 ITC in order to obtain or retain taxable income - a condition that will be met in quite a few cases - the remitted rents booked as expenses can be considered as deductible professional expenses.


2. Social contribution exemption/payment plan

The self-employed who are currently facing economic difficulties because of the corona crisis can obtain an additional postponement, reduction or even exemption from their social security contributions. The social security contributions for which a postponement has already been obtained in the past and which expire in 2021 can moreover be paid off through an instalment plan. The following was decided:

  • Deferral of social contribution: Self-employed persons in main occupation, secondary occupation and active pensioners can postpone the payment of their social contributions for the first half of the year by one year, while maintaining their social rights.
  • Reduction of social contribution: all self-employed workers experiencing difficulties due to the coronavirus may request a reduction in their provisional social security contributions.
  • Exemption from social contribution: self-employed persons in main profession and active pensioners can, as in 2020, apply for an exemption from their social security contributions for the first half of the year through a simplified application procedure.
  • Repayment Plan: self-employed workers who have deferred their social contribution by one year in 2020 can now apply for a 12-month repayment plan for this from their social insurance fund


3. Brussels: tetra premium

From February, it will be possible to apply for a premium for the economic sectors most affected by the crisis (restaurants and cafes and their main suppliers; tourist accommodation, including hotels and guest rooms; companies in the events, culture and tourism sector and discotheques).

The amount will be determined based on the number of full-time equivalents (FTE) of the company and the decrease in sales between the last three quarters of 2019 and the same period in 2020.

Depending on the sector involved, premium amounts will fall within the following ranges:

  • For the hospitality industry, hospitality suppliers and the events industry: from 5,000 to 36,000 euros;
  • For the accommodation sector: from 5,000 to 50,000 euros;
  • For the discotheques: from 60,000 to 100,000 euros


4. Brussels: Premium for non-essential commercial matters

Premium of up to 5,000 euros for the so-called "non-essential" trade cases that had to close based on the decisions of the Consultation Committee of October 30, 2020.

Companies and self-employed persons with the following NACE codes that were unable to reopen on December 1, 2020, are eligible for a first installment of 1,500 euros.


5. Wallonia: investment premium

Until April 30, 2021, it will be possible to apply for investment support for the manufacture of COVID19-affiliated products (drugs, vaccines and other treatments, raw materials, diagnostic tools, etc.).

Investments are eligible if they are necessary for the manufacture of these products and take place between February 1, 2021, and no later than six months after the aid is granted. Investments must total at least 50,000 euros.


6. Attestation abroad

Until March 1, non-essential travel abroad is prohibited for persons whose main residence is in Belgium.

To make an essential trip, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You have a completed statement on honor. This statement on honor must be carried with you at all times.
  • Did you stay abroad for longer than 48 hours or are you returning to Belgium by plane, train, bus or boat? Fill out the Passenger Location Form at least 48 hours before your arrival in Belgium.

For more information on federal and regional aid measures, please refer to our schedule.


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