Advocaten / Avocats / Lawyers

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Belgian tax measures to mitigate the impact of the Corona crisis

Claudine Bodeux

Stijn Vastmans

The Belgian government announced a series of tax measures to help mitigate the impact of the Corona crisis. These tax measures relate to income taxes, wage withholding taxes and VAT.

We briefly summarize the Belgian federal tax measures announced, up until today.

1. Income taxes and wage withholding taxes

1.1. Compliance - extended deadline

The filing deadline for income tax returns (corporate income tax, personal income tax, legal entity tax and non-resident income tax) is automatically extended for tax returns with a due date between 16 March 2020 until (and including) 30 April 2020. In these cases, the ultimate filing date is now 30 April 2020.

1.2. Collection of income taxes

1.2.1. Automatic payment deferral

a. Payment deadlines for all income taxes have automatically been deferred, without any penalty interest or fines becoming due by the tax payers.

The additional delay is two months, counting as from the normal due date for the payment. This measure is applicable to the payment of all income taxes relating to Assessment Year 2019, and for which an assessment note has been sent as from 12 March 2020.

b. Due dates for the payment of the wage withholding tax have also been postponed, without penalty interest or fines becoming due.

The payments relating to wage withholding tax returns can be postponed as follows:

  • Relating to monthly return for February 2020: payment postponed to, at the latest, 13 May 2020; and
  • Relating to monthly return for March 2020: payment postponed to, at the latest, 15 June 2020.
  • Relating to quarterly return for Q1/202: payment postponed to, at the latest, 15 June 2020.

1.2.2. Payment deferral and relief upon request

The Belgian tax authorities have announced additional measures for companies experiencing temporary financial difficulties due to the Corona outbreak. These measures are available upon a motivated request for income taxes, wage withholding taxes and VAT.

Taxpayers may request for:

  • payment of taxes in several instalments;
  • waiver of interest for late payment; and
  • discount on fines.

These measures can only apply insofar the tax returns relating to these tax debts have been duly submitted and to the extent that these tax debts do not result from tax fraud.

A specific form is made available in this respect by the Belgian tax authorities (https://financien.belgium.be/nl/ondernemingen/steunmaatregelen-betreffende-het coronavirus-covid-19).
To benefit from these measures, the taxpayer must submit such form after reception of an assessment note or a payment request and at the latest by 30 June 2020. 

2. VAT

2.1. Compliance – extended deadlines

The federal government has granted an extension of the deadline for submission of the periodical VAT returns and the intra-Community sales listing:

  1. Submission - February 2020 VAT return: until 6 April 2020
  2. Submission - March 2020 VAT return: until 7 May 2020
  3. Submission - Q1 2020 VAT return: until 7 May 2020

Starting companies and taxable persons that have obtained a special permit for monthly VAT refunds and which would like to benefit that monthly VAT refund, should act more quickly and submit the VAT return by the 24th of the month following the reporting period (eg. February 2020 VAT return should be submitted by 24 March 2020 at the latest).

The deadline for submitting the annual sales listing for 2019 is extended until 30 April 2020.

If taxable persons have ceased their economic activities in Belgium, the declaration form for the deactivation of the Belgian VAT number should be submitted by the end of the 4th month following the moment at which the taxable activities have ended (instead of the regular period of one month).

2.2. Collection of VAT

2.2.1. Automatic payment deferral

Furthermore, an automatic deferral of 2 months for the payment of VAT has been granted, without administrative fines or late payment interest being imposed:

  • Payment - February 2020 VAT return: until 20 May 2020
  • Payment - March 2020 VAT return: until 20 June 2020
  • Payment - Q1 2020 VAT return: until 20 June 2020
2.2.2. Payment deferral and relief upon request

In addition to this automatic deferral of payment, taxable persons that experience financial difficulties as a result of the Corona crisis and that motivate damages can also apply for additional measures for the payment of VAT (at the latest by 30 June 2020).

See 1.2.2. for more details in this respect.

3. Tax audits

The Belgian tax authorities also have announced to postpone all non-essential/less urgent on site tax audits.

Remote tax audits could still be executed, as well as urgent on site tax audits (to protect the financial interests of the Belgian state).


Original date of publication: 19 March 2020

For any further questions or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact your trusted Tiberghien advisor.

Claudine Bodeux – Partner (CIT) (claudine.bodeux@tiberghien.com)

Stijn Vastmans – Partner (VAT) (stijn.vastmans@tiberghien.com)

Xhenis Coba – Associate (CIT) (xhenis.coba@tiberghien.com)

Markus Fort – Associate (CIT) (markus.fort@tiberghien.com)

Loulou Geboers – Associate (VAT) (loulou.geboers@tiberghien.com)

Linda Hoxha – Associate (CIT) (linda.hoxha@tiberghien.com)

Gert Vranckx – Senior Associate (VAT) (gert.vranckx@tiberghien.com)

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