Advocaten / Avocats / Lawyers

Monday, 20 April 2020

My employees are working in shifts. Are there any tax incentives I could benefit from?

For several years now, Belgian tax law provides for a (partial) withholding tax exemption on wages paid to night and shift workers. This measure implies that employers employing employees on a night and/or shift system and granting a shift premium for that purpose, under certain conditions do not have to remit part of the withholding tax withheld on wages of these employees to the treasury.

Currently, the exemption amounts to 22,8 % of the taxable remuneration. For employees active in a fully continuous shift system, the exemption increases to 25%. There is also a specific regime for shift work in the construction sector (with an exemption of ‘only’ 18%, but with less stringent conditions).

Recent case law confirms that the withholding tax exemption for shift work can apply, not only in ‘classic’ shift work sectors, but also e.g. to shift work in the transport sector, supermarkets or other retail stores. This case law interprets the concept of shift work in a much broader way than the tax authorities advocated.

During these financially challenging times in which preservation of cash flow is essential for many companies, it may definitely be worth the while taking into account this recent case law, and taking a look whether or not this tax incentive can be applied in your organization.

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