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Budgetary agreement - impact on the special tax regime for foreign executives and researchers as regulated by the circular of 8 August 1983:

Following the budgetary agreement of last October, the government wishes to modify, by the end of the year, the special tax regime for foreign executives and researchers.

EFFECTIVE DATE – 1 January 2022.

GENERAL FRAMEWORK:

The most significant change is the abolition of the fiction of Belgian tax non-residence. As such, the two new regimes are called the special tax regime for impatriates (hereinafter "STRI") and for impatriate researchers (hereinafter "STRIR").

NEW FEATURES:

All nationality conditions have been removed so that Belgian nationals meeting the conditions listed below will be able to benefit from the new regime. The maximum duration is fixed at 5 years, possibly extended by 3 years. It will be possible to keep the scheme if one changes employer in Belgium.

CHANGE:

The philosophy of the scheme is profoundly modified in that it is designed exclusively in favour of the impatriate. This novelty is not neutral in terms of tax assistance granted to impatriates.

CONDITIONS:

Additional and cumulative conditions to be assessed over a reference period of 60 months preceding the start of the assignment in Belgium:

Conditions assessed at recruitment but checked annually:

* excluding the reimbursement of recurring expenses covered by the new scheme and assessed on a daily basis in case of partial year, suspension of contract or change of employer.

In the case of non-compliance with the conditions related to the employer or the salary threshold, the application of the scheme is definitely lost.

Other conditions:

BENEFITS:

The calculation of the costs proper to the employer (borne by the employer in addition to the remuneration) is greatly simplified in that it is determined on a flat-rate basis fixed at 30% of the remuneration. This benefit is capped at 90,000 euros on an annual basis. School and moving expenses are still covered at their real value. Development costs of the house may not exceed one month's rent.
The travel exclusion mechanism has been removed.

NEW OBLIGATIONS:

Under this new scheme, an annual analysis will have to be carried out to verify the salary threshold condition. Furthermore, the new regime will be implemented through rigorous reporting.

TRANSITIONAL PERIOD:

An opt-in procedure is foreseen to allow current foreign executives to benefit from the new regime.  Foreign executives not exercising this option could benefit from the old regime until the end of 2022, or even 2023. 

OUR ASSISTANCE:

We propose to:

  • Hold a meeting to go over the outline of the new regime;
  • Conduct an individual analysis for the opt-in;
  • Carry out an analysis of the salary cost implications;
  • Proceed with the set-up of the processes (tax forms, annual review of conditions, certificate of residence);
  • Revise the remuneration policy;
  • Review the implications for the personal situation of impatriates.

For more information contact Luc Lamy ll@taxconsult.be or Alexandre De Munck adm@taxconsult.be

Luc is also Chair of Alliott Global Alliance's Global Mobility Services Group.

About Tax Consult:

Since 1981, at Tax Consult, we have acquired and developed a wide range of expertise in various sectors, including accounting, Belgian and international taxation as well as the international mobility of executives.

Our practice will help you make timely decisions by providing you with concrete, flexible and effective solutions.

Tax Consult subsidiaries:
HR TAX & International Mobility: provides expertise in individual taxation for executives and business leaders in a national and international context. 
TC Accountancy & Advisory: provides accounting and tax expertise to individuals and businesses in a national and international context.