Financial difficulties due to the coronavirus: what about taxes?
The Federal Public Service Finance, as well as the Belgian federal government, have issued aid measures for enterprises (albeit natural persons or legal persons) and for all other natural persons whose financial situations have been affected by the coronavirus. These aid measures essentially grant facilities with regard to payment terms and filing terms with the aim of supporting enterprises and natural persons during a period of financial difficulties in relation to the coronavirus.
At first, the FPS Finance issued aid measures specifically for all enterprises. According to these measures, enterprises (natural or legal persons) that effectively suffer financially from the spread of the coronavirus, for example by a sudden drop in turnover, may be granted a payment plan, an exemption of default interest or a remission of penalties for non-payment. These measures can be granted with regard to payroll tax, VAT, personal income tax, corporate income tax and legal entities tax.
In order to obtain these aid measures, an application should be filed through a form (see the website (NL/FR) of the FPS Finance) by 30 June 2020. In principle, the form should be submitted in reaction to a tax assessment or payment notice from the tax authorities.
After the introduction of these aid measures for enterprises, the federal government decided to issue additional aid measures for both enterprises and other natural persons affected by the coronavirus. More specifically, the government grants a postponement of the filing deadline for VAT, corporate income tax, legal entities tax and corporate non-resident tax returns, as well as a deferral of payment of VAT, wage withholding tax, personal income tax and corporate income tax.
The filing deadline for corporate income tax, legal entities tax and corporate non-resident tax returns has been postponed to 30 April 2020. This additional term only applies to the tax returns that normally must be filed between 16 March and 30 April 2020 at the latest.
The filing deadlines for the periodic VAT returns have been postponed as follows:
- The monthly VAT returns for February 2020 and March 2020 can be filed until respectively 6 April 2020 and 7 May 2020.
- The quarterly VAT return for the first quarter of 2020 can be filed until 7 May 2020.
Starters or taxable persons holding a monthly VAT refund license may file their returns until the 24th of the month following the return period.
With regard to the EC sales listing, the filing terms have been postponed as follows:
- The EC sales listings for February 2020 and March 2020 can be filed until respectively 6 April and 7 May 2020.
- The EC sales listing for the first quarter of 2020 can be filed until 7 May 2020.
Taxpayers who still need to file their annual VAT sales listing can do this until 30 April 2020.
The payment deadline of VAT and wage withholding tax within a certain time frame is automatically deferred for a period of 2 months. This entails that payments done within this extended period will not give rise to penalties or interests.
The following VAT payments can be deferred:
- The monthly VAT returns for February 2020 and March 2020 should be paid respectively on 20 May and 20 June 2020 at the latest.
- The quarterly VAT return for the first quarter of 2020 should be paid on 20 June 2020 at the latest.
The payment deadline for special declarations 629 relating to the first quarter of 2020 is postponed to 20 June 2020.
The following wage withholding tax payments can be deferred:
- The monthly returns for February 2020 and March 2020 should be paid respectively on 13 May 2020 and 15 June 2020 at the latest.
- The quarterly return for the first quarter of 2020 should be paid on 15 June 2020 at the latest.
The payment deadlines of personal income tax, corporate income tax, non-resident tax and legal entities tax are automatically deferred for a period of 2 months. No late payment interest will be charged. This deferral of payment applies for tax settlements related to financial year 2019, established as from 12 March 2020.
It should be noted that for tax debts relating to personal income tax and corporate income tax and established before 12 March 2020, the aid measures initially issued by the FPS Finance may provide relief.
Lastly, the federal government has decided to increase the percentages of the benefits for advance payments by companies and self-employed persons affected by the coronavirus for the third and fourth quarter of 2020. Therefore, the deferral of advance payments until 10 October 2020 and 20 December 2020 will be less disadvantageous. These increased percentages can be found on the website of the FPS Finance (NL/FR).
More about the coronavirus
You can read more publications on the impact of the coronavirus on our website. Here you will also find a list of contacts within our office who can advise you with questions about the implications of the coronavirus for your company.
This article provides some general insights on different legal questions. These insights do not constitute legal advice and may not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. The outcome of any legal analysis will strongly depend both on the specific facts and circumstances of each case and on the particularities of the sector and legal relationship involved. Our legal experts in the various domains concerned are available to assist you with the analysis of your questions and provide specific advice tailored to your case and circumstances.