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COVID-19: A new employee benefit: the consumption voucher

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One of the relance measures of the government is the possibility for employers to offer a consumption voucher to their employees to support the severely affected industries (such as the hotel, restaurant and café industry and the culture sector). The parliament has approved the tax aspects of this advantage yesterday.

The following points are important:

No obligation for the employer The employer can grant a voucher (valued at 300 EUR) but this is no obligation. Examine your benefits policy and verify whether  you want to grant this to your employees as tax advantageous incentive.
Affected industries Consumable in hotels, restaurants, cafés and the sports and culture sector, but possibly also in other establishments (this still has to be determined).
Where to buy? Employers can buy the consumption vouchers directly by the hotels, restaurants and cafés (in that case, they are only valid in that specific place), by local authorities, or by organizations who are specialized in the issuance of vouchers (Edenred and Sodexo are already offering this on their website).
Validity The vouchers can be granted until 31 December 2020 and are limited until 7 June 2021 (namely 12 months starting from the end of the date of the obligation to close the hotels, restaurants and cafés in in the context of the urgent measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19)
Fiscal advantage Qualification as advantage of all nature and exemption of tax. Contrary to other sorts of vouchers (meal, eco, …), the expenses are deductible as business expenses.
Social security contributions? This still has to be determined. Under certain conditions, the consumption voucher will most likely be exempted from social security contributions. The conditions will probably be the following (but this still has to be confirmed):
  • the voucher cannot be exchanged for an existing employee benefit, 
  • must be granted through a collective bargaining agreement or individual agreement, and
  • to all/objective category of employees. 

The voucher must not be taken into account for the maximum wage norm of 2019-2020.

Apart from the impact of the now widespread Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our daily personal life, companies in Belgium and around the world also face important difficulties and challenges on all levels of their day-to-day business.

Find out more regarding various related topics

Our dedicated Lydian team is ready to assist you with any questions you might have regarding the impact of the Coronavirus on your daily business.

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