Modification benefit in kind as of January 2018
Modification smartphone, mobile phone, PC, tablet and internet
When an employee receives a smartphone, mobile phone, PC or other IT device from his employer and is allowed to use it privately, a taxable benefit in kind is created. This benefit is estimated at a flat-rate.
Up until now, there had been a lack of clarity concerning the applicable flat-rates when the employee had multiple devices at his disposal and there had been no clearly stated flat-rates for smartphones and tablets. In addition, the NSSO and the tax authorities have not always been on the same page.
The new regulation that is (most likely) taking effect as of 1.01.2018, aims to modernize and standardize, so that the NSSO and the tax authorities apply the same flat-rates. The Royal Decree of 2/11/2017 that sets the flat-rate level was published in the Belgian State Gazette of 13/11/2017. However, it should be noted that the NSSO’s regulations have yet to be issued.
Which rates will be applied?
Regulation till 31.12.2017
- PC / laptop: € 180 per year (€ 15 per month)
- Tablet: Actual value
- Internet, fixed or mobile: € 60 per year (€ 5 per month)
- Mobile / smartphone: € 150 per year (€ 12,50 per month): this flat-rate concerns device, internet, as well as telephone subscription
- Telephone subscription: Included in the flat-rate of € 12,5 per month
Regulation as of 1.01.2018
- PC / laptop: € 72 per year per device (€ 6 per month)
- Tablet: € 36 per year per device (€ 3 per month)
- Internet, fixed or mobile: € 60 per year (€ 5 per month), regardless of the number of devices
- Mobile / smartphone: € 36 per year for the device (€ 3 per month)
- Telephone subscription: € 48 per year (€ 4 per month)
These amounts must be added up. For example, in the case of a smartphone, € 12 per month will be charged if the employer makes the device, the subscription, and the internet available to the employee.
However, no benefit in kind should be declared in case the employer has set up a system that differentiates private use from professional use, such as the split billing. In such a system, the employee takes charge of his own private use, calculated according to a realistic scheme such as using categories according to function. The existing rules on split billing will not be affected by the new regulations regarding the valuation of private use.
These systems will remain possible and accessible (under reservation) after 1.01.2018.
Modification flat-rates of office costs
Amounts that constitute a reimbursement of costs at the expense of the employer are not considered to be salary and therefore are not subject to social security contributions, nor are they subject to withholding taxes.
For some cost centres, the NSSO has accepted a flat-rate. The new administrative instructions of the 4th quarter of 2017 increase the amount for office costs. The employer can now allocate a maximum of € 124.45 per month to the employee who structurally and on a regular basis performs part of his working time at home.
What should you do as an employer?
- Checking whether there is any IT device made available at company level for which no benefit in kind is declared. You must share this information with your payroll manager. For employees who make use of their own smartphone and only benefit from telephone subscription, the benefit changes considerably.
- If amounts of benefits in kind are mentioned in internal policies or documents, you must adjust them.
- Do you have IT devices, but no policy? Pro Pay can help you draft one.
- If you grant flat-rates for office costs according to the administrative instructions of the NSSO, you can increase the amount up to € 124.45.
- Do you have any doubts concerning the allowances you grant for working from home? We can help you evaluate your existing cost policy.