Employees in Belgium who “structurally and regularly” work from home can receive a flat-rate cost allowance from their employer. The Belgian tax administration issued a circular (2021/C/20) applying to employees continuing to work from home post-COVID. Please note, this allowance is not obligatory so what employers actually offer will differ from business to business.
The maximum amount of this allowance was again increased on 01/09/2022 to reflect inflation to 142,95 EUR per month.
Work from home allowances in Belgium
- 1 September 2022 on: €142,95
- 1 June 2022 to 31 August 2022 : €140,15
- 1 April 2022 to 31 May 2022 : €137,40
- 1 January 2022 to 31 March 2022: €132,07
- 1 July 2021 to 31 December 2021: €129,48
- 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2021: €144,31
- 1 January 2021 to 31 March 2021: €129,48
- 13 March 2020 to 31 December 2021: €126,94
What the Belgium working from home allowance covers
Since the costs associated with homeworking are relatively small and difficult to prove, the social security and tax authorities accept that these costs are estimated on a flat-rate basis. The flat-rate home-work allowance is intended to cover, among other things, costs for heating, electricity, water, insurances, office supplies and refreshments.
The flat-rate work from home allowance amount of 142,95 EUR is exempt from social contributions and taxes.
Employer decisions around the work from home allowance
The amount of 142,95 EUR per month is a maximum. It isn’t mandatory to grant this maximum amount, but employers are free to do so.
Employers can decide to categorise staff and pay a different allowance based on category of staff but there must be a justification as to why a higher or lower allowance is being granted to a particular category.
For employees to qualify as “structurally and regularly” working from home, according to the circular, there must be at least 5 days of working from home per month. It is available to employees even those that were not working from home prior to the pandemic. The amount is not to be reduced for part-time work.
Other lump sum costs and reimbursements for home offices
There are different lump sum cost allowances that employers can pay employees towards working from home costs. These are also free from income taxes and social security contributions and are considered as reimbursements including for the professional use of the private internet connection (€20,00 per month), the professional use of the private PC (also €20,00 per month), and the professional use of the private printer/scanner (€5 per month).
There are reimbursements for office materials that can be made in addition to the flat-rate office allowance, such as an office chair, table, cupboard, desk lamp, second screen, printer/scanner, keyboard, mouse, headset and any spec of equipment that someone with a disability would need to be able to work easily with a PC. Rules do apply on the scope of what these reimbursements could mean, requirements for supporting documents and subject to what is usually on offer at the place of work.
How to implement the allowance and any changes in it
Are homework allowances granted to your employees and would you like to apply the increase? Please notify us by e-mail in order that we can take the necessary steps.
We would also like to remind you that a policy and written agreement should be drawn up for homeworkers, in principle at the latest when the employee starts working from home. Certain mandatory provisions must be included, such as where the employee will work from home, how expenses will be reimbursed, etc.
We can help you draw up a home working policy and agreement. Contact us here for more information.