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Belgian VAT Desk is a specialist of the construction sector. We assit foreign businesses with all the legal, tax and social formalities in Belgium.

1. Legal & tax aspects for the company

1.1. VAT

Foreign businesses from any EU country have two possibilities to register for VAT purposes in Belgium: direct registration (without a tax representative) or via a tax representative (VAT News n° 517).

We assist foreign companies through the registration process and determine which way is the most appropriate (VAT news n° 515). We also take care of all the VAT obligations: filing VAT returns, VAT accounting, etc.

1.2. Non-resident income tax for companies

The foreign business which has real estate worksites in Belgium is subjected to corporate taxes if the worksite is considered as a permanent establishment for direct tax purposes. The taxes will be based on the profits made in Belgium through this permanent establishment after deduction of the charges and related interests according to Belgian tax law. Those profits will be exempted of taxes in the origin country of the business in accordance to the applicable tax convention.
We determine whether or not the worksite carried out in Belgium is defined as a permanent establishment based on the rules of the convention for the avoidance of double taxation. We assist foreign businesses with their tax obligations: income tax return, tax calculation, assistance in case of tax audit, etc.

1.3. Joint Liability to Fiscal and Social Debts of the Subcontractor

The main contractor has to be vigilant with its subcontractors. Payment defaut of fiscal, soical and wages debts of the latter automatically leads to withholding obligation or, failling that, to a joint liability of the main contractor. This joint liability can be transferred to the contracting authority in case of non-payment from this contractor.

As a matter of fact, Belgian and Foreign companies carrying out activities in the construction sector have to take all the required measures to avoid such a situation:

  • When concluding the contract, make sure that the subcontractor does not have any fiscal and/ or social debts. Moreover, it is of particular interest to them to write out contracts, in which contractual commitments are made regarding these measures [e.g.: the consequences of notifying a joint responsibility, the duties deriving from the obligation to declare, etc.].
  • Verify, when implementing the mission and before paying any invoice, that the subcontractor does not have contracted any fiscal and/ or social debts.
  • In case of fiscal and/ or social debts, withhold 50% [35% for social debts and 15% for fiscal ones] from the amount and transfer it to the Belgian authorities.


2. Legal & tax aspects for the detachment of workers

2.1. Non-resident income tax for workers

When a foreign worker is dispatched on a site Belgium, his income for this activity is taxable in Belgium if the foreign business has a permanent establishment. If this is the case, the worker will pay non-resident tax in Belgium on the income based on its activities on Belgian soil. This aslo imply for the employer to retain an advanced payment on the income and to transfer it to Belgian Treasure.
If the employer has no permanent establishment in Belgium but the worker is dispatched more than 183 days on the worksite, the same applies.
We assist workers with their tax obligations in Belgium: non-resident tax returns,  tax calculation, etc.

2.2. Social security

The foreign worker is in principle subject to the social security in the country where he performs his professional activity even if he lives in another country. Nevertheless, there is an exception: if the foreign business detaches its worker temporarily abroad for professional reasons and if it doesn’t exceed a certain amount of time, the worker will be subjected to the social law of his origin country.
We determine if the conditions to benefit from the exemption are valid and we assist foreign businesses (in close cooperation with a social secretariat) to fulfill its social obligations in Belgium (salary slips, personnel registry, withholding tax calculation, etc.)

2.3. Limosa Declaration

Any foreign company that detaches workers in Belgium has to submit a LIMOSA declaration to the Belgian social security system before the beginning of the occupation in Belgium.
We assist foreign companies with the submission of this declaration.
For more information about this subject, please contact Bernard Ickowicz ([email protected] – tel: 32 2 351 26 00).