Belgium's Taxman Giveth, But Social Security Taketh Away

Your edition of 6 January 2003 mentioned that the Belgian minister of finance increased the level of tax-exempt gifts of coupons or checks from €25 to €35. (For prior coverage, see Tax Notes Int'l, 6 Jan. 2003, p. 20, 2002 WTD 247-2 , or Doc 2002-28005 (3 original pages)). Your readers should know that the Belgian social security authorities recently put a damper on that good idea. Their position is that only coupons for €24.79 (which corresponds to the old limit of BEF 1,000) are exempt from social security charges. If a coupon or check has a higher value, social security will be due for the full amount of the instrument: 33 percent in employer's social security contributions, and 13.07 percent in employee's contributions.

The tax man giveth, the social security taketh away, Tax Notes International, 10 February 2003, p. 577
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