Tax deductible amount for accommodation costs in Belgium
If an employee incurs costs on behalf of or for the benefit of the employer, the employer will in principle reimburse these. Such repayments are expenses proper to the employer. They are not taxable in the hands of the employee and are deductible for the employer. In principle, the employee must prove the authenticity and the amount of the expenditure. But exceptions may be applicable.
Expenses proper to the employer
If an employee advances costs for his employer, the tax authorities will not consider the repayment as wages.
The employer which makes such repayments must be able to demonstrate that these repayments concern expenses which relate to his capacity of employer and that these costs were actually made (the employee must provide proof of payment to the employer).
If the employer reimburses costs that are not incurred at all, or reimburses more than the actual expense, then this compensation will be considered as wages on which taxes are due.
In order to avoid that the burden of proof leads to excessive administration, lump sums for both tax and social security purposes apply.
The major advantage of such lump sum is that it is no longer necessary to prove that the repayment corresponds to the actual expenditure.
There are many examples of such lump sum payments. Just think of fees for car wash, parking and tolls, home office expenses, representation costs, ... Rulings are usually concluded for such fees.
Other reimbursements, such as accommodation costs, are communicated by the tax authorities through a circular letter. As of 1 April 2020, expenses for stays in Belgium were determined as follows:
Daily lump sum allowance (also known as meal expenses): 17,41 euro/day
Monthly lump sum allowance: a maximum of 16 days: 17,41 euro/day
Additional daily allowance for accommodation (hotel): 130,57 euro/night
Please note: these lump sums as determined by the tax authorities in themselves are not related to the lump sum amounts that apply for social security purposes.
For the abovementioned accommodation costs, the social security administration does not qualify the compensation as wages if it does not exceed:
10 euro/day for road costs for non-sedentary employees (for the fact that there are no sanitary facilities)
7 euro/day for meals
35 euro/day if the employee has to stay overnight
These fixed rates only apply to non-sedentary employees.