Company installs solar panels on the house of a manager or employee
Your employer installs solar panels on the roof of your private home. Why? To
give you a benefit? Or maybe you are the manager and the company is located in
(a part of) your house? What about taxes? The minister surprises.
All benefits are salary
The standard rule is that all benefits that the company grants to employees
employees or company directors are regarded as salary or as company directors'
compensation. Benefits are taxed at their market value. The 'market value' here
is the value that the benefits have with the recipient.
There are 2 types of exceptions to this.
Some benefits are not considered
taxable benefits, but social benefits. They are therefore not taxable in the
hands of the employee. Just think of the eco vouchers.
Other benefits are
considered taxable benefits, but their value is estimated on a lump sum basis. A
typical example is the provision of a house: the recipient is not taxed on the
actual benefit, but on an amount based on the cadastral income of the house.
Solar panels: whose are they?
How do you calculate the benefit if the employer has solar panels installed for
an employee? That depends on whose the solar panels are.
If the solar panels become the property of the employee, the taxable benefit is
equal to the value of the solar panels. In response to a parliamentary question,
the Minister of Finance clarified that the benefit is valued based on the market
price for the same installation for private customers.
But it can also be agreed that the installation remains the property of the
employer. In that case, the advantage is not the value of the solar panels, but
the price that the employee would have to pay if he/she were to rent the solar
panels. In other words: the current annual lease price for solar panels on the
And the electricity?
The minister further clarifies in his answer that once the provision of the
solar panels has been taxed, the electricity produced can no longer be regarded
as a benefit in kind. This applies both in the hypothesis that the employee is
the owner of the installation, and when the installation is put at his disposal
and he pays tax on a fictitious lease price.
Alternative for free electricity?
At the beginning of 2022, an electricity company launched a product in which the
employer concluded an electricity contract for the employee, so that he could
receive free electricity or electricity at a reduced price subject to
conditions and with some restrictions. The 'free provision of heating and of
electricity used for purposes other than heating' is also taxable, but in
principle on a lump sum amount. The value of such benefit in 2022 is equal to
2.130 euros per year for heating, and 1.060 euros per year for electricity for
executives and business leaders. For other employees, this value is set at
respectively 960 and 480 euros per year.
That lump sum valuation is much
lower than the actual value of the benefit, so the gain was calculated quickly.
However, the minister reacted fairly quickly by limiting the lump sum estimate
for free heating and electricity to situations where the house is also put at
the disposal of the employee. If not, then the real value of the benefit
The question is therefore (and certainly if the employer remains the owner of
the solar panels) what is actually put at the disposal' here: the solar panels
or the electricity?
Suppose you live in a house owned by your company. And your company installs
solar panels on the building, which saves you electricity
What is your
advantage then? The solar panels or the electricity...? It seems that the last
word on this has not yet been written.