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Tax authorities warn: stricter audits on wage withholding tax exemptions in 2023

The tax authorities announce new audits on companies using exemptions from wage withholding tax payments in 2023.

To support certain sectors, the law provides for so-called ‘wage withholding tax discounts’. Think, for example, of the discount for overtime, scientific research or shift work incl. works in immovable state. The employer is exempted from paying (part of) the wage withholding tax to the Treasury. Since this amount is retained in the company, this directly provides more cash assets.

In this round of audits, the focus is on the exemption for night work and shift work incl. works in immovable state. Last year, this courtesy measure underwent major changes .

Anyone applying for one or more exemptions will initially receive a letter from the tax authorities warning them of the extra audits. In this way, the tax authorities urge you to first check yourself whether you meet all the conditions of the exemption.

Did you apply the exemption incorrectly? Then you can make a spontaneous correction in the wage withholding tax declarations. However, bear in mind that you may owe 4% late payment interest (on an annual basis) if you have to repay unjustified exemptions.

Moreover, should the tax authorities discover during an audit that you did not qualify for the exemption, you risk a tax increase of 10% up to 200%.

A thorough evaluation of the exemptions applied in your company is therefore important. Would you like the help of our specialists in this regard? We are at your service!

© Van Havermaet International 2024

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