5 questions to ask your accountants these days (and their replies)
You deserve accurate answers to the tax and accounting questions you have today. You also deserve to know what you should ask. This is why we have listed these key questions! This is also why we have answered them below, with the support of our partner-accountants!
What help can I expect from the federal government? From my Region?
First of all, you should know that the dates of your tax obligations have been postponed, in order to make your life in lockdown easier:
– you have to pay the VAT for the first quarter by 20 June (instead of 20 April),
– you must submit your VAT return and intra-EU listing by May 7,
– you must submit your clients’ listing by April 30.
You can also apply via your social insurance fund for a replacement income (droit passerelle – overbruggingsrecht)
The conditions for access to this replacement income are being relaxed in the context of the coronavirus crisis. It is open to the self-employed in a secondary occupation and starters too, under certain conditions.
⚠️ Please note that you are entitled to a maximum of 12 months of this specific replacement income during your freelance career.
You can combine this federal government assistance with a one-off lump-sum compensation from your Region.
In Wallonia and Brussels, this aid is respectively 5000 and 4000/2000 euros and is available depending on your Nacebel code. In Flanders, these compensations are 4000 or 3000 euros depending on, among other things, the total or partial closure of your activity.
Is it in my interest to request a deferral of social security contributions?
You can ask your social insurance fund in writing to defer payment of your social security contributions for one year.
In concrete terms, you would pay by 31 March 2021 the social security contributions and regularisation contributions due in the first quarter of 2020. By 30 June 2021, you will pay the contributions for the second quarter of 2020 and the contributions due on 30 June and 30 September 2020. You do not risk an increase, you continue to receive the same benefits. You simply pay, one year later, the amounts announced today.
However, if you do not meet the deadline, you will face a majoration for the quarters in question. You would also have to pay back any benefits you received unduly.
It is up to you to decide whether you can make this payment of contributions one year later or whether you should instead apply for a reduction or exemption from social security contributions.
You must have made your choice (and submit your application) by 15 June 2020.
⚠️Noted that self-employed persons who pay late their social contributions for the first quarter of 2020 do not risk an increase for that quarter.
I have received money from the federal/regional government: what is the impact on my taxes?
The “droit-passerelle/overbruggingsrecht” is a replacement income and is taxable as such. You will receive a form 281.18 to be taken into account in the tax return you will submit in 2021, for the 2020 fiscal year.
Regional aid will not be taxable according to the draft law approved by the Council of Ministers in April.
What expenses can I deduct in confinement?
Some of your professional expenses have naturally disappeared with the advent of confinement. Others, however, are emerging and are opportunities to optimize your taxes:
☎️ Telephone and internet, whose professional use at home may have changed in recent weeks.
🖥Equipements technology, from the ergonomic mouse to the second screen at home, so that you can continue to work at the same pace from home too.
📝Staples, stationery, whiteboard where to throw your ideas: all this material is 100% deductible and may prove indispensable to your productivity in this new work environment.
🎵Spotify or any other subscription to a streaming service is deductible in proportion to your professional use. If you are confined in an environment that is not as quiet as you would like, these subscriptions can prove very useful.
🏦Bank charges linked to your professional account: they sometimes go unnoticed, they are however entirely due to your self-employed activity.
While in lockdown, we might tend to forget about the outside world: what are the deadlines to keep in mind?
- Above all: don’t forget to send a reminder to clients with whom you have an invoice that is ten days or more overdue!
- Keep in mind the deadlines of 30 April and 7 May for submitting your VAT return, intra-EU listing, and clients’ listing.
- The application for support from the Flemish Region must be made before 30 June 2020
- The application for support from the Walloon Region must be made within 60 days following the closure of your activity.
- The application for support from the Brussels Region must be made before 1 June 2020.
- The request for deferral of social security contributions must be made before 15 June 2020.
Today, as always, we help you to meet your obligations: your VAT returns are automatically generated in the app. You know exactly what cash you have available and what you have to pay as VAT and social security contributions. This is our way of helping you make the best decisions anytime!