In the construction sector, professional clients have been obliged for some time to check whether a contractor they intend to engage for work involving property or the supply of ready-mixed concrete, has tax or social liabilities at the time of payment of any invoices pertaining to this work. This regulation was later extended to include work in the meat sector and surveillance and/or monitoring services.
In the event of existing liabilities you, as a professional client, must make the necessary deductions from invoices.
- In the event of social liabilities, you must withhold 35% of the amount owed to the contractor and forward the payment to the Rijksdienst voor Sociale Zekerheid (RSZ) (National Social Security Office - NSSO).
- In the event of tax liabilities, the withholding and forwarding obligation amounts to 15%.
What are the consequences if you do not withhold relevant amounts?
If you fail to do this as a professional client, you become jointly and severally liable. You consequently run the risk of having to pay for these liabilities yourself. The obligation also applies to a contractor who engages the services of a subcontractor, and if you use a service provider who is not based in Belgium.
The NSSO and the tax authorities have now joined forces in order to provide professionals with a single shared website, where they can check whether potential service providers have social and tax liabilities using the contractor's company registration number.
If the NSSO and the tax authorities do not have data concerning social or tax liabilities, instructions will be provided on further steps that need to be taken.
Do you have further queries concerning this topic? Feel free to contact us. We would be happy to assist.