Although highly taxed there are a number of perks and benefits available in Belgium, which are less common elsewhere. For instance, cars in Belgium with the free use of fuel are fairly common for senior staff due to their relatively favourable tax treatment.
We recently conducted an in-depth salary survey of Brussels association staff (see diagram below) which is of some relevance here. According to our research, meal vouchers, group pension plans, phones and private healthcare insurance are available to the majority of mid to senior secretariat staff. This list is useful for salaried staff of consultancies and corporates as well to assess what perks and benefits might be possible.
Nearly all of these benefits are pretty standard the higher up the value chain you go. One particularly important perk is the Representation Allowance ‘Frais de representation’. Such lump sum cost allowances are not subject to social security contributions and taxes, provided that the employer can demonstrate that the reimbursed lump sum expenses represent the actual costs incurred by the employees/directors and that the lump sum amounts are established according to reasonable standards. In order to determine the reasonable standards in each industry, Deloitte tax professionals have developed a specific benchmark, based on numerous administrative decisions issued by the Belgian tax authorities over the 5 last years. Accessing the Representation Allowance Compass will give you a fair idea of the amounts usually reimbursed in a specific industry sector, according to the latest state of the administrative practice. See here.