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Tax Insights February 2021 - Non-recurring result-tied benefits (CBA 90 bonus)

The non-recurring result-tied benefit is a collective bonus related to the achievement of certain objectives which are obviously uncertain at the time of implementation of the bonus plan.

If the granting of the advantages meets a number of conditions, as stipulated in the relevant regulations (i.e. collective bargaining agreement or CBA 90), these are treated beneficially from a social and tax point of view.

In this Tax Insight you will find more information on how such a bonus plan should be drawn up and implemented and what the beneficial social and tax treatment is.

COLLECTIVE BONUS

The non-recurring result-tied benefit is a bonus linked to the collective results of an enterprise, a group of enterprises or a well-defined group of employees, between which a distinction is made on the basis of objective criteria. Granting such a bonus or benefit depends on the realisation of collective objectives that are clearly defined, transparent, definable/measurable, verifiable and furthermore obviously uncertain at the time of implementation of the bonus plan.

The objectives must always be achieved during a specific reference period which should be at least three months. In practice, employers often opt for a reference period of one year.

FORMALITIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION

In case a trade union delegation is present in the company for the employees concerned, the introduction of the bonus plan must take place via a collective bargaining agreement. If no trade union delegation is present for the employees for whom the bonus plan is to be introduced, an act of accession must be drawn up. Furthermore, there is foreseen in an obligation for the employer to consult and inform the concerning employees regarding the implementation of the cba 90 bonus.

The submission of the bonus plan must take place before one third of the reference period has elapsed. If an employer would thus choose for a reference period of one year, the bonus plan should be submitted by the end of the fourth month at the latest. Upon submission, the competent joint committee will rule on the draft bonus plan and decide whether or not to approve it.

SOCIAL AND TAX TREATMENT

In case the CBA 90 bonus plan has been drawn up, implemented and executed correctly and in accordance with the stipulated regulations and the bonus amount does not exceed the amount of 3.447,00 euros (amount applicable for 2021) gross, a special social security contribution of 33% is due by the employer and a solidarity contribution of 13,07% by the employee. In addition and contrary to a regular cash bonus, no vacation pay is due on the non-recurring result-tied bonus.

From a tax point of view, the non-recurring result-tied benefit is fully tax deductible for the employer. For the employee, this CBA 90 bonus is exempt from taxes to a maximum amount of 2.998,00 euros (i.e. the gross amount minus the solidarity contribution of 13,07%). 

Please find below a numerical example where the non-recurring result-tied benefit is compared with a cash bonus.

2021

CBA 90 bonus

Cash bonus

Employer cost

4.584,51 EUR

4.584,51 EUR*

Gross amount

3.447,00 EUR

3.595,69 EUR

Social security contributions

- 450,52 EUR

- 469,96 EUR

Taxes

0,00

- 1.672,27 EUR**

Net in pocket

2.996,48 EUR

1.453,46 EUR

Ratio cost – net

65,36 %

31,70 %

* The employer social security contributions have been estimated at 27,5 %.

** For the calculation of the taxes, the maximum marginal tax rate of 53,5 % has been taken into account.

 

Mainly due to the favourable tax treatment, the CBA 90 bonus provides approximately twice the net income for the employee, compared with a regular cash bonus, when taking into account the same amount of employer cost.

RSM Belgium can assist you with drawing up and implementing a CBA 90 bonus plan. If desired, we could also provide advice and guidance in determining specific, measurable and verifiable collective objectives.

If you would like to receive additional information on this matter or assistance, the Tax team of RSM Belgium is at your disposal ([email protected]). 

RSM InterTax

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