Reform Act The Calculation Of Social Security Contributions For The Self-Employed (1)

Original Language Title: Loi portant réforme du calcul des cotisations sociales pour les travailleurs indépendants (1)

Subscribe to a Global-Regulation Premium Membership Today!

Key Benefits:

Subscribe Now for only USD$40 per month.
belgiquelex.be - Carrefour Bank of Legislation

22 NOVEMBER 2013. - Act to reform the calculation of social contributions for independent workers (1)



PHILIPPE, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
CHAPTER 1er. - Introductory provision
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 78 of the Constitution.
CHAPTER 2. - Amendments to Royal Decree No. 38 of 27 July 1967 organizing the social status of independent workers
Art. 2. Article 11 of Royal Decree No. 38 of 27 July 1967 organizing the social status of independent workers, last amended by the Act of 26 March 2007, is replaced by the following:
"Art. 11. § 1er. The contributions of the taxpayers are expressed by a percentage of professional income.
§ 2. By professional income within the meaning of § 1er, it is necessary to hear gross professional incomes, reduced professional fees and, where applicable, professional losses, established in accordance with income tax legislation, the subject of which was granted as an independent worker during the period in which he was subject to this Royal Order.
The profits and profits referred to in Article 23, § 1er, 3°, of the Income Tax Code 1992, as well as the allowances referred to in section 32, paragraph 2, 2°, juncto, section 31, paragraph 2, 3°, of the same Code, which relate to an activity previously carried out by the subject, are considered to be professional income within the meaning of paragraph 1 and are expected to fall within the taxation year in which they are taxed.
The calculation of contributions due for a specified year - below referred to as the year of assessment - is based on professional income, as defined in paragraphs 1er and 2, relating to the taxation year in which the vintage is the calendar year immediately following that for which the contributions are due.
Derogation from subparagraphs 1er to 3, income under section 28, paragraph 1er, 1°, of the Income Tax Code 1992, are not considered to be professional income, provided that the independent worker:
- is no longer subject to this Royal Order by December 31 of the year following the year in which such revenues were collected;
- is actually entitled to a pension no later than December 31 of the year following the year in which such income was collected.
For the purposes of this paragraph, the professional income allocated to the assisting spouse in accordance with tax legislation is added to the professional income of the assisted dependent in the event that the assisting spouse is only subject to the compulsory insurance scheme against illness and disability, the benefit sector.
Professional income within the meaning of subparagraphs 1er to 5 are professional revenues as communicated by the Administration of Corporate Tax and Revenues of the Federal Public Service Finance.
The Administration of Corporate Tax and Revenues of the Federal Public Service Finance is required to provide the National Institute of Social Insurance for Independent Workers with the necessary information to determine the amount of contributions due under this Royal Decree.
§ 3. Without prejudice to the provisions of section 13bis, the self-employed person shall pay contributions on an interim basis in the year of assessment itself, in accordance with the provisions of sections 12 and 13, calculated on the basis of professional income, as known on 1er January of the year of assessment, for the taxation year of which the vintage is the second calendar year immediately preceding the year of assessment.
If the professional income of the taxation year referred to in paragraph 1er are not yet known 1er January of the year of assessment, the calculation of the interim contributions for that year of assessment is based on the professional income of the most recent taxation year before the taxation year referred to in paragraph 1er for which professional income is known 1er January of the year of contribution. In this case, these last professional incomes are taken into account, even if the professional income of the taxation year referred to in paragraph 1er would still be known during the contribution year.
In order to determine the amount of interim contributions referred to in paragraph 1er and 2, the relevant professional income is multiplied by a fraction fixed at the beginning of each calendar year by the Minister who has the social status of the independent workers in his or her responsibilities. The denominator of this fraction is the average of consumer price indices for the taxation year referred to in paragraphs 1er and 2; the numerator indicates the average of the presumed consumer price indices for the year for which contributions are due.
Where the taxation year referred to in paragraphs 1er to 3 counts less than four calendar quarters of subjugation, the professional income of this incomplete calendar year is converted to an annual income. For this purpose, professional income is multiplied by a fraction of which the numerator is equal to four and the denominator is equal to the number of civil trimesters subject to the social status of independent workers during the taxation year in question. The interim contribution is then determined on the basis of the number of calendar quarters of social hardship for self-employed persons during the contribution year.
The self-employed person may, if applicable, pay for a specified year of assessment for interim contributions greater than those provided for in paragraph 1er, provided that at the time of payment, there are no undisputed debts of payable social contributions or accessories that are outstanding, and provided that the maximum contribution is not exceeded. The King may set out the terms and conditions on how these payments are processed for subsequent regularization or for their possible imputation on other outstanding dues or accessories.
On the basis of objective elements, the social insurance fund to which it is affiliated, may authorize the self-employed person, upon application, to pay on an interim basis in the year of assessment of contributions that are equal to those that would be due on the basis of an income as set out below:
(a) for all independent workers in the category of contributors referred to in Article 12, § 1er either pay a contribution equal to that payable on the basis of an income of 7.332,30 euros if they are able to demonstrate that their income from the contribution year will not exceed that amount; pay a contribution equal to that payable on the basis of an income of €3,666.15 if they are able to demonstrate that their income from the contribution year will not exceed that amount;
(b) for assisting spouses in the category of contributors referred to in Article 12, § 1erter: either to pay a contribution as set out in (a) or to pay a contribution equal to that payable on the basis of an income of half of EUR 3.221.08 if they are able to demonstrate that their income of the contribution year will not exceed that amount;
(c) for self-employed persons belonging to the category of contributors referred to in Article 12, § 2, and independent workers referred to in Article 37 of the Royal Decree of 19 December 1967, who make a general regulation pursuant to Royal Decree No. 38 of 27 July 1967 organizing the social status of self-employed: to pay a contribution as set out in the a), or to pay a contribution equal to that due on the basis of an income of
(d) for self-employed persons in the category of contributors referred to in Article 13, § 1er either pay a contribution as set out in (a) or pay a contribution equal to that payable on the basis of an income of 1.920.48 euros if they manage to demonstrate that their income of the contribution year will not exceed that last amount, or do not pay a contribution if they are able to demonstrate that their income of the contribution year will not reach 811.20 euros;
The King may, by deliberate decree in the Council of Ministers, determine what is to be heard by `objective elements', on the understanding that it can only be elements that have a direct impact on the level of professional income.
The authorization may not have the effect that payments of contributions already made are refunded to the independent worker.
The King may determine the period in which, under penalty of nullity, the application referred to in paragraph 6 is filed, the manner in which the application must be made, and the manner in which the social insurance fund keeps the file, makes the decision and communicates it to the independent worker.
The King may, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, in consultation with and after the advice of the General Management Committee for the Social Status of Independent Workers, established under Article 107 of the Law of 30 December 1992 on social and other provisions, and without prejudice to the application of Articles 12, § 1erparagraphs 2 and 12, § 1erter, paragraph 1er, adjust the amounts referred to in paragraph 6, add, delete, or determine that the independent may propose to his social insurance fund, under the same conditions as those defined in paragraphs 6 to 9, the amount of income on the basis of which he wishes to pay the interim contributions. By the words "in consultation with and after the advice of the General Management Committee for the Social Status of Independent Workers", it is understood that the changes referred to here cannot be implemented prior to the evaluation of the system by the General Management Committee for the Social Status of Independent Workers under Article 16 of the Act of 22 November 2013 on the reform of the calculation of social contributions for independent workers.
§ 4. The social insurance fund must clearly and in writing inform the subject:
1° of the provisional and payable nature of the contribution referred to in paragraph 3 and article 13bis;
2° how this contribution will be regulated later;
3° the consequences that this regularization could lead to.
§ 5. As soon as the professional income of the contribution year is communicated by the Administration of Corporate Tax and Revenues of the Federal Public Service Finance, it is made on this basis to determine the final amount of dues due for the contribution year concerned. This is called regularization. The King determines the manner in which this regularization is performed and the manner in which the annual account of his contributions is sent to the interested party.
The percentage used to calculate contributions due to these professional incomes is the percentage that applied during the period to be regulated.
When the contribution year has less than four calendar quarters of subjection, the professional income of this incomplete calendar year is converted to an annual income. For this purpose, professional income is multiplied by a fraction of which the numerator is equal to four and the denominator is equal to the number of civil trimesters subject to the social status of independent workers during the contribution year. The due contribution is then calculated on the prorated basis of the number of calendar quarters in which the individual was subject to the social status of the self-employed during the contribution year.
However, the self-employed person may opt for regularization, referred to in paragraph 1er to 3, years of contribution referred to below shall not be applied. It may request and obtain it if it is satisfied with all the following conditions:
- the application must be filed by the date on which the pension is taken;
- the date of pension must be taken no later than 1er January 2019;
- the self-employed person ceases any independent professional activity on the date of taking the pension;
- this applies to the regularizations of all years of contribution in the period from the year in which the pension takes place up to and including the third calendar year preceding the year in which the pension takes place, with the exception of the years of contribution for which a regularization has already been made at the time of the application;
- during and for all years of contribution to be considered, the independent worker does not benefit from the application of Article 11, § 3, paragraph 6.
The King determines how the application referred to in paragraph 4 must be filed.
The King may, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, amend the date of 1er January 2019 mentioned above."
Art. 3. In the same royal decree, an article 11bis is inserted, as follows:
"Art. 11bis. § 1er. If at the time of the regularization referred to in Article 11, § 5, it turns out that the independent worker, who benefited from the application of Article 11, § 3, paragraph 6 in the year of assessment, did not fully pay the contribution due for the year of assessment on December 31 of the year of assessment, an increase is due in addition to the contribution due for the year of assessment.
This increase is 3% of the portion of the contribution due for the contribution year that exceeds the amount of the contribution that the non-dependent worker was provisionally liable for that same year and was not paid on the above-mentioned date, and is applied for the first time after that same date. However, if the amount of the contribution due for the contribution year is higher than the amount of the interim contribution referred to in Article 11, § 3, paragraph 1er, fixed in the contribution year, the amount for the calculation of the increases referred to in paragraph 1 shall be taken into account.er.
Then, the increase is each time taken into account on the part of the contribution that has not been paid on the expiration of each subsequent calendar quarter, until the expiration of the calendar quarter preceding that during which the unpaid portion has been paid, or up to and including the calendar quarter before that in which the social insurance fund communicates the regulation referred to in Article 11, § 5, to the independent worker.
In addition, in the case referred to in paragraph 1er, in the regularization referred to in Article 11, § 5, a single 7% increase is applied to the portion of the contribution year that remained unpaid as of December 31 of that same year of assessment.
§ 2. The King may, after the advice of the General Management Committee for the Social Status of Independent Workers, established under section 107 of the Act of 30 December 1992 on social and other provisions, by order deliberately in the Council of Ministers, implement a single system of special increase of contributions, as well as a single special bonus scheme, in addition to the system of increases referred to in § 1erunder the following conditions:
- It does so no later than after the assessment under section 16 of the Act of 22 November 2013 on the reform of the calculation of social contributions for self-employed persons;
- the interest rate of the special increase and that of special bonus are identical and twice the interest rate of the marginal loan facility of the European Central Bank in effect on 1er January of the year of contribution. If the product of this multiplication does not give an entire number, it is then rounded to the upper unit if the first decimal is at least 5. Otherwise, the decimal part is not taken into account;
- the special increase is applied only when the regularization referred to in Article 11, § 5 covers a total amount of contributions that exceeds excessively the amount of contributions paid for the year of contributions concerned in that same year and the special increase is applied only on the amount of that exceedance;
- the special bonus is applied when, at the time of regularization, referred to in Article 11, § 5, it turns out that the contribution due provisionally for that year of assessment, determined in accordance with Article 11, § 3, paragraph 1er or 6, is higher than the contribution ultimately due for this year of contribution, and the special bonus is applied to the positive difference between the contributions paid as of December 31 of the year of contribution in accordance with Article 11, § 3, paragraph 1er or 6, and contributions finally due for this year of contribution.
Art. 4. In section 12 of the same Royal Decree, last amended by the Act of 21 December 2007, the following amendments are made:
1° in paragraph 1er, paragraph 2, the words "if the reference income, after application of Article 11, § 3, does not reach that amount" are replaced by the words "if they do not reach that amount";
2° in paragraph 1er, paragraph 2, the words "the reference year" are replaced by the words "the contribution year";
3° paragraph 1erter, paragraph 1er is replaced by the following:
§ 1erter. By derogation from § 1erparagraph 2 for the calculation of contributions referred to in § 1er, 1°, the professional income of the assisting spouse subject to this Royal Decree under section 7bis is expected to reach half of 3.221.08 euros when they do not reach half of that amount. The assessed contributions thus fixed are due even if there is no profit for the year of contribution referred to in Article 11, § 2";
4° in paragraph 2, paragraph 1er, the words "its professional income as an independent worker, acquired during the reference year referred to in Article 11, § 2, and reassessed in accordance with Article 11, § 3, do not amount to 405,60 euros." are replaced by the words "its professional income as an independent worker, acquired during the contribution year referred to in Article 11, § 2, do not reach 405,60 euros."
Art. 5. Article 13, § 1erof the same Royal Decree, last amended by the Act of 21 December 2007, the following amendments are made:
1st paragraph 1er is replaced by the following:
§ 1er. From the quarter in which he reaches the legal age of the pension or obtains the effective payment of an early retirement pension as an independent worker or employee, the subject shall not be liable for any contribution if his professional income as an independent worker, acquired during the year of contribution referred to in Article 11, § 2, does not reach 811.20 euros at least. ";
2° Paragraph 3 is replaced by the following:
"When the said income reaches at least 811.20 euros, the subject of which the pension or survival pension or an advantage in lieu of, for the payment of which the conditions for the exercise of a professional activity are applied, is in fact payable, shall be liable for the following annual contributions, established on the professional income referred to in Article 11, § 2:
1° 14,70 p.c. on the portion of professional income not exceeding 15,831.12 euros;
2° 14,16 p.c. on the part of the professional income that exceeds 15,831.12 euros, but does not exceed 23,330.06 euros."
Art. 6. In section 13bis of the same Royal Decree, inserted by the Act of 21 December 2007, the following amendments are made:
1° in § 2, the words "11, § 2" are replaced by the words "11, § 3, paragraph 1er";
2° the article is supplemented by a paragraph 3, which reads as follows:
§ 3. Provisional contributions, collected in accordance with § 2, are regulated in accordance with Article 11, § 5."
Art. 7. Section 13ter of the same Royal Decree, inserted by the Act of 21 December 2007, is repealed.
Art. 8. Section 13quater of the same Royal Decree, inserted by the Act of 24 July 2008, is repealed.
Art. 9. In section 14 of the same Royal Decree, last amended by the Act of 21 December 2007, the following amendments are made:
1° in paragraph 1erthe words "at articles 12, 13, 13bis and 13ter" are replaced by the words "at articles 11, 12, 13 and 13bis";
2° Paragraph 2 is repealed.
Art. 10. In section 15 of the same Royal Decree, last amended by the Act of 16 January 2013, the following amendments are made:
(a) in the Dutch version, in paragraph 1er, paragraph 5, the word "alinea's" is replaced by the word "leden";
(b) Paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:
"§2. The quarterly contribution is due for the four quarters of the calendar year in which the professional activity resulting in the subjection to this Royal Order is located.
However, this contribution is not due to:
1° before the quarter in which the activity began as an independent worker, or after the quarter in which it was terminated, provided that the activity does not normally resume the following year;
2° for the quarter in which the subject has reached the legal age of the pension or obtains, as an independent worker, an early retirement pension, provided that the employee terminates his or her professional activity in the course of that quarter;
3° for the quarter in which the death of the subject occurred."
(c) in paragraph 4, the 4th is repealed.
Art. 11. In section 16 of the same Royal Decree, last amended by the Act of 21 December 2007, the following amendments are made:
(a) Paragraph 2 is replaced by the following:
"§2. Collection of contributions under this Royal Decree shall be prescribed by five years from 1er January following the year for which they are due.
Derogation from paragraph 1erthe recovery of the regularization contributions referred to in Article 11, § 5, is prescribed by five years from 1er January of the third year following the year of contribution.
The prescription is interrupted:
1° in the manner provided for in articles 2244 et seq. of the Civil Code;
2° by a recommended letter from the recovery agency, claiming contributions for which the individual is liable;
3° by a registered letter sent by the National Institute of Social Insurance for Independent Workers in the context of the mission which is vested in it by Article 21, § 2, 1°, and placing the person concerned in a residence to join a social insurance fund.
The recommended letter also interrupts, where applicable, the requirement for the recovery of contributions due by the spouse assisting the individual referred to in section 7bis."
(b) in paragraph 3, a paragraph reading is inserted between subparagraphs 1er and 2:
"The repetition of interim contributions that prove to be undue following a regulation referred to in Article 11, § 5, is prescribed by five years from 1er January of the third year following the year of contribution."
(c) in paragraph 3, paragraph 3 is repealed.
Art. 12. Section 17 of the same Royal Decree, last amended by the Act of 23 December 2009, is replaced by the following:
"Art. 17. Independent workers, who consider themselves in need or in a situation adjacent to the state of need, may apply for interim contributions due under this Royal Decree, provided that such contributions are not due as subject to Article 12, § 2, by referring to the Commission referred to in Article 22.
Self-employed persons who request a waiver of contributions referred to in this section must demonstrate their state of need or their situation adjacent to the state of need. In order to assess their state of need, the Commission takes into account, inter alia, the resources and expenses of persons who are part of their household, with the exception of persons for whom proof is provided that they are foreign to the independent activity of the self-employed concerned and that they are also denied legal relief and food obligations to these self-employed workers.
The waiver of a specified quarter's contribution is expected to never have been granted when, in the event of the regularization of the interim premium for that quarter, it turns out that the professional income that is used as a basis for the regularization of this contribution is higher than the double of the amount referred to in Article 12, § 1erParagraph 2.
By derogation from paragraph 3, the waiver of the premium for a specified quarter is maintained where the professional income that is used as a basis for the regularization of this contribution does not exceed 120 per cent of those that the independent has provided for information for the year in question in the course of the procedure that resulted in the waiver, provided that the first professional income cited does not exceed 120 per cent of the amount referred to in Article 12 §,erParagraph 2.
When, taking into account the provisions of subparagraphs 1er to 4, the exemption for a specified calendar quarter is effectively maintained after regularization, and this exemption is then applied to the amount of the quarterly contribution as determined by this regularization.
The King determines how and for which years the applicant discloses his or her professional income during the application process and how paragraphs 3 and 4 are applied in cases where the applicant does not disclose his or her professional income during the application process.
In order to grant benefits under the social status of self-employed persons, with the exception of pension and survival benefits and subject to the application of paragraph 8, the contributions for which the Commission has granted relief are deemed to have been paid, even when the exemption is expected to have never been granted within the meaning of paragraph 3.
For the purposes of Article 28, § 2, of the Royal Decree of 22 December 1967 concerning the general regulation of the pension and survival of independent workers, the contributions for which an exemption was obtained are supposed to have been paid.
Persons who are in solidarity under Article 15, § 1er, and who consider to be in need or in a situation adjacent to the state of need, may request that their liability for the contributions referred to in this Royal Decree be waived, provided that such contributions are not due as subject to Article 12, § 2.
The King determines what is to be heard by contributions referred to in this Royal Decree.
The King shall set the time limit in which applications for the benefit of this article shall, under penalty of nullity, be introduced. It can determine additional conditions and criteria that allow us to assess the state of need.
The King determines the cases in which requests for exemptions from contributions made by independent workers and requests for withdrawal made by persons in solidarity are not taken into account or are deemed not to have been introduced. Where the application is not taken into consideration or is deemed not to have been filed, the Social Insurance Fund for Independent Workers concerned, referred to in Article 20, § 1er or § 3 shall inform the independent worker or the solidarity officer within a time and procedure defined by the King.
The provisions of this Article shall apply only for contributions due for calendar quarters located after 4e quarter of 2014. ".
CHAPTER 3. - Amendments to other legislation
Art. 13. In Article 15, § 1erParagraph 1er, of Royal Decree No. 72 of 10 November 1967 concerning the retirement and survival pension of independent workers, as amended by the Programme Act of 22 December 1989, the words "Without prejudice to the provisions made pursuant to Article 17, last paragraph, of Royal Decree No. 38 of 27 July referred to above" are replaced by the words "Without prejudice to Article 17, paragraphs 7 and 8, of the aforementioned Royal Decree of 27 July".
Art. 14. Article 5 of the Royal Decree of 30 January 1997 on the pension plan of self-employed persons pursuant to articles 15 and 27 of the Act of 26 July 1996 on the modernization of social security and ensuring the viability of the legal pension schemes and article 3, § 1er, 4°, of the Act of 26 July 1996 to fulfil the budgetary conditions of Belgium's participation in the European Economic and Monetary Union, last amended by the Act of 16 January 2006, the following amendments are made:
1° in § 2, paragraph 1er2°, the word "reassessed" is repealed;
2° in § 2bis, paragraph 1er, the words "year of reference, within the meaning of Article 11, § 2, of Royal Decree No. 38" are replaced by the words "year of contribution within the meaning of Article 11, § 2, of Royal Decree No. 38";
3° in § 2bis, paragraph 3 is repealed;
4° in § 2bis, paragraph 4, which becomes paragraph 3, the words "year of reference" are replaced by the words "year of contribution";
5° in § 2bis, paragraph 6, which becomes paragraph 5, the words "in paragraphs 4 and 5" are replaced by the words "in paragraphs 3 and 4";
6° § 2ter is repealed;
7° in § 2quater, the words "For the application of §§ 2bis and 2ter" are replaced by the words "For the application of § 2bis".
Art. 15. Sections 13 and 14 are applied for years of income from the 2015 revenue year.
CHAPTER 4. - Evaluation
Art. 16. This Act shall, at the initiative of the Minister who has the Independents in his or her powers, be subject to an assessment by the General Management Committee for the Social Status of Independent Workers, established under section 107 of the Act of 30 December 1992 dealing with social and other provisions, within four years of its entry into force.
CHAPTER 5. - Transitional provision
Art. 17. Social contributions for civil quarters of social status of self-employed persons prior to the effective date of this Act are calculated and collected in accordance with the provisions in force on the day before that of the effective date of this Act.
CHAPTER 6. - Entry into force
Art. 18. This Act comes into force on 1er January 2015.
Promulgation of this law, let us order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels, 22 November 2013.
PHILIPPE
By the King:
Minister of Independents,
Mrs. S. LARUELLE
The Minister of Social Affairs,
Ms. L. ONKELINX
Seal of the state seal:
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
____
Note
(1) Session 2012-2013.
House of Representatives
Documents. - 2938
Number 1: Bill.
Number two: Report.
No. 3: Text adopted.
No. 4: Text adopted.
Senate
Document. - S-5-2285
Number 1: Project referred to by the Senate.
Number two: Report.
No. 3: Text adopted.
No. 4: Decision not to amend.