21 fév 23

Belgium extends higher tax deductibility for corporate charging stations

Until spring, Belgian companies can still apply for higher tax deductibility when installing charging stations for their employees at the office grounds. Treasury has extended the incentive because of instalment delays caused by the worldwide price hike in raw materials. However, new restrictions apply.

As many employees miss out on the opportunity to install a domestic charging point, fleet managers can lend them a hand by letting them charge at the offices. A win-win situation, as the electricity is often cheaper than at home while the rollout of a corporate charging network is backed by the Belgian government, which approves a 200% tax deductibility for the cost. The original draft lowered this rate to 150% on the 1st of January 2023, but this has been delayed.

The Belgian government is extending the incentive because of the supply shortages in the worldwide market, causing setbacks that block companies and their fleet managers from acting swiftly. As a result, the deductibility to 150% will now start as of the 1st of April 2023.

Play by the rules

The main requirements have been kept:

  • The charging point must be newly purchased, publicly accessible and activated by an external key like a charging card.
  • It must be a smart station, monitored by an energy management system that can split the electricity used for mobility and other means (like powering appliances and infrastructure). A connector compatible with third-party readers (most commonly an OCPP connection) is compulsory.
  • Depreciation must be written off over a period of five years.

Together with the extension, the Belgian Treasury has added two new rules:

  • It must be a fixed charging point to avoid purchasing charging cable units under the incentive.
  • Users must be informed about the charging power and status in situ.

Location registration no longer compulsory

If the conditions aren’t met, the fiscal advantage is lowered to 100%, which coincides with the tax deductibility applicable to purchasing a zero-emission car in Belgium. The reason behind a more benign tax policy for charging stations is that the national network deployment has the highest priority in the electrification switch.

As the European Union supported the Belgian incentive, companies were obliged to register the exact location of the charging points with the Belgian Treasury. However, this prerequisite has been dropped. Apparently, the European administration no longer requires it.

Not cumulative with investment allowance

The higher cost deductibility cannot be combined with an investment allowance - only if the company opts for a scenario at a 100% rate. This can still be interesting in the case of a fleet manager not inclined to make the charging infrastructure accessible to the public. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) must consider that the domestic and company addresses must be on different locations.

The dynamics of this ruling (it changes over time) and the complexity of charging point instalment make it advisable to seek the consultancy and guidance of an independent company or a broker, who can assess every case in its own right. Beware that some advisors have an agenda and will promote their affiliated products.

Image Source: Shutterstock

Authored by: Piet Andries