The number of employees, who carry out their day to day professional activities outside Belgium is gradually increasing.
Their foreign work days may significantly impact their income tax situation as the host countries, where the work is carried out, may claim the right to tax the income for the work days, spent on their territory. This is in line with the international tax treaties, which Belgium has signed with many countries.
In Belgium, international double taxation can be avoided by claiming tax treaty exemption in the annual income tax return. Tax payers, who qualify for the Belgian special tax regime for foreign executives (tax circular of 8/8/1983) also need to be able to justify any tax exemption, claimed for work days, spent outside Belgium.
The Belgian tax authorities are each year stepping up their efforts to audit tax payers, who claim tax treaty or 1983 tax circular exemption on part of their income. The cornerstone of such a tax audit is the evidence of the actual place of work. This is the key factor to determine which country can tax (part of) the income and which country needs to grant tax treaty relief.
Keeping detailed track of work locations and also keeping evidence of the places where work is performed is a tedious task for many professionals. The key to their evidence, however, simply sits in their pocket every day. Indeed, diligent smartphones are very skillful in tracking user locations.
In this article, we would like to draw the attention to a very interesting new smartphone app, developed by the tax professionals of the renowned international consulting firm PWC.
This mobile app, “myTaxLocator” creates a digitally signed report for international workers, kept on servers, based in Europe. The reports are accepted by tax authorities as proof of working time, spent outside Belgium, and can be used as an annex to income tax returns. As long as the app is running on a mobile phone, there is no further need to collect other evidence to prove working days outside Belgium towards the Belgian income tax authorities. This greatly reduces the administrative burden for keeping detailed evidence on foreign work days by any other means (for example hotel bills, plane tickets, meeting reports, etc…). Anxious times when tax audits arise can be avoided in a simple way.
IT security, privacy and data protection should not be a barrier for use of the app as these were all built-in by design in the myTaxLocator application. On average, once per month, user authentication is requested by the app through facial recognition. This should be easy and convenient for the user.
Once installed, myTaxLocator will take care of work day tracking with minimal user interaction. Non working time can easily be identified by the tax payer (holidays, days of sickness, etc…) for single days or even for multiple days. The user has control over the reports at any time.
The app certainly makes our devices smarter and facilitates the life of tax payers.
More info: https://appadvice.com/app/pwc-mytaxlocator/1148587033, or we are happy to bring you in touch with the right PWC person to help you further.