Car taxation 2020

What has changed ?

From 2020 onwards, the taxation of motor vehicles will undergo a number of major changes. The authorities have established a new formula for the calculation of tax deductible vehicle and fuel expenses, are adapting the tax rules for 'false' plug-in hybrid cars and have implemented the WLTP test procedure. Cars your company orders today will be subject to these new tax rules in the coming years, with the changes affecting both employers and employees.

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New formula in 2020

Vehicle and fuel expenses are partially or even fully deductible from your taxable corporate income. As of January 2020, a new formula will be used to calculate the deduction rate. Read all about the new formula and its effects here.

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Plug-in hybrids, 'fake' plug-in hybrids and tax regulations

For some time now, the authorities have distinguished “real” and “false” plug-in hybrids. Vehicles considered to be “false” plug-in hybrids will be subject to adapted tax rules from 2020 onwards. Read more about plug-in hybrid cars and the associated tax treatment below.

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CO2 emissions based on WLTP test procedure

As a result of new European regulations, all newly registered cars must undergo stricter emission, fuel consumption and CO2 testing as of 1 September 2018. The new, more dynamic Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) replaces the previous NEDC test (New European Driving Cycle).

This also affects CO2 emission values. These can easily increase by as much as 30 g/km on average for WLTP cars. For existing NEDC vehicles, the stated CO2 value at the time of vehicle registration (on the registration certificate or certificate of conformity) remains valid.

Until 31 December 2020, car manufacturers must still calculate a theoretical NEDC value for WLTP vehicles based on the WLTP value. The theoretical value is also known as the correlated value, or “NEDC 2.0”. This allows for an objective comparison of WLTP and NEDC models by the consumer. For most WLTP cars, this NEDC 2.0 CO2 value will be slightly higher than a similar NEDC model's measured CO2; about 5 to 10 g/km on average.

Until the end of 2020, a vehicle homologated according to the new WLTP test will therefore have two associated CO2 values: the NEDC 2.0 value and the WLTP value. A vehicle homologated in accordance with the old NEDC test will have only 1 CO2 value (NEDC 1.0).

These new higher CO2 values affect the car policy and the reported CO2 footprint, but also the taxation of the vehicle. After all, a higher CO2 value leads to less tax deductibility. On introducing the WLTP, the European regulator called on all Member States to ensure that end consumers were not disadvantaged due to the new test procedure. In Belgium, the federal government implemented a transitional period during which the NEDC 2.0 standards remain applicable for tax purposes until the end of 2020.

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