Facts at a glance

September 2017

The authorities announced that a distinction was to be made between so-called "fake" and "real" plug-in hybrid cars (PHEVs). In particular, "fake" plug-in hybrids purchased after 01/01/2018 would be taxed differently from 2020.

The authorities announced the parameters governing whether a plug-in hybrid is classed as "real" or "fake". A plug-in hybrid is considered to be "fake" if:

  • the battery capacity is less than 0.5 kWh per 100 kg of vehicle weight
    OR
  • CO2 emissions exceed 50 g/km

December 2017

The legislator announced the new tax rules for "fake" plug-in hybrids. The plug-in hybrid's lower CO2 emissions may not be used to determine the tax treatment. Instead, CO2 emissions for a non-hybrid "corresponding" version of the car must be used.

If no corresponding car exists, the "fake" plug-in hybrid's CO2 emissions must be multiplied by 2.5.

September 2019

A little more information was given concerning how to determine the "corresponding model". The legislator also announced the mandatory submission to FPS Finance of a list of corresponding models by manufacturers/importers. The deadline for this is 20/04/2020, previously considered infeasible.

Responisibilities

  • Tax-paying employee or manager:
    No action required.
  • Car manufacturer or importer:
    It is the responsibility of the car manufacturer or, if not located in Belgium, the importer, to compare data from the certificate of conformity for each "fake" plug-in hybrid with data for similar models on the market. They must then use this data to determine the "corresponding" vehicle and submit the necessary technical information to FPS Finance.
    - For newly introduced plug-in hybrids, this must occur at the time of
    the market introduction of the plug-in hybrid.
    - For vehicles already on the market, this must occur by 20/04/2020.
  • FPS Finance:
    FPS Finance provides a list of corresponding vehicles. An updated version will be available on the FPS Finance website as from 20/04/2020. The aim is to inform taxpayers of the tax rules for their current vehicle or one they may be considering buying.

Consequences

As from 1 January 2020, "fake" plug-in hybrids will become more expensive to both employees and employers. This is because the Benefit in Kind and tax deduction are calculated based on the CO2 emissions. The exception to this rule is the CO2 solidarity contribution (CO2 tax). The NSSO has confirmed that this will continue to be calculated based on the "fake" plug-in hybrid's officially certified CO2 emissions. The tax deduction percentage for a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) is calculated based on the new formula (see car taxation). To determine the tax deduction percentage the CO2 emissions stated on the Certificate of Conformity are taken into account. However, if it is a so-called “fake” PHEV, the CO2 emissions of the corresponding diesel or petrol car must be taken into account.