On 1 January 2020, the law of 17 May 2019 will enter into force, prohibiting government directors to exercise their mandate through a legal entity. The prohibition, however, only applies to directors receiving (directly or indirectly) a remuneration. Unsalaried government directorships do not fall under the scope of application.
By introducing this prohibition, the legislator intends to put an end to the practice whereby remunerated government director mandates are taken up through a management company. As from 1 January 2020, remunerated government directors will be obliged to exercise their mandate as natural person. As a result, the directors’ fees will no longer be taxed under the corporate tax regime but under the personal income tax regime.
Scope of application
The new law defines a “director mandate of public nature” (mandaat met een publiek karakter / mandat à caractère public) as follows:
1. all remunerated director mandates (including those of members of advisory boards and management committees) in:
a) intermunicipal and interprovincial associations;
b) all legal entities in which one or more public authorities exercise(s) a significant influence, through:
- an agreement (beheerscontract / contrat de gestion);
- the direct or indirect ownership of the majority of the shares or voting rights; or
- the right to, directly or indirectly, appoint the majority of the management body.
2. all remunerated mandates of:
a) government commissioners (regeringscommissarissen / commissaires du gouvernement); or
b) directors (including any members of advisory boards or management committees), appointed by a decision of a public authority.