Withholding obligation

FAQ Withholding obligation

  • What is the legal withholding obligation and for which sectors does this obligation apply?

    What is the legal withholding obligation?

    There is a legal obligation to pay 15% of the invoice amount (excluding VAT) to the public authority if the contractor or subcontractor has debts to the public authority.

    For which sectors does a legal withholding obligation apply?

    The withholding obligation applies in the building and meat industry as well as guarding and/or surveillance sectors.

    Please note that for work carried out for a private individual who uses the property for strictly private purposes, there is no withholding obligation.

  • Do I, because of the legal withholding obligation, have to withhold amounts when I pay my contractor's or subcontractor's invoice?

    You have had work done by a contractor or subcontractor and are wondering if you have to withhold amounts when you pay the invoice? This may indeed be the case if your contractor or subcontractor has debts to the FPS Finance or the ONSS/Belgian social security office and is active in the building, meat or security industry.

    Via the website www.checkobligationderetenue.be you can see whether you need to withhold amounts by entering the contractor's or subcontractor's enterprise number and clicking on “Check”. This is the only way to know for sure whether your contractor or subcontractor is active in the sector concerned and whether they have debts. See how to do this in this tutorial on checking withholding obligations..

    No withholding obligation

    You can create a certificate certifying you have consulted whether there was a withholding obligation. This certificate is only valid for a limited period of time. It is valid till the date mentioned. If you pay the invoice by this date at the latest, you do not have to withhold anything. If you pay the invoice after this date, you must consult the website again before carrying out the payment.

    Withholding obligation

    This only applies on the day of the consultation, as the contractor or subcontractor may pay their tax or non-tax debt at any time or have obtained a repayment plan to which they agree. If you do not pay the invoice on the same day, you should consult the website again on the day you actually want to pay the invoice.

    According to the amount of the invoice, you will receive different instructions:

    Is the invoice amount lower than EUR 7,143.00 (excl. VAT)?

    You must withhold 15% of the invoice amount (excluding VAT). 

    Is the invoice amount equal to or higher than EUR 7,143.00 (excl. VAT)?

    You should ask your contractor or subcontractor for a certificate mentioning the amount of their debt. This certificate is valid for 20 days. If you pay during these 20 days, there are two possibilities:

    • The amount of the debt on the certificate is lower than 15% of the amount to be paid (excluding VAT): you must limit the withholding to the amount mentioned on the certificate.
    • The amount of the debt on the certificate is higher than 15% of the amount to be paid (excluding VAT): you must withhold 15 % of the total value of the invoice (excluding VAT).
  • What are my obligations if I have had to withhold an amount from the invoice of my contractor or subcontractor?

    You have withheld an amount from an invoice that you have to pay to a contractor or subcontractor after checking on www.checkobligationderetenue.be whether it was necessary, and you are wondering what you have to do next?

    You still have two obligations:

    Pay the amount withheld from the invoice to the FPS Finance.

    Pay it on the bank account No. BE33 6792 0023 2046 (BIC PCHQBEBB). You are required to include in your payment’s specific reference the following data in this order:

    1. the enterprise number of the contractor or subcontractor (not your own enterprise number)
    2. the name of the contractor or subcontractor
    3. the amount and date of the invoice

    Keep a copy of the invoice available

    If you have withheld an amount from an invoice that you have to pay to a contractor or subcontractor, keep a copy of the invoice. We may request it for verification.

  • As a subcontractor, where can I apply for a tax certificate?

    Contact your Recovery Team. You can find it :

  • As a subcontractor, who can I contact in the event of an incorrect withholding obligation?

    Has a customer wrongly withheld an amount?

    Call us

    Each working day from 8.30 am to 5 pm at the following number: 02 572 57 57 (normal tariff).

    Write to us

    SPF Finances - AGPR Team Obligation de Retenue
    Avenue du Prince de Liège 133 - boîte 293
    5100 Jambes
  • What do I have to do about the social security withholding obligation?

    Have you noticed, when checking with the e-service Check obligation de retenue that your contractor or subcontractor has debts to social security?

    You will then find more information about the steps to take on the Social Security website.

  • Who can I contact if I have a specific question about my “Withholding obligation” file?

    Call us

    Each working day from 8.30 am to 5 pm at the following number:  02 572 57 57 (normal tariff)

    Write to us

    SPF Finances - AGPR Team Obligation de Retenue
    Avenue du Prince de Liège 133 - boîte 293
    5100 Jambes