Ask the Expert: What forms do UK expats need to fill in for Belgium? Ask the Expert: What forms do UK expats need to fill in for Belgium?

Ask the Expert: What forms do UK expats need to fill in for Belgium?
31 May 2015

Q. I have an employee that has gone to work in Belgium for six months. I have just been told that he should have completed a form and I should have applied for a certificate of coverage. What do I need to do? 

A. Expatriate payrolls can be quite complex so I won’t go into a great deal of detail here other to answer your questions directly. 

I have, however, included the link to follow for the guidance on gov.uk. I am assuming that your organisation will be using specialist external help to assist with employee tax returns, deciding on residency (although in this case it seems relatively straight forward) and dealing with the Belgian authorities. 

If it were likely that you will have more employees taking assignments abroad or vice versa, I would encourage you to apply for a modified PAYE scheme. You will still need to report each pay period under real time information (RTI), however you can use best estimates of earnings and correct when you have accurate information, or at year end. According to HMRC guidance, the employee only needs to complete a P85 if they are going to be abroad for more than a full year. So in this case the employee does not have to complete the form. 

Unless notified otherwise, you should continue to make deductions for UK tax. If the employee is not expected to be away for more than 24 months (as in this case), you can apply for the certificate of coverage (as Belgium is in the EEA). So you can continue to deduct UK National Insurance and the host country (Belgium) will not to take deductions from the employee. 

This is a temporary approval put in place to protect employee benefits in their home country, such as the state pension. The certificate is called an A1. You need to complete form CA3821 as you haven’t applied for an A1 previously, then you will need to complete form CA3822 for each employee that is working abroad. 

Jeanette Hibbert, technical editor at the Global Payroll Association. 

Q. I have an employee that has gone to work in Belgium for six months. I have just been told that he should have completed a form and I should have applied for a certificate of coverage. What do I need to do? 

A. Expatriate payrolls can be quite complex so I won’t go into a great deal of detail here other to answer your questions directly. 

I have, however, included the link to follow for the guidance on gov.uk. I am assuming that your organisation will be using specialist external help to assist with employee tax returns, deciding on residency (although in this case it seems relatively straight forward) and dealing with the Belgian authorities. 

If it were likely that you will have more employees taking assignments abroad or vice versa, I would encourage you to apply for a modified PAYE scheme. You will still need to report each pay period under real time information (RTI), however you can use best estimates of earnings and correct when you have accurate information, or at year end. According to HMRC guidance, the employee only needs to complete a P85 if they are going to be abroad for more than a full year. So in this case the employee does not have to complete the form. 

Unless notified otherwise, you should continue to make deductions for UK tax. If the employee is not expected to be away for more than 24 months (as in this case), you can apply for the certificate of coverage (as Belgium is in the EEA). So you can continue to deduct UK National Insurance and the host country (Belgium) will not to take deductions from the employee. 

This is a temporary approval put in place to protect employee benefits in their home country, such as the state pension. The certificate is called an A1. You need to complete form CA3821 as you haven’t applied for an A1 previously, then you will need to complete form CA3822 for each employee that is working abroad. 

Jeanette Hibbert, technical editor at the Global Payroll Association.