If, as a self-employed worker, you are unable to afford to pay your social contributions, you can request to be exempted from paying said contributions for a specified period to give you a little more financial freedom.
During the exemption period, all your social rights, with the exception of those relating to your pension, will be maintained. In other words, your medical expenses will still be reimbursed by your health insurance and you can continue to receive your family allowances. However, the quarters subject to this exemption are not considered for the build-up of your pension. But there are a lot of things to consider if you wish to request an exemption.
Provisional contributions vs. definitive contributions
It is important to know that when you pay your social contributions, you pay provisional contributions first, given that we don’t know your final income at this time. For example, for 2017, we still don’t know what your income will be for this year. In other words, we base the calculation on your income from 2014 or on a minimum legal amount.
After two or three years, the tax office will then send you your definitive income. Based on this, we will send you a new bill with the new calculation for the year in question. These are the so-called “adjustments”. Your definitive contributions will be based on these adjustments.
Exemption from provisional social contributions
If you want to receive an exemption from your social contributions, you must first make a request regarding the provisional contributions. If you wait to make the request until you have received a statement of adjustments showing the definitive contributions, it will be too late. Indeed, it is not possible to request exemption from the definitive contributions.
You can send a request to the social insurance fund with which you are affiliated. The latter will forward your request to the Social Contributions Exemption Commission, which will approve or reject your request.
Exemption from definitive social contributions
If your request for exemption from provisional social contributions is approved, this does not automatically guarantee that the definitive social contributions will also be automatically waived. This depends on your final income. There are two possibilities:
If your definitive income is, at the time of the adjustment, greater than double the minimum income at which a worker who is self-employed as their main activity must pay contributions (13,296.25 Euros x 2 = 26,592.50 Euros), the exemption is withdrawn and you are once again liable for the social contributions previously waived. In addition, you will need to pay surcharges due to late payment.
If your definitive income does not exceed this limit, the exemption granted will also automatically apply to the adjustment contributions. Therefore, there is no need to submit an additional request for definitive social contributions.