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You are here: Home Finance & Business Tax Taxation in Belgium
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24/02/2012Taxation in Belgium

Taxation in Belgium From tax rates through to special expat status, here is Expatica's updated guide to the Belgian taxation system.

Expatriates and Belgian citizens alike suffer from one of the highest taxation rates in the EU. It amounts to - including social security - 57.3 percent for a single earner. This compares to an average 44.5 percent in Europe. An expatriate working in Belgium will typically be liable to Belgian income tax. Additionally, property tax, gift and inheritance tax may be relevant. In most circumstances there are no capital gains taxes or wealth tax for individuals in Belgium, thus pushing the burden firmly onto the employee.

Residents of Belgium pay personal income tax on their total income from all worldwide sources on a sliding scale. The basic exemption for fiscal year 2012 (revenue of 2011) is EUR 6,570 regardless of marital status with further exemptions for dependent children and a spouse. For 2011, marginal income tax starts at 25 percent, rises to 30 percent over EUR 8,070, 40 percent over EUR 11,480, 45 percent over 19,130 EUR with a top limit of 50 percent for incomes above EUR 35,060.

Residents also pay communal and regional taxes at rates between zero to 8.5 percent of the total income tax payable.

Income tax is paid on the taxable base which is determined from salary less compulsory social security contributions (paid either in Belgium or abroad). Professional expenses can be deducted either directly with supporting documentation or more usually on a lump sum basis depending on salary. The 2011 rate for this standard professional deduction is a maximum EUR 3,670.

moneyThe Belgian tax year for personal income tax begins on 1 January and ends 31 December. You will typically receive a tax return (declaration/ aangifte) during May relating to the previous year's income. This must normally be returned by the end of June (you will find the exact date on your tax return).

Employers are responsible for withholding tax on a monthly basis - this is known as the Précompte Professionnel/Bedrijfsvoorheffing. Similarly the self-employed or paid company directors have to pay tax monthly in advance via a collecting agency or bank.


Other taxes
Home owners pay a local property tax (précompte immobilier/ onroerende voor heffing) which is calculated on the deemed rental value attributed by the authorities to the property (revenu cadastral/ kadastral inkomen).

The tax paid varies according to the commune and generally lies between 20 percent and 50 percent of the revenue cadastral.

Special expatriate status

Expatriates who satisfy specific conditions come under a special taxation regime and pay Belgian tax only on connected income with professional duties carried out in Belgium. A foreign executive assigned temporarily to Belgium may so qualify but the conditions are tough. Employment must be by an international group or in a scientific research centre, and must be temporary. Also, the expatriate's centre of personal and economic interest must not be Belgium.

In determining the latter, the authorities take the following into account: the ownership of real estate, personal property or securities abroad; a life assurance contract written abroad; the inclusion of a diplomatic clause in the Belgian rental agreement for accommodation; continued affiliation to a group pension scheme abroad; renewal of credit cards issued by banks abroad; continued affiliation to a social security scheme abroad; continuing to act as an officer of a foreign company.

If you qualify for the above, there are specific benefits and deductions available.

VAT
Most goods and services are taxed at 21 percent with a lower rate of six percent applying to necessities such as food and transport, and for the time being to certain home renovations, though this is under close scrutiny.

Contact
Ministère des Finances/Ministerie van Financien
02 210 2211
www.minfin.fgov.be
Information office (from anywhere in Belgium):
02 572 5757
Available during office hours from 8.00 to 17.00

Service Public Fédéral Finances/Federale
02 572 5757 (Contact centre)
Overheidsdienst Financiën
www.minfin.fgov.be

For tax consultants: Ask the Expert in our Tax category

To find your local tax office, please check your annual income tax return or go to annuaire.fiscus.fgov.be for more information.

In cooperation with Taxpatria.




4 reactions to this article

Lukeyluke posted: 2013-09-14 17:20:53

My wife is from Belgium, the only reason i live here.
50% is the limit for me, however at Xmas I got a 3,000 bonus, after tax deductions i took home about 750 euros. I flet sick, i could not believe how much the goverment took form me. My company had to pay about 5,000 for me to get paid 3,000 and then they took again to leave me with 750....... Hahaha
Everything in Belgium costs more than anywhere else in the EU, cars, taxes on cars, car insureance, TV, internet, phones, food. Buying a house, you pay 15 plus % in taxes up front. Health care, you pay upfront and claim 20% back, doctors, hospitals Crazzy place.

If you work for a company, you have no chance of saving, every little euro you make, some one has a reason to take it off you.

Now, when you come here, you will see a LOT of big nice new cars, houses these people own thire companies and almost all do trads in black. The goverment take so much anyone and everyone who can, will do what they can to avoide paying taxes because of the groverment wanting more than you.

I have never seen so many expats leave because of the taxes.

Mari posted: 2014-02-15 11:35:42

When you work hard and get awarded it's and award and recognition more for the government than yourself! It's not normal that anything gets taxed more than 50%. And at the same time all unemployed immigrants receive an unemployment package of 1000 eur while I work my ass off every single day and and get just a little more

chacha posted: 2014-02-25 12:52:29

[Edited by moderator. Please direct expert questions to our 'Ask the Expert' service www.expatica.com/ask_the_expert]

alex posted: 2014-03-01 22:07:56

Belgium has the highest tax rate on salary in the World, while its public services are average to poor compared to other EU countries. If you are a super-rich, however, not living on your salary, this country is considered as a tax-heaven. In other words, this is a total rip-off. I got the hell out of there, albeit belgian, and strongly intend not to come back. Ever.

4 reactions to this article

Lukeyluke posted: 2013-09-14 17:20:53

My wife is from Belgium, the only reason i live here.
50% is the limit for me, however at Xmas I got a 3,000 bonus, after tax deductions i took home about 750 euros. I flet sick, i could not believe how much the goverment took form me. My company had to pay about 5,000 for me to get paid 3,000 and then they took again to leave me with 750....... Hahaha
Everything in Belgium costs more than anywhere else in the EU, cars, taxes on cars, car insureance, TV, internet, phones, food. Buying a house, you pay 15 plus % in taxes up front. Health care, you pay upfront and claim 20% back, doctors, hospitals Crazzy place.

If you work for a company, you have no chance of saving, every little euro you make, some one has a reason to take it off you.

Now, when you come here, you will see a LOT of big nice new cars, houses these people own thire companies and almost all do trads in black. The goverment take so much anyone and everyone who can, will do what they can to avoide paying taxes because of the groverment wanting more than you.

I have never seen so many expats leave because of the taxes.

Mari posted: 2014-02-15 11:35:42

When you work hard and get awarded it's and award and recognition more for the government than yourself! It's not normal that anything gets taxed more than 50%. And at the same time all unemployed immigrants receive an unemployment package of 1000 eur while I work my ass off every single day and and get just a little more

chacha posted: 2014-02-25 12:52:29

[Edited by moderator. Please direct expert questions to our 'Ask the Expert' service www.expatica.com/ask_the_expert]

alex posted: 2014-03-01 22:07:56

Belgium has the highest tax rate on salary in the World, while its public services are average to poor compared to other EU countries. If you are a super-rich, however, not living on your salary, this country is considered as a tax-heaven. In other words, this is a total rip-off. I got the hell out of there, albeit belgian, and strongly intend not to come back. Ever.

 
 
 
 
 
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