Belgian married unemployed to claw back tax

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Finance Minister Didier Reynders has ordered an investigation into whether married unemployed have paid too much in taxes in recent years.

Press reports suggest that married unemployed could claw back up to 15,000 euros.

In 2004 the liberal-led government introduced tax reforms, allowing married couples and people living together to be treated in the same way by the tax service.

Unemployed people were barred from benefiting from the measure because lawmakers feared their income would rise too much and they would not be motivated to find a job.

For a couple of years now married unemployed have been paying more tax than couples 'living in sin'.

One of their number took the matter to the Constitutional Court that has now ruled in his favour.

The court ruled that the equality principle had been violated.

Married unemployed can now claw back up to 3,000 euros a year.

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