Don’t get daunted by the tax return; it looks more complicated than it really is.
How difficult is it really?
For most, filing a tax return should not be that difficult. It is just a question of copying the numbers from one piece of paper onto another one.
The first time, things may be quite straightforward because you only have your salary to declare. There should be only about ten codes to complete. What is more, the taxman already has most of the information that you will be reporting. If you file online, you will see that the information is pre-completed.
Filing a tax return takes more time and concentration when you get married, take out a mortgage or pay your household help with titres services / dienstencheques, if you have made tax deductible donations, have put money aside in a pension saving account …
Filing your tax return can take between three and five hours Once you are used to it you can get the job done in about one to two hours (the taxman calculate that it only takes half an hour).
Make no mistake: that brown envelope releases the inner procrastinator in you and on the last day you will be chasing these little bits of paper.
Can I get help?
This is a short guide to filing your tax return.
If you need professional help, you can work with an accountant or a tax adviser. Not only do they have experience, they can also buy you time; they can file your tax return online until 25 October.
You should know that the tax authorities are also available to help. You can meet them in their office (the address is on your tax return) and they will complete your tax return online. They also set up shop on specific days in town halls or in shopping centres.
Be sure to take your tax return, your electric identity card, your papers, pay slips, certificates for tax deductions (mortgages, life insurance, pension saving, donations, child care, maintenance pay, titres services, etc…, your tax bill for last year, and the tax bill for the real estate tax (“précompte immobilier”). There is a checklist on p. 11.
The tax man certainly has a lot of experience, but he cannot give you more time; your tax return must still be filed before 29 June (on paper) or 12 July (online).
There is no shame in asking; about 1 million Belgians go and see the taxman.
Your Tax Return :
- the Guide
- Is this your first time?
- Couples and Children
- When do I need to file?
- on Paper or Online?
- Filing Online
- Filing on Paper
- Box I – Contact Details and Bank Account
- Box II – Your Family Situation
- Box III – Real Estate
- Box IV – Earnings
- Box V – Pensions
- Cross Border Taxation
- Box VI – Maintenance Received
- Box VII – Investment Income
- Box VIII – Maintenance Paid and Losses from Previous Years
- Box IX – Mortgage Payments
- Box X – Other Tax Deductions
- Box XII – Paying your Taxes in Advance
- Capital Gains
- Box XIV – Bank Accounts and Insurance Policies
- Box XIV – Trusts
- Stock Exchange Tax
- Tax on Securities Accounts
- Nowhere to hide
- The Tax Bill
- Appealing the Tax Bill