2018 Tax Return : Box II – Your Family Situation

This is one box where people make a lot of mistakes.

Check box 1001 if you are single or living with your partner and you haven’t formalised your partnership.

Spouses and partners

It is only if you are married or in a registered partnership that you file your tax return together but only for the following year. If you are currently married or registered partners, check box 1002 or 1006 respectively on your separate returns. You file only jointly if you married or registered your partnership before 2017. If you did so in 2017, you file separately this year and you check the relevant box (1003 or 1007).

If your spouse or partner died, you check code 1010 as a widow(er). If you lost your partner or spouse in 2017, you will have to file on paper. You need to check code 1011 and then opt for joint or separate filing. If you need to report your deceased partner’s income, you have to use the codes 1022 to 1027.

Check other codes if your registered partnership has ended or if you are divorced (1014) or took up separate residences (1018). However, if that happened in 2017, you also need to tick the following box because you still file jointly for the year of the separation or divorce; you can ask to file separately but you cannot do that online.

Officials of international organisations

and their spouses or partners file separately unless the official’s income was €10,490 or less.

The official of one of the European Institutions or an international organisation ticks 1062, or if she is a woman filing jointly 2062. In same sex couples 1062 is for the older partner or spouse.  By checking 1020, you confirm that your income as an official was over €10,490 so that you don’t get the benefit of the “marital deduction” (see Couples and Children).

The spouse or registered partner of the official files a separate tax return and checks 1021. They must mention that their spouse or partner is an international official so that the taxman doesn’t give them this marital deduction.

Dependents

Dependants are all the people who live with you and are financially dependent on you. A spouse or a registered partner cannot be a dependent.

Your direct dependents are all the children you had on 1 January 2018 (code 1030). To be dependent they must live with you and not have any personal financial resources or child support over €3,200. For single parents, the threshold is €4,620 (see Couples and Children and Child support).

A child born on 30 December 2017 is as much a dependent as a child born on 2 January 2017.

For each child, the highest earner gets an additional allowance on top of his personal allowance of €7,230. The allowance is €1,550 for one child, €3,980 for two children, €8,920 for three children, €14,420 or four children, and another €5,510 for every additional child.

When the parents co-parent, they each get half of this allowance, if they do not pay maintenance (see Child support).

Older children

Children who are at university during the week are still considered to be living with you if they keep their registration with the commune.  And if they were working to pay for some pocket money, they can earn €2,660 and that will be disregarded as personal financial resources (see Couples and Children).

The cut-off date is 1 January 2018. This means that your daughter who was financially dependent for most of 2017, will not be a dependent for tax purposes if she started working in September.

Co-parenting

If the children are under joint custody and living alternatively with each parent, the parent with whom the children are officially domiciled gets the tax allowance for the children. Nevertheless, the parents can agree to share the tax allowance by giving the tax man a copy of the court decision or agreement between parents. The parent with whom the children are domiciled fills out code 1034; the other 1036.

All dependents give you a higher tax allowance that is tax free. If you don’t claim a tax deduction for child care (see Child support), you get an additional personal allowance of €580 if you fill out code 1038). That allowance can be shared as well.

Other dependents

Some family members can be dependent as well: your parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters if they are over 65 (code 1043). Your foster parents can also be a dependent. Dependents cannot have more than €3,200 in income (other than €25,750 in pensions).

Arriving or leaving Belgium

If you arrived in Belgium in 2017, or left Belgium in 2017, you do not have a full tax year and only the part of your income that you received while resident in Belgium is taxable.  This means that less income is taxed at the lower tax rates. Until 2016, a tax payer was entitled to full allowances for the entire year. Now you have to indicate how many full months you were in Belgium.  A full month is more than 16 days. And you are entitled to a partial deduction of allowances.

 

Your Tax Return :

Author: Marc Quaghebeur

Marc Quaghebeur is a Belgian tax lawyer with Cabinet DAVID specialising in international tax issues and cross border estate planning. He is a member of the Brussels Bar and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. He

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