If this is the first time you file a tax return, here are a few things you need to know.
The first time, you will receive a brown envelope with a tax return and some documents to help you file (see Filing on Paper). Whether you receive a Brussels, Flemish or Walloon tax return depends on where you were registered on 1 January 2020.
You can file on paper or online. Four out of five taxpayers file online, and the number of people who prefer to file paper tax returns are dwindling. Please note that once you file online, the tax authorities assume that you will want to do so again, and they will not send you a paper form anymore.
In Belgium, married couples and registered partners file jointly but they are taxed separately on the same tax bill.
In your tax return, you declare your income. You don’t report your wealth. If you have overseas bank accounts or insurance policies, all you do is tick a box. You don’t have to give any information about those (see Overseas Bank Accounts and Insurance Policies) but that does not mean that the taxman does not get any information (see Nowhere to hide).
You don’t have to calculate the tax yourself and you don’t have to pay the tax immediately or enclose a cheque. This is because most tax is deducted at source; your employer pays your salary net of taxes and social security. And tax is deducted from pensions.
The tax withheld at source will normally cover the tax. However, you still have to declare all your income, and the tax bill will show whether you get any tax back. That may be the case if
- you have a mortgage,
- you pay your cleaner with titres services / dienstencheques
- you have made some donations,
- you pay alimony or child support,
- you pay childcare,
- or you put some money aside for pension saving,
And if you have any savings, the bank deducts the tax “at source”; you don’t have to declare the dividends or interest. However, if you have savings with an overseas bank abroad, you must report the income.
If you file in time, the tax bill will be sent to you a few months later, at the latest on 30 June 2021. You have two months to pay the bill; if the bill shows a reimbursement, that will come two months later as well.
If you want to calculate how much tax you will have to pay, you can calculate the tax anonymously on Taxcalc.
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