2020 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 only file jointly if you married or registered your partnership before 2019. If you did so in 2019, 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 2019, you have to file on paper. You need to check code 1011 and then opt for a joint or separate filing. If you need to report your deceased partner’s income, you 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 2019, 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 €10,940 or less.

The official of one of the European Institutions or international organisations ticks 1062.  By checking 1020, you confirm that your income as an official was over €10,940 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 code 1021. They must mention that their spouse or partner is an international official so that the taxman doesn’t give them this marital deduction.


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

Your direct dependents are all the children you had on 1 January 2020 (code 1030); a child born on 30 December 2019 is as much a dependent as a child born on 2 January 2019.

To be dependent they must live with you and not have any personal financial resources or get child support in excess of €3,330. For single parents, the threshold is €4,810 (see couples and children and child support).

For each child, the highest earner gets an additional allowance on top of his personal allowance of €8,8600. The allowance is €1,610 for one child, €4,150 for two children, €9,290 for three children, €15,030 for four children, and a further €5,740 for every other child.

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 €2,780 and that will be disregarded as personal financial resources (see couples and children).

The cut-off date is 1 January 2020. This means that your daughter who was financially dependent for most of 2019, will not be a dependent for tax purposes if she started working in September.


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 taxman 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, you get an additional personal allowance of €600 if you fill out code 1038). That allowance can be shared as well.

Other dependents

Some other family members can be dependent too: 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 €3,330 in income (other than €26,840 in pensions).

Arriving or leaving Belgium in 2019

If you arrived in Belgium in 2019 or left Belgium in 2019, 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. For that reason, the allowances above are prorated according to the number of full months you were in Belgium; that is the months that you are here on the 15th. You must put the number of full months in code 1199/2199.

Your Tax Return :

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