2020 Tax Return: Cross border taxation

If you live in Belgium and you have income from another country, both countries will want to tax the entire income and that may result in double tax. To prevent double taxation, states sign “conventions for the avoidance of double taxation”. In these double tax treaties, the two states agree which of them can tax business income, rental income, dividends, …

2020 Tax Return: Box V – Pensions

Box V is for pensions and other similar income. The Belgian state pension goes in code 1228/2228 and a survivor’s pension goes in 1229/2229. The tax that has been deducted goes in code 1225/2225. Other pensions such as the complementary pension paid by a pension fund or other pension scheme are to be reported usually under code 1211/2211. Pensions paid …

2020 Tax Return: Box III – Real Estate

In box III, you declare the income from any real estate you may own, that can be actual rental income you receive or the theoretical income from a second or third residence. If you only own the house you live in, you don’t need to declare anything at all, unless you rent out part of your house. If you have …

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Ten myths about the 183 days’ rule

In The myth of the 183 days, we wrote that there was no such thing as a 183 days’ rule. In this post , we will say that there is a 183 days’ rule. Is that a contradiction? Not really. There is no 183 days’ rule to determine whether you are a Belgian resident. There is, however, a 183 days’ …

Belgium and Netherlands Sign Agreement on Taxation of Pensions

On 5 March, Belgian and Dutch officials signed an agreement clarifying the taxation of pensions under article 18 of the double tax treaty (in English) between the two countries.  The agreement was published in the Staatscourant (the Dutch official journal FR). The agreement is the result of a change in policy announced by the Dutch government at the end of last …

Belgian Supreme Court Upholds Tax Treaty Precedence Over Domestic Law

The Belgian Supreme Court recently confirmed that Belgian tax authorities cannot hide behind the text of the domestic law to deny Belgian taxpayers the benefit of the Belgium-France tax treaty. (1971 protocol; 1999 protocol; 2008 protocol; 2009 protocol.) The case is a classic example of double taxation of dividends. French dividends are taxed at source at a reduced rate of 15 percent, and the …

Guidance Clarifies Tax Treatment of DredgeWorkers

The Belgian tax authorities on October 26 published a practice note (Ci.R9. Div. 607/317) clarifying the tax regime for employees working aboard dredgers. The tax authorities note that in principle, dredging projects fall under articles 5 and 7 of Belgium’s tax treaties. This means their profits are taxable in the country where the enterprise is set up unless it has …