Taxes in Corona Times

Covid-19 has changed certain rules and habits. You cannot visit the tax office to get help to complete your tax return, that has to be done over the phone (see help). You may have been forced to work from home and your employer can pay you a tax-free allowance of €126.94 for working at home, plus €20 (for the use …

2020 Tax Return: Stock Exchange Tax

Belgium has always charged a tax on stock exchange transactions, such as the purchase and sale of some financial instruments (bonds and stocks) on a secondary market, and the sale of mutual funds (UCITS), through a Belgium-based professional intermediary, a bank or broker. The tax is also due when you buy or sell through a foreign bank or on an …

2020 Tax Return: Box X – Other Tax Deductions

Box X is for all sorts of payments or expenses that you have made and for which you can claim a tax reduction. That goes from donations to charities (1394): the minimum is €40 per charity, if you have a tax certificate of the donation, you can recover up to 45% of the gift by reducing your tax bill; childcare …

2020 Tax Return: Box VII – Investment Income

Box VII is for the income of your investments, i.e. dividends and interest. These are normally taxed at source; the (Belgian) bank or the company that pays the dividend deducts 30% tax when they pay out. If that is the case, you don’t have to declare the interest or dividends in your tax return, but foreign banks do not withhold …

2020 Tax Return: Box VI – Alimony and Child Support

If you receive alimony, you must declare it in Box VI under code 1192 and you will be taxed on 80% of the maintenance. There are separate codes for maintenance that is paid retroactively following a court decision (1193) and for maintenance that is paid in a lump sum. In that case, you have to declare every year a percentage …

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 …

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 …

Voluntary Disclosure Regime in a Federal State

In 2015 Belgium’s federal government decided to give taxpayers (another) last chance to regularize unpaid taxes and social security contributions. The law introducing a new, permanent voluntary disclosure regime for tax and social security matters, dated July 21, 2016, entered into force on August 1, 2016. Or at least it did in theory. The challenge: In a federal state where …

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 …