Tax Return: When do I need to file?

The paper tax return must be filed by 30 June. This means the tax return must hit the letterbox of the scanning centre in Jambes or in Ledeberg on that day. Don’t leave it until the last minute. Putting the tax return in the mail on the 28th may be too late.

If you forgot the deadline, you can file online until 15 July. Plan ahead; Tax-On-Web tends to get overloaded. 

If you are too late, you can always give a power of attorney to an accountant or a tax adviser (that is done online at the latest on 31 August). He can then file online until 30 September. However, on behalf of all accountants and tax advisers, please do not bring your shoebox with your payslips and tax documents on the 25th of September.

If you aren’t living in Belgium, or if you have the expatriate tax status, the paper filing deadline for non-residents is much later, usually in October or November (on paper) or, if you or your tax adviser file online, a few weeks later.

When do I receive my tax return?

The tax authorities must send your tax return to you five weeks before the deadline. They are being sent out between 7 and 24 May. Tax-On-Web can be accessed szince 8 May. Non-residents will only be able to access Tax-On-Web from the middle of September.

It’s 1 June and I haven’t received my tax return yet

If you filed your tax return online last year, that is normal. Once you file online, the tax authorities assume that you want to continue filing online and they do not send you a paper tax return anymore. In the past, you could ask to receive a paper tax return the following year, as a sort of reminder. The tax authorities do not send them anymore; that saves on postage.

If you want a paper tax return or if you have not received your tax return yet, you must contact your local tax office and ask them to send you a form. If you have difficulties locating your tax office, check p. 2 of last year’s tax bill (under ‘Calcul’), check the website of the Finance Ministry or call 0257 257 57. This is a call centre that answers most tax questions.

This is also where you should go if you lost or misplaced your tax return. Do not use a photocopy of a friend’s tax return; that would only get you both in trouble.

I am late, what now?

If you forget to file (or to sign online), you risk a penalty that can go up to €1,250 and a tax increase of 10 to 200%. The 200% is really for persistent repeat offenders. What is more important is that the taxman can just ignore your tax return when he assesses the tax.

Your tax return:

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