Taxes in Corona Times

Covid-19 has changed certain rules and habits.

You can get help to complete your tax return but only over the phone and the tax authorities are banking on that. Exceptionally, you can make an appointment at their offices for help. It is only if they cannot help you over the phone that they will meet you in person (see Help!?).

You may have been forced to work from home and your employer paid you a tax-free allowance of €129.45 (and even €144.31 between April 2021 and September 2021) for working at home, plus €20 (for the use of your own pc) and €20 for the use of your internet connection at home.

If you have been furloughed, you risk having a bad surprise. The tax authorities have withheld tax at source on your unemployment benefit at 15%; you risk having a big tax bill.

Workers who are working in a neighbouring country are normally paying tax there. However, when you work from home, you pay tax here for the days you work at home. The Belgian tax authorities have accepted that the lockdown due to Covid-19 is a case of β€˜force majeure’. As you cannot travel to work, Belgium has agreed with France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands that the days worked from home in Belgium during 2021 do not count as days in worked in Belgium but in the other country.Β  This has been extended until 30 June 2022.

Self-employed workers could request a one-year deferral of the payment of their social security contributions for the first two quarters of 2021. They could also request a reduction of the quarterly social security contributions if they think that they will be earning substantially less.  However, deferral does not mean waiver; the social security contributions will have to be paid.

Self-employed will have less expenses, no restaurants means no restaurant bills and a deferral of social security contributions means that they cannot be deducted.

Your tax return:

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