In general, there is no fixed rule as to how people living and working in another country are to be taxed on their work income. There are only national laws and double tax agreements between countries, which do not cover all eventualities and vary considerably.
You should first :
- determineinwhichcountryyouarea«taxresident»(the concept of « residence » for double taxation purposes is different from the concept of « residence » for domestic tax purposes).
- checkwhetheradoubletaxagreementbetweenBelgium and your country exists. Double tax agreements will allow you not to pay taxes on the same income twice, in two different countries.
A lot of information will also be available from your bank, where English is usually spoken.
But also on:
The information below applies tto both residents and non-residents.
Income from work
Salary, fees, emoluments, directors’ fees, tips, etc are all subject to taxation and specific taxation (social security) on a progressive, no-ceiling basis. In this respect, Belgium is one of the countries with the heaviest tax burden. However, officials of the European Union are not subject to Belgian taxation, and expats working for foreign companies established in Belgium are entitled to a favourable tax exemption scheme for a limited period. Consult a tax adviser or a tax lawyer, or ask your employer if it is a foreign company.
Other income :
- Investment income: subject to declaration and taxable, unless the withholding tax on income derived from securities, constituting full discharge, is applied.
- Income from shares: subject to withholding tax at 25 % or 15 % (discretionary).
- Income from financial deposits or investments: subject to withholding tax at 15 % (discretionary).
- Capital profits (losses): nontaxable and non-deductible. In this respect, Belgium is regarded by many people as a tax haven for those holding capital.
Taxes connected to consumption are the same for everyone
VAT : value-added tax is levied on almost all goods and services sold in Belgium at the rate of 21 %. The rate falls to 6% on essentials and on property renovation work on buildings over 10 years old. VAT is generally included in the selling price of commercial articles. However, practice varies when it comes to work or services provided. Always ask first.
- VAT : …..
- Excise : …
- Automobile taxes : annual road taxe (taxe de circulation).
- Communal and regional taxes : depending on the commune in which you are living. This tax is paid with the income tax.
- Home-ownerstax(précompteimmobilier).Ifyouown property in Belgium, you will have to pay an annual charge on its rateable income (revenu cadastral).
Petrol, alcohol, tobacco and a few other products are subject to this form of taxation, and it is included in the prices.
Expatriate Tax Assistance
For more details, please see :
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