A Contractor’s Guide to Taxes in Belgium
One of the most consistently challenging aspects of contracting in Belgium is complying with the country’s tax system. As well as paying tax in Belgium, you might also still be eligible to pay some tax in your home country, and understanding the legislation behind this can be a challenge.
How do I calculate my taxable income in Belgium?
If you’re working in Belgium under a permanent contract, many employers will handle your tax under the PAYE (pay-as-you-earn) system. This means that they calculate and process your taxes in Belgium for you and then send you a net wage. Your income tax, public health insurance, social security and other deductions will all be covered by this payment. This is the easiest way to handle your income tax in Belgium, but contractors may not be offered this service because of their short stay with each employer.
Anybody who can’t pay their tax in Belgium through PAYE is left with the prospect of doing everything themselves.
Do you know much about Belgian Tax Law? Does Belgium have a tax treaty with your home country? You will need to find out or find someone who can help! Income tax in Belgium can range from 25 to 50 per cent (not including municipal tax), and you need to be sure you are placed in the correct tax brackets.
Tax Calculator Belgium
If you are a contractor and want a calculation on your tax and net retention in Belgium, our Belgium tax calculator is free to use.
Using an Umbrella Company for Income Tax in Belgium
Contractors in Belgium are faced with masses of paperwork and numerous wasted hours filing a tax return unless they find an alternative option. A Belgian umbrella company can act as your employer during your stay in the country whilst still allowing you the freedom of a contractor. The only difference is that you submit your timesheets to them; they’ll calculate and pay your taxes as you earn, and then you receive a net wage (as well as documentation for your records).
The companies are experts in Belgian taxation, and they’ll ensure that you keep the largest proportion of your earnings whilst complying with local laws. They can deal with any issues with the Belgian tax office or tax department directly including processing your tax refund if you are eligible.
How to File Taxes in:
Step 1: You will receive a tax return form (déclaration/aangifte) from the Belgian tax authorities in May/June of the ‘tax year’ which allows you to declare income from the previous year or ‘income year’. This form specifies the due date for your tax filing (usually the end of June). Resident taxpayers must obtain the necessary forms from the Ministry of Finance if they have not received them by 1 June.
Step 2: All residents and non-residents must file an annual Belgian tax return. This can be done online via the Belgian government’s tax portal ‘Tax-on-Web’(link is external), or via post, to the address listed at the top of your tax return form.
Both residents and non-residents who are married or legally living together are required to file their tax returns jointly, except for the year of marriage, year of the declaration of legal cohabitation, or if they are living separately. They will still be taxed separately on all income.
Step 3: Before 30 June in the year following the ‘tax year’, an assessment notice will be sent to you. Any tax due must be paid to the tax authorities within 2 months of them sending the assessment notice.
Your employer will deduct a withholding tax from your salary. The difference between the final tax liability and the withholding is payable or refundable within 2 months after receipt of the tax assessment.
The tax table above applies to both residents and non-residents.
If the spouse/legally cohabiting partner is unemployed, up to 30% of the working spouse’s/partner’s net employment income is attributable to the non-working spouse/partner.
Residents are required to pay a municipal tax amounting to 0-9% of the federal tax due. Non-residents must pay a federal flat surcharge of 7%.
Foreign executives, specialists and researchers qualifying under the special tax regime are treated as non-residents of Belgian tax law. As a result, they are taxed on Belgian-source income only.
How We Can Help You with Tax in Belgium
We work with numerous umbrella companies in Belgium, many of whom are experts in tax and immigration laws. If you have any questions about tax in Belgium, we’ll get the answers from them directly so you can rest assured you’ll be getting accurate information.
We have comprehensive knowledge of the different services they provide and can help you find the right company to handle your income tax.
We help oil and gas workers, software developers, IT project managers, testers, business analysts and telecommunications contractors get tax efficient payments and sponsorship for their Belgian work permits.
Our advice is 100% free and comes with no obligations. You will be paying taxes in Belgium but without the overhead of directly dealing with the Belgian tax authorities.
It is presumed that individuals enrolled in the Civil Register are tax residents unless the contrary is proven. For married individuals, or ‘cohabitants’, it is irrevocably presumed to be Belgian tax residents if their spouse, partner or dependent children live in Belgium.
Yes, if you are a resident. Non-residents are taxed on their Belgium-source income only.
30 June for Residents & 30 September for Non-Residents
Yes. Visit Belgian’s government’s tax website online and settle your taxes.
Up to 4 days
According to Starting a Business Rank: 16/190. So it’s relatively easy.