Tax shift and budgets for 2015 and 2016 | KPMG | BE

Tax shift and budgets for 2015 and 2016

Tax shift and budgets for 2015 and 2016

The Belgian Government has announced that it reached an agreement on the budgets 2015 and 2016 and on the implementation of the ‘tax shift’.

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Most measures will enter into force on 1 January 2016. It is expected that Parliament will approve these measures before the end of the year.

The following reductions of taxes/social security contributions have been decided:

 

  • The employer social security contributions will be reduced from 33 % (actual) to 25 %. For wages which already benefit from an actual rate of 25%, the contributions will be further reduced by 4 to 5%.
  • SMEs with a maximum of 6 employees will not pay social security contributions for the first employee. The existing reduction of contributions for the first 5 employees will be extended to the sixth employee.
  • People who are self-employed will only pay 20,5% social security contributions on the first bracket of their business income (instead of 22%).
  • Individual income tax will be lowered, mostly benefiting low and medium wages, through:

- an increase of the tax-free sum - the abolition of the individual tax bracket of 30% and an increase of the lower threshold of the individual tax bracket of 45%- an increase of the lump-sum deduction of business expenses

On the other hand, the following taxes will be raised/introduced:

  • Increase of excise duties on alcohol, tobacco and diesel (except professional diesel) starting 1 November 2015. The excise duties on petrol would be reduced.
  • Introduction of a tax on soda drinks:

- Both sugary drinks, light drinks and drinks without sugar- In the future, the tax could be extended to other unhealthy food

  • The withholding tax on movable income (interest, dividends) will go up from 25 to 27 % beginning 1 January 2016 (no changes expected for the classical savings deposits)
  • Introduction of a capital gains tax of 33% on quoted shares realized within 6 months. There would be no compensation with capital losses.
  • Introduction of a new round of fiscal regularization.

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