Belgium - Other taxes and levies

Belgium - Other taxes and levies

Taxation of international executives

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SOCIAL SECURITY TAX

Are there social security/social insurance taxes in Belgium? If so, what are the rates for employers and employees?

Employer and employee

Social security taxes for the employee and employer are withheld from salary payments. The base on which the social security taxes are levied is the total remuneration, including several indemnities, bonuses, and benefits-in-kind. There is no ceiling on the amount on which the contributions are levied. As a result of the so-called Belgian “tax shift” legislation, the social security contributions paid by the employer will gradually be lowered to 25% by 2018. 

Based on the rates for the first quarter of 2015:

Type of insurance Paid by employer Paid by employee Total
White collar workers
1 - 9 employees 32.94% 13.07% 46.01%
10 - 19 employees 34.63% 13.07% 47.70%
20 + employees 34.65% 13.07% 47.72%
Special social security contribution*
EUR 0 - 18,592.02 0.00% 0.00%  
EUR 18,592.02 - 21,070.96 0.00% 9.00% on amounts over EUR 18,592.02  
EUR 21,070.97 - 60,161.85 0.00% EUR 223.10 plus 1.30% on the amount over EUR 21,070.97  
Over EUR 60,161.85 0.00% EUR 731.28  
Total Max. 34.67% Max. 13.07% plus EUR 731.28  

* This contribution does not apply if the employment income is subject to non-Belgian social security.

Gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance tax

Are there any gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance taxes in Belgium?

Residents who make gifts of real or personal property are subject to gift taxes. For some types of gifts, it is possible to avoid gift tax.

Inheritances from all inhabitants of Belgium are subject to succession duties. An inhabitant is defined as an individual who, at the time of his/her death, had established his/her domicile or seat of his/her fortune in Belgium.

According to inheritance law, the domicile in question is the place where the deceased has his/her effective residence, where he/she lived with his/her family or from where he/she managed the real and personal properties comprising his/her wealth. Inheritances of foreigners temporarily employed in Belgium who are treated as non-residents are generally subject to inheritance tax only in respect of real estate situated in Belgium.

The inheritance tax is based upon the net worth of the estate and the rate depends upon the relationship of the beneficiary to the deceased.

Different rules for determining the taxable basis and the tax rates apply according to the region in which the beneficiary is residing.

Please note that the notion of residence for inheritance taxes is different from the notion of residence in income taxes. KPMG in Belgium therefore recommends individuals assigned to Belgium to analyze their inheritance tax situation.

Gift and estate/inheritance tax rules and applicable rates depend on the region where the individual is living (Flanders, Wallonia, or Brussels).

Real estate tax

Are there real estate taxes in Belgium?

For owned property, a so-called cadastral income will be attributed. This is the deemed rental value, taking into consideration costs of 40 percent.

An annual real estate tax, where the amount depends on the place where the house is situated, will be due.

The cadastral income of the taxpayer’s own house does, in principle, not have to be declared in the individual’s tax return.

SALES/VAT TAX

Are there sales and/or value-added taxes in Belgium?

There exists a value-added tax on the supply of goods and services within Belgium, the importation of goods into Belgium from outside the European Community and the intra-community acquisition of goods in Belgium.

The law provides also certain exemptions.

The application of Belgian value-added tax is limited to taxable transactions that take place in Belgium.

The following VAT rates are currently in force: a rate of 0 percent, which is applicable to tobacco, newspapers, and periodicals published more than 48 times a year, and waste products (metal scrap). A reduced rate of 6 percent, which is applicable to foods and drinks; books; drugs and medicine; admission to cultural, sporting and entertainment events; hotel and camping accommodation; funeral services; service of composers and authors (copyrights); distribution of water; agricultural services; and people transport. It also applies to construction work on old buildings (under certain conditions). A reduced rate of 12 percent is applicable to social housing, food served in restaurants and margarine. The standard rate is 21 percent.

UNEMPLOYMENT TAX

Are there unemployment taxes in Belgium?

There is no unemployment tax in Belgium.

OTHER TAXES

Are there additional taxes in Belgium that may be relevant to the general assignee? For example, customs tax, excise tax, stamp tax, and so on.

Local Tax

Municipal income taxes are determined and assessed as a percentage of the national income tax due. For resident taxpayers, this percentage is fixed by the municipal authorities and varies from community to community. For non-resident taxpayers, the municipal income tax rate is fixed at 7 percent of the national income tax due.

In addition, various other local taxes may be applicable, depending on the community where the taxpayer lives. Some examples are general inhabitant tax, garbage collection tax etc.

© 2016 KPMG Tax and Legal Advisers, a Belgian Civil Cooperative Company with Limited Liability (burg. CVBA/SCRL civile) and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”), a Swiss entity. All rights reserved.

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