Recently approved legislation in Luxembourg will alter the tax treatment of married couples and registered domestic partners. In addition, from 2018, how married nonresident taxpayers are taxed will undergo a change. The global tax schedule has been revised, with new income brackets and some new rates.
Following the announcement of the tax reform in early 2016 and the submission of the draft legislation in August, the Luxembourg Parliament voted on 14 December in favor of the reform by a slim majority.1 The new tax legislation2 entered into force on 1 January 2017 (with certain exceptions, explained below).
The new measures represent important changes to Luxembourg’s individual tax system affecting all local employees, cross-border workers, and international assignees alike. In particular, certain nonresident taxpayers (e.g., cross-border workers) could be disadvantaged due to higher taxation from the change to their tax class status.
Global mobility tax professionals, program managers, and international assignees should be aware that determining whether it would be beneficial for married couples/registered partners to file separate tax returns or joint tax returns could be complex, and careful consideration needs to be given to the options available.
We highlight the key measures below and further clarify certain changes to Luxembourg’s tax law which will be effective from 1 January 2018.
Starting in 2018, married couples and registered partners will have the option to be taxed individually. To make the election, married couples must file a joint non-revocable application by 31 December of the tax year preceding the tax year concerned (i.e., the application for 2018 should be filed before 31 December 2017). Registered partners should file the non-revocable application by 31 March of the tax year following the tax year concerned (i.e., the application for 2018 should be filed before 31 March 2019). This election can be made on an annual basis. Further details can be found in the newsletter published by the KPMG International member firm in Luxembourg.
The taxation of married nonresident taxpayers will be substantially amended as from 1 January 2018. Nonresident couples will be taxed as single taxpayers in tax class 1 during the tax year, unless the spouses are taxable in Luxembourg on at least 90 percent of their yearly worldwide income. In that case they can opt to be jointly taxed (in tax class 2) at the tax rate applicable to their household’s worldwide income. In certain situations it is also possible and potentially beneficial to opt for joint taxation if only one of the partners is taxable in Luxembourg on 90 percent or more of his or her yearly worldwide income. Please refer to the recent KPMG Luxembourg newsletter for further details.
The global tax schedule has been revised. Additional income brackets and tax rates are now included in the tax tables. In addition, a marginal tax rate of 41 percent has been introduced on annual income of €150,000 or more. A 42-percent rate will apply for singles on annual income of €200,004 or more (for taxpayers in tax class 1, €400,008 for couples filing jointly in tax class 2). The tax rates for 2017 can be found in the aforementioned KPMG Luxembourg newsletter.
Uncertainty remains with respect to how the changes will be implemented by the tax authorities.
We are closely following the developments of the tax reform, and further details will be provided in future GMS Flash Alerts as additional information becomes available.
For additional information or assistance, please contact your local GMS or People Services professional or one of the following professionals with the KPMG International member firm in Luxembourg:
Tel. + 352 22 5151 5333
Tel. + 352 22 5151 5425
Tel. + 352 22 5151 5562
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Luxembourg.
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