Belgium, the land of waffles, beer and chocolate! Lots of chocolate in fact. Belgium produces more than 220,000 tons of chocolate per annum, making it one of the largest producers of chocolate in the world. Lots of beer too! There are over 1000 different types of beer brewed in Belgium.
Whilst these might all be compelling reasons for wanting to live in Belgium (other than well lit motorways and some of the world’s best music festivals), Belgium has one of the highest tax rates in Europe. High earners can pay as much as 57% in tax, which according to the World Economic Forum, makes it the fourth most tax-bearing country in Europe after France, Italy and Spain. Belgium’s tax revenue is in fact among the highest in Europe representing around 48% of the country’s GDP.
Despite this, Belgium (more specifically Brussels), has a very high level of international presence. Brussels ranks only second to New York in this regard, and this mainly stems from the fact that Brussels is home to around 120 international governmental organisations, 1,400 non-governmental organisations and 181 embassies employing 3,000 diplomats. Brussels is also home to the European headquarters of more than 2,000 multi-national organisations and the headquarters of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
Whether you are a local or foreign national, good financial planning is essential, not only to safeguard your financial future, but also to mitigate the impact of high tax rates in Belgium. Seeking professional, tailored advice is key in helping you achieve these goals.
Our team of advisers will be able to provide you with a tailer-made personalised financial plan targeted at achieving your long-term financial goals. We will help you achieve your dream of becoming financially independent and give you the ability to make the most out your time in Belgium.
Residency | tax rates
You are considered a tax resident in Belgium if:
If you are considered a tax resident in Belgium, you are subject to tax on your worldwide income and gains.
If you work in Belgium temporarily, whilst you may be considered resident of Belgium for the reasons outlined above, you may be able to apply for a special tax regime and only pay tax in Belgium on income arising in Belgium (rather than your worldwide income).
Income tax, VAT and corporate tax are subject to federal tax rates in Belgium. Other taxes, such as inheritance tax, vary depending on where you live in Belgium.
In 2022, earnings from worldwide sources are taxed according to progressive rates of up to 50%:
INCOME TAX RATES
Up to €13,870
€13,870 – €24,480
€24,480 – €42,370
You are entitled to a personal tax-free allowance (belastingvrije som, somme exonérée) of €9,050. This will rise to €9,270 in 2023. The tax-free allowance increases if you have children.
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