Early 2022 Belgium introduced a new tax regime for inbound taxpayers and inbound researchers, after the previous expat regime had been in place for 38 years (more guidance on the new expat regime can be found in the Circular 2022/C/47 dated 6/5/2022).

By the end of September 2022 employers and inbound expats needed to decide whether the expats already benefiting from the previous regime wanted to opt in the new regime (if conditions were met) or would go for the transitional measure to remain under the old regime until end 2023. Inbound taxpayers and inbound researchers who arrived in 2022 can apply for the new regime if conditions are met.

A draft law (adopted by the Budget and Finance Committee on 30/11/2022) will make some further adjustments to the new regime for inbound taxpayers and inbound researchers:

  • Extension of the scope of the regime to include for example employees who work for a foundation, a public institution with legal personality, … (a new additional application period of 3 months will be applicable). For qualifying (establishments of) companies under the new tax regime for inbound taxpayers and inbound researchers a registration in the Crossroads Bank of Enterprises will be sufficient.
  • Minimum salary threshold of EUR 75.000 is further clarified. It has been confirmed this is the remuneration taxable in Belgium for activities performed to the benefit of the employer (burden of proof on the employer)
  • Inbound researchers: adjustment of the definition of eligible researchers reflecting the spirit of the law (business unit concept).

In the next weeks employers should be on the lookout for approval decisions from the Belgian tax authorities on requests for opt in or new arrival requests.

It will also be key early next year to make sure that Belgian salary forms for 2022 (fiche 281.10 /fiche 281.20) are in line with the contractual agreements and that the costs proper to the employer are correctly reflected on the salary forms.

There is also in principle an annual reporting obligation for employers who must provide the tax authorities with an annual nominative list of their employees benefiting from the regime for the previous year by 31 January of each year.   The tax authorities announced that no notification will be required for income year 2022.

More information on Belgium’s tax regime for inbound taxpayers and inbound researchers is available on Tax regimes for inbound taxpayers and researchers.