Belgium has an attractive special tax regime for inbound taxpayers/researchers offering significant benefits and decreasing the cost of employing individuals in Belgium.
Brief summary of conditions and benefits
Several conditions must be met by the employer and the employee to qualify for this regime.
The inbound taxpayer must comply with the cumulative conditions below:
- for the 60 months prior to the start of employment in Belgium:
- he has not been a Belgian resident,
- he has not been living within a distance of 150 km from the Belgian border,
- he has not been subject to tax as a non-resident for professional income in Belgium, and
- he must receive a gross remuneration of more than EUR 75,000 (amount subject to indexation) for services rendered in Belgium per calendar year. This salary condition does not apply to inbound researchers.
One of the benefits of the inbound tax regime is that recurring expenses at charge of the employer arising directly from the employment in Belgium can be considered tax-free. These costs proper to the employer are equal to maximum 30 percent of the gross remuneration with a cap of EUR 90,000 per year (amount subject to indexation and prorated in split tax years). The payment of these costs proper to the employer are in addition to the individual’s gross remuneration.
The minimum annual salary requirement of EUR 75.000 for inbound taxpayers (prorated in case of split tax years) should be met during all the years of employment in Belgium. The tax authorities want to verify this threshold annually. Same applies for the costs proper to the employer where the tax authorities want to verify that the maximum 30 percent of the gross remuneration with a cap of EUR 90,000 per year is respected.
New reporting requirements
The Law on various tax measures (published in the Belgian Official Gazette of 29 December 2023) announces changes in the reporting requirements on the annual wage statements 281.10/20 for inbound taxpayers/researchers with an aim to allow the tax authorities to verify the thresholds above annually.
Previously the law on inbound taxpayers/researchers foresees the obligation for the employer to provide an annual listing to the tax authorities by January 31st, following the income year. As a transitional measure, the tax authorities previously announced that no such list needed to be introduced for income year 2022. The law now foresees that this separate annual listing will be abolished altogether and replaced by additional entries on the annual wage statements 281.10/20, namely:
- Gross amount of remuneration
- Recurring cost proper to the employer
- Other costs proper to the employer (first installation, moving, school fees…)
Employers should make sure that the above-mentioned additional information is properly reported on the wage statements 281.10/20.
Authors: Ilse De Mesmaeker, Sr. Manager & Saâdia Abdi, Director
This article was originally published on 14 December 2023 and updated on 31 January 2024.
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Find your way in the Belgian tax landscape and stay informed with our latest insights.