Belgian tax return not yet filed?

Time for action: appoint your tax consultant before August 31, 2020.

Your Belgian tax return needed to be filed on paper by June 30, 2020 at the latest. In case you filed your tax return via tax-on-web, you could do this till July 16, 2020. What if this has not yet been done?

Your Belgian tax return via a tax consultant

If you also missed this deadline, your may appoint a mandate holder (tax consultant, accountant, …). Firstly, your tax consultant will create a mandate and will subsequently assist you in the preparation and filing of your Belgian tax return. Secondly, your tax consultant will submit this via tax-on-web.

❗ Important remark! Your tax mandate has to be created before August 31, 2020. The period to timely submit your tax return yourself has meanwhile expired. As of early September, the Belgian tax authorities will start to send reminder letters. This parallel procedure (including the risk on penalties and tax increases) may better be avoided. Hence, time to take action today and contact your Belgian tax consultant. If your tax consultant files your return, you still have time till October 22, 2020.

If you’re filing your tax return late, tax penalties and tax increases may apply. In addition, the Belgian tax authorities may impose an ex officio tax assessment, which may be very disadvantageous…

Also if you received a proposal for simplified tax return and / or you disagree with the content, a tax consultant may help you out. Also in this scenario a mandate should be created, after which your proposal for simplified tax return can be amended by your tax consultant.

Should you file a Belgian resident income tax return?

Most Belgian residents automatically received a tax form on paper (in their mailbox) or via the tax-on-web portal. If you would have not received such form, this does not mean that you do not have a Belgian tax filing obligation. Everybody how has not received a tax form, should assess him/herself whether he/she has a tax filing obligation and if so, he/she has the legal obligation to request this form at the Belgian tax authorities.

You need to request a Belgian tax form yourself, if:

  • You became of age (i.e. 18 year) in the course of 2019 – even if you’re studying, income from vacation work, student work, alimony received, dividends, … should be reported in a Belgian tax return;
  • Your received income in Belgium (e.g. salary, pension, rental income, …) and you resided abroad, or was in Belgium for a limited period in time.

In the latter scenario, you should not file a Belgian resident income tax return, however a Belgian non-resident income tax return should be filed. This return, Belgian source income needs to be reported and taxed. In particular, foreign employees / self-employed persons working in Belgian in the construction sector, industry, but also services sector. For them, a thorough analysis as regards taxability of their income is recommended. If not, there is a risk that their income is double taxed in their home country, as well as in Belgium …

For the filing of such Belgian non-resident income tax return, there is still some time left. This income (income year 2019, tax year 2020) should be filed at the latest on the following dates on:

  • November 5, 2020 – in case of filing on paper;
  • December 3, 2020 – in case of filing via tax-on-web;
  • December 3, 2020 – in case of filing via tax-on-web via your tax consultant;

Are you resident or non-resident taxpayer in Belgium?

In most cases it is rather obvious whether you are a Belgian tax resident or non-resident. In some cases this is however less straight forward. You are a Belgian tax resident taxpayer when the center of your vital and economic interests are located in Belgium. Or if your ‘seat of fortune’ is located in Belgium. In all other cases, you qualify as a Belgian non-resident taxpayer;

Simple criteria for most of us, however not that straight forward in some situations, such as when you:

  • have an opportunity to move and work abroad for 2 year for your employer;
  • are planning to enjoy your well-deserved retirement around the Mediterranean Sea. Or planning a 12 month vacation trip around the world;
  • are still working in Belgium, visiting the love of you life every weekend in London or Paris.

A thorough analysis for your tax situation and tax residency is important before starting to file your tax return in Belgium, as well as in your home country. An adequate qualification is crucial to complete the right tax return form (resident of non-resident), apply the correct tax rules and anticipate the different tax consequences.

If you would have questions/remarks as regards Belgian tax residency, taxability in Belgium or if you would like to receive a risk assessment, feel free to contact us.

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