The articles 12 and 13 of Protocol (No 7) on the privileges and immunities of the European Union lay down the tax regime for officials of the European Institutions.

The European Institutions levy their own tax on the salaries, wages and emoluments they pay out to their 'officials and other servants'. National governments cannot tax these earnings.

Officials of the European Institutions living in Belgium are deemed to have kept their residence in the EU Member State where they had their tax residence before coming to Belgium.  That is not necessary their country of nationality. This rule applies to income tax and inheritance tax. And if they are a national of a country that has a wealth tax, they are liable to that wealth tax.  They can also invoke the double tax treaties concluded by that country.

This means that

  • salaries paid by the European Communities are exempt from Belgian income tax. 

    Officials and other servants are not obliged to declare such income to the Belgian tax authorities. If they have to file a Belgian tax return, they cannot be obliged to report their salary.  If necessary, Directorate-General Human Resources and Security will issue a certificate confirming the status of the official and the existence of exempt income

    The Court of Justice of the European Communities has decided that Belgium cannot take account of the official's remuneration to calculate the tax due on any other income that is taxable in Belgium (Case 6/60, Humblet, [1960] ECR 1125).

 

  • retirement pensions, invalidity pensions and survivors’ pensions (for the spouse) paid by the Communities are tax exempt..

An official who earns income from an activity outside the European Institiutions may be liable to income tax in Belgium as a non-resident.

 

This provision also applies to the spouse of an official (unless that spouse has earnings in Belgium), and to the dependent children that are in the care of the official. 

For a full guide on the taxation of EU officials in Belgium, click here.

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