Who said there were only two things certain in life: death and taxes? Actually, there is a third one!
One day in May or June, you will find that brown envelope in your letterbox. Tax season is back. If you are new to Belgium, that envelope holds your tax return. You will put it on the mantelpiece, it can wait … Don’t be fooled; that envelope releases the inner procrastinator in you and on the last day you will be chasing these little bits of paper.
For most, filing a tax return should not be complicated. It is just a question of copying the numbers from one piece of paper onto another one. The first time, things may be quite straightforward because you only have your salary to declare. And often the taxman already has the information you will be reporting, as you will discover if you file online. However, once you are married, have a mortgage or pay your household help with “titres services”, filing a tax return takes time and concentration. It can take between three and five hours. Once you’re used to it you can get the job done in about one to two hours.
What if you have not received a tax return?
If you have earned an income, or if you have had unearned income like interest or dividends, you probably need to report those in your 2015 tax return.
On 4 May 2015, the Belgian tax administration released a draft of its FATCA guidelines on its e-services web page (http://financien.belgium.be/nl/E-services/fatca).
FATCA or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is US legislation that targets global tax evasion by US citizens. FATCA requires financial institutions outside the United States to send certain information about their clients who are US citizens, to the US tax authorities, the IRS.
mypension.be is the pension portal where Belgian residents can obtain information about their pension entitlements.
The website has existed since 2010, but to this date only employees could access their pension file on line . From now on self-employed can review their pension career and pension contributions during their working career, apply for retirement and send and receive emails from the National Pensions Office.
In the future, mypension.be will expand and become the online pension portal for personalized information on all legal and supplementary pensions for active and retired employees, self-employed and civil servants.
Bradley Hackford, a firm specialising in international relocation, has published its 2015 ranking of the 10 top tax havens. The ranking is based on five criteria:
The deadlines for filing income tax returns have been announced :
More information, and forms, can be found here.