Overview of Belgian taxation and social security contributions 2021

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    What to expect?

    The subject of the ‘white paper’ is an overview of Belgian income tax, stamp duties, inheritance tax, VAT-rates and social security contributions for companies, entrepreneurs, employees, and private individuals in 2021. The white paper allows an investor, entrepreneur, expat or private individual to have a first understanding of the main characteristics of the current Belgian tax system.

    Highlights for investors and companies are the substantially lowered (2017) corporate income tax rates (25 per cent – subject to conditions 20 per cent on the first 100.000 EUR). For private individuals, private capital gains that are not speculative are not taxable in Belgium. The reader may also be curious to the Belgian exit taxation regime. The white paper also deals with the 2021 tax on securities accounts. Another important topic is the Belgian tax regime applicable to Belgian holding companies. The popular tax shelter regimes for the film, performing arts and game funding industry are also cited.

    For private individuals the gift and inheritance tax regimes are dealt with. You will read when Belgian gift tax and inheritance tax applies.

    The white paper should allow the reader to roughly calculate the Belgian tax and social security cost applicable. It allows somehow anticipating the tax cost of Belgian investments and assets, as well as the tax consequences of being a Belgian resident for tax purposes, both for private individuals and companies.

    Before diving into the Belgian tax system, the new Belgian company law (2019) is sketched. The reader may conclude that although Belgian (personal) income tax is (very) high, Belgium is a suitable gateway to the European single market (EU member states).

    Since legislative texts are drafted in the three official languages: Dutch, French and German, the essential technical terms are mentioned in the three languages in the white paper, facilitating the search the reader may perform.

    Hereunder, please find the index of the topics dealt with.

    Enjoy the reading! Please, check also the ‘news’ section of our website.

    1. Belgian Company and Association Law
    2. Income tax
      1. Corporate Income Tax (‘CIT’)
        1. What entities are taxable?
        2. CIT rates?
        3. What is taxable income?
        4. Domestic tax incentives in CIT of particular interest
          1. In going concern: liquidation reserve
          2. Upon liquidation
          3. Belgian holding companies: capital gains on shares and participation exemption
          4. Reorganisations
          5. Tax shelter film, performing arts and game funding
          6. Investment deduction
          7. Innovation Income Deduction (‘IID’)
          8. Deduction for group contribution (‘DGC’)
          9. Covid-19 relief measures
          10. 10.What about the Notional Interest Deduction? (‘NID’)
        5. Exit and entry taxation
          1. Exit taxation
          2. Entry taxation
        6. Anti-Abuse Rules – AAR
          1. The ‘arms-length’ principle
          2. In international situations: hybrid mismatches
          3. Controlled foreign companies (‘CFC’)
          4. Secret commissions assessment
      2. Personal Income Tax (‘PIT’)
        1. What persons are taxable?
        2. PIT rates
        3. What is taxable income?
          1. Income from immovable property
          2. Income from movable assets
            • Dividends
            • Interest
            • Income from other movable assets, both tangible and intangible
            • Annuities (other than pensions)
            • Income from the transfer or the grant (the ‘concession’) of copyright, other intellectual property and trade secrets
          3. Professional income
            • Profits of whatever (professional) kind
            • Profits and capital gains from a previous professional activity
            • Salary
            • Pensions
          4. Other income
        4. The Cayman tax
        5. Domestic tax incentives in PIT of particular interest
          1. No taxation of capital gains under the ‘normal administration of private assets’-test
          2. Professional Income – Benefits in kind – Stock options
          3. Investment deduction
          4. Covid-19 tax incentives
        6. Exit taxation
        7. Municipal surcharges
        8. Anti-Abuse Rules – ‘AAR’
      3. Legal Entities Income Tax (‘LEIT’)
        1. What persons are taxable?
        2. Taxable base and withholding tax (‘WHT’)
      4. Non-Residents Income Tax (‘NRIT’)
        1. Taxable persons
        2. Tax rates and withholding tax (‘WHT’)
        3. What is taxable income?
        4. Domestic tax incentives of particular interest: expat tax status
        5. Exit and entry regime
      5. General Anti-Abuse Rule (‘GAAR’)
      6. International double taxation relief from a Belgian income tax perspective
    3. Stamp duties
      1. Dummy manual to Belgian stamp duties
      2. Tax on the transfer of real estate
      3. Gift tax
      4. General
      5. Gift tax incentives of particular interest
      6. Beneficial rates or exemption for business assets and shares of family companies
      7. Lease contracts
      8. Emphyteusis and building rights
      9. Mortgage tax
      10. Division of real estate tax
      11. Companies: contribution tax
    4. Inheritance tax
      1. General
      2. Inheritance tax rates
      3. Inheritance tax incentives of particular interest
        1. Exemption for the family home
        2. Beneficial rates or exemption for business assets and shares of family companies
    5. Miscellaneous taxes
      1. Tax on Securities Accounts
      2. Vehicle registration and traffic tax
    6. VAT rates
    7. Social security contributions