Belgium Taxes for US Expats: A Complete Guide

Belgium Taxes for US Expats: A Complete Guide

Belgium Taxes at a Glance

  • Primary Tax Forms: PIT (Personal Income Tax form)
  • Tax Deadline: June 30 – November 25
  • Currency: Euro (€‎)
  • Population: 11.7 million
  • Number of Expats in Belgium: 1.4 million
  • Capital City: Brussels
  • Primary Language: Dutch
  • Tax Treaty: Yes
  • Totalization Agreement: Yes

Living as an Expat in Belgium

With its breathtaking scenery, stunning architecture, and mouth-watering food, Belgium attracts a large number of US expats every year. However, Belgium boasts one of the highest tax rates in Europe. As a result, you’ll want to know the right way to manage your taxes for US expats.

It can be overwhelming to figure out how much you owe in expat taxes. But there are also some protections and tax breaks you can take advantage of when living abroad in this western European country.

US Expat Taxes in Belgium

If you’re an American living abroad in Belgium, you’ll need to file both your US tax return and your Belgium tax return in order to stay tax compliant. We’ll take you through everything you need to know about taxes for foreigners in Belgium.

Who Has to File Taxes in Belgium?

Both residents and non-residents in Belgium must pay income tax in the country. While residents are taxed on all earned income, non-residents only need to pay taxes on Belgium-earned income.

Similar to the US, Belgium taxes your income on a progressive scale. However, the rates are much higher, starting at 25% and climbing up to 50%.

Here’s what you need to know about your Belgium taxes as a US expat, depending on your residency status.

Who Qualifies as a Tax Resident in Belgium?

You’re taxed differently in Belgium, depending on whether you’re a resident or non-resident. Here’s how to tell what your tax situation is.

Belgium resident qualifications

Those who have applied for residency in Belgium or were born and granted citizenship in the country are considered residents. You can become a resident by receiving a work visa or receiving the country’s entrepreneurship visa (if you’re creating a company in the country or investing in an already existing company).

In short, If you’re a resident of Belgium, you’re taxed on all of your income.

Belgium non-resident qualifications

If you’re a US expat who does not have a work visa, you’re likely not a Belgian resident. In this case, you’re considered a non-resident, and you would be taxed on any Belgium-earned income and not foreign income.

Pro Tip

Since Belgium has one of the highest tax rates in the world, you may pay less in income tax if you remain a non-resident.

What Types of Taxation Does Belgium Have?

The income tax rate for foreigners in Belgium ranges from 25% to 50%, depending on how much income you earn throughout the year.

Just like in the US, the Belgium tax year runs from January 1 to December 31. US expats who are residents need to file their tax returns by June 30 (by mail) or July 15 (online). Non-residents have until November 10 (mail) or November 25 (online).

Income tax rates in Belgium

Income tax bracketTax rate
ARS 0 – €‎13,87025%
ARS €‎13,871 – €24,48040%
ARS €24,481 – €42,37045%
ARS €42,371 and over50%

Remember, residents pay this tax rate on all earned income, while non-residents only owe income taxes to Belgium on income they made in the country.

Other Tax Situations in Belgium

Self-employment Tax

If you’re self-employed in Belgium, you’re responsible for paying into the Social Security fund on your own. In Belgium, this rate is just under 21% of your self-employment income.

Capital Gains Tax

Only some types of assets have capital gains tax in Belgium. While most individuals are not subject to capital gains tax, corporations are taxed at the regular 25% tax rate.

Stocks, however, are subject to a stock exchange tax, which varies from 0.12% to 1.32%.

Corporate Tax

Businesses in Belgium pay a flat 25% tax rate on all taxable corporate profits.

Value-added Tax (VAT)

In Belgium, you pay value-added when you buy goods or services. This tax is added when you checkout.

You’ll pay 21% VAT for most items and services in Belgium.

Some items with a 12% VAT rate include:

  • Restaurants and catering (beverages not included)
  • Inner tubes
  • Phytopharmaceuticals
  • Some combustion materials

Items with a 6% VAT rate include:

  • Hotels and camping supplies and services
  • Basic essentials (food and prescription drugs)
  • Transportation
  • Certain printed materials

Healthcare, banking, educational, insurance, property leasing, real estate, and social services are exempt from VAT.

There are several other specific items and categories that may qualify for lower VAT rates in Belgium. You can find a complete list here.

Wealth Tax

In Belgium, a 0.15% securities tax is charged on anyone with securities worth €1 million or more.

Inheritance Tax

Inheritance tax may be charged on certain assets, but the amount and rules vary by region. As of 2018, houses passed on to family members are no longer subject to inheritance tax.

Certain gifts are taxed at 3% when gifted to family members. Gifts sent to other individuals are taxed at 7%.

Property Tax

In Belgium, property tax rates range between 20% to 50%.

Social Security

All workers contribute to Social Security In Belgium. Employees contribute 13.07% of their gross monthly income to Social Security, while employers contribute around 27% of the employee’s salary (the exact amount varies depending on your income).

The IRS tax code is 7,000 pages. Want the cliff notes version for expats? Let us help.

Does the US Have a Tax Treaty with Belgium?

Yes, the US has a tax treaty with Belgium. This treaty is designed to prevent double taxation.

Does a Belgium-US totalization agreement exist?

Yes, the US and Belgium do have a totalization agreement in place. This agreement helps prevent US expats from paying duplicate Social Security taxes — once in the US and once in Belgium.

What Belgium tax forms do US expats living abroad need to file?

If you’re a resident of Belgium, you’ll need to file a resident income tax form. You must submit this form via mail by June 30 or online by July 15. 

Non-residents in Belgium need to file a non-resident income tax form. This form must be submitted by mail by November 10 or online by November 25. 

You can file online at Belgium’s Federal Public Service Finance website. The Belgian government will mail paper returns.

US Tax Forms for Expats in Belgium

IRS Form 1040: Individual Income Tax Return

For US citizens and residents, IRS Form 1040 is a standard income tax return form. All US citizens and resident aliens must file their 1040 each year, even if you’re living in a foreign country like Belgium.

You need to file your 1040 by April 15 (April 18 this year), but US expats living in Belgium have until June 15 to file their US tax returns. If you owe the US government taxes, however, you’ll still need to pay your tax bill by April 18.

Pro Tip

Need even more time to file your US taxes? You can request an extension to October 15

IRS Form 8938: Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets (FATCA)

You may also need to file a FACTA, depending on your specific financial situation. US expats with foreign financial assets that exceed a certain amount ($200,000 for single filers and $400,000 for those married, filing jointly) need to turn in this tax form.

File your FACTA with Form 8938, which you’ll then turn in with your 1040. The FACTA is due by April 15 (April 18 for this tax year.)

FinCEN Form 114: Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR)

If you’re a US expat living in Belgium and you had more than $10,000 in a foreign financial account (or across all foreign accounts) last year, you’ll need to file FinCEN Form 114, known as the FBAR.

This form is best filed online through FinCEN’s BSA e-filing system. But you can file by mail if you request an e-filing exemption by contacting FinCEN’s resource center. In this case, you’ll receive your FBAR by mail.. 

File your FBAR by April 15 (April 18 this year), but you’ll receive an automatic extension to October 15, without penalty, if you can’t make this deadline.

Are there US tax deductions available to Americans in Belgium?

While US expats in Belgium are already protected from double taxation, there are a few ways to reduce your US tax bill even more.

Foreign Earned Income Exclusion

You might be able to reduce your US taxable income by claiming the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE). This US tax credit can help eligible expats deduct a portion of their foreign-earned income from their tax returns.. 

For tax year 2022, you can exclude up to $112,000 from your taxable income. So, if you made less than this in foreign income, you could eliminate your tax bill altogether. 

You can claim the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion by filing IRS Form 2555.

Foreign Tax Credit

Americans living abroad in Belgium may also be eligible to lower their tax burn by claiming the Foreign Tax Credit (FTC). This tax credit allows you to deduct any foreign income taxes you paid, dollar for dollar, from your US tax bill.

For example, if you paid $18,000 in taxes to Belgium and you qualify for the FTC, you could deduct this amount from your US tax bill to lower or offset your tax liability.

You can claim the Foreign Tax Credit by filing IRS Form 1116.

Foreign Housing Exclusion

You may also be able to claim the Foreign Housing Exclusion for certain eligible housing-related expenses..

To claim this credit, you must also be claiming the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Both are filed with Form 2555.

File Your Expat Taxes with Confidence

We hope this tax guide provided you with a helpful overview of Belgium’s taxes for US expats. While taxes can feel tricky, it’s possible to manage your expat taxes on your own. But if you need support or guidance or have questions, Greenback can help.

Knowledge is power. Get personalized advice from one of our expat expert accountants.

Whether you need tax advice to prepare for a move abroad, to buy property or even retire, Greenback can help. Consults upfront can help avoid costly mistakes and stress later.

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