Extended application deadline for the new expat regime
The new expat regime came into effect in Belgium on 1 January 2022. Subject to meeting certain criteria, “immigrant taxpayers” and “immigrant researchers” are applicable for various tax benefits, based on the salary they receive for work done in Belgium.
Application for the new expat regime can be submitted to the authorities within three months of taking up a post in Belgium. However, this deadline turned out to be far too short for taxpayers who began working in Belgium during the first few months of 2022. The government has therefore decided to extend the application deadline for these accounts until 31 July 2022. The new deadline is specified in the latest circular (2022/C/47), which was published on 6 May 2022.
The same date, 31 July 2022, is also the deadline for anyone currently under the old expat regime who meets the criteria and wants to apply for the new regime. If you do not opt to switch or your application is rejected, a transition period of two years will apply. During this period – which ends on 31 December 2023 – the tax benefits from the old regime will continue to apply as long as the criteria under the old regime are still met. Below, we have put together a brief outline of the new regime.
Whom is it for?
- +Employees or executives (but not founders/co-founders or partners who own more than 30% of the shares). For researchers, only employees can be considered.
- +People who are resident in Belgium for tax purposes, unless it is possible to demonstrate with a certificate of residence that the tax residence is still the home country.
- +Researchers must also be able to exhibit an appropriate degree or demonstrate that they have relevant professional experience.
When the employee is recruited directly from abroad or posted within a multinational group to perform taxable salaried activities in Belgium.
What are the criteria?
1) During the 60 months prior to starting work in Belgium, the person:
- +May not have been resident in Belgium.
- +May not have lived within 150 km of the Belgian border.
- +May not have been subject to non-residents’ tax for professional income in Belgium.
2) “Immigrant taxpayers” must receive a minimum gross salary in Belgium of at least 75,000 euros per calendar year (this criterion does not apply to researchers). In certain cases, pro rata regulations may apply.
3) The applicant must be approved by the authorities (application submitted via the employer by email or via MyMinfin)
What are the benefits?
Costs to the employer are classed as tax-free expenses up to a maximum of 30% of the gross salary (on top of the agreed gross salary).
Net reimbursement of a limited number of expenses resulting from the appointment in Belgium (relocation costs, costs of furnishing a home in Belgium, school fees).
How long can the regime be applied?
A maximum of five years, with a possible extension of three years.
For full information about the new regime, please see our earlier article. Do you have any questions about the new expat regime? Please get in touch with one of our experts using the form below.
We base our advice on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from being able to challenge it or to change existing interpretations.