by Siel Demeyer
Those who own property receive an annual property tax bill, as do owners of unoccupied property that does not generate income. In this case, it is possible, under certain conditions, to obtain a proportional reduction in property tax.
For empty buildings in the Flemish Region, you can benefit from a property tax reduction under the following conditions:
The building is unfurnished. Buildings used for industrial, craft or commercial purposes are considered unfurnished if the furniture is directly related to the use.
The vacancy has lasted for at least 90 days during the tax year. This period need not be consecutive.
If the vacancy lasts for more than 12 months, it must be shown to be involuntary. For example, the vacancy may be due to demolition or alteration work, the intended sale or rental of the property, a pending lawsuit or court case, or soil contamination.
If you wish to benefit from this proportional reduction for the 2023 assessment year, you must file an appeal against the property tax assessment by 31 March 2024 at the latest.
A similar rule applies to buildings in the Walloon Region. In this case, the period of unproductivity must be at least 180 days. The application for reduction must be submitted to the Walloon tax administration within six months of the date of the notice of assessment.
For properties located in the Brussels-Capital Region, there is no possibility of reduction due to vacancy.
In our opinions, we rely on current legislation, interpretations and legal doctrine. This does not prevent the administration from disputing them or from changing existing interpretations.
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