Personal income tax
A first important lesson for a self-employed person? The income that you earn does not belong to you: several parties take a slice of that cake, with the personal income tax coming last. This overview clearly explains how it is calculated.
What is personal income tax?
Personal income tax is a tax that you pay on your taxable income. Every taxpayer in Belgium – anyone who lives or manages his or her assets here – must pay this tax.
What is the base for personal income tax?
Taxes are paid on the net professional income or net income, which corresponds to your annual turnover minus your work-related expenses (such as social contributions, pension savings or provincial taxes). Your yearly income is always taxed the following year: in the 2019 tax year, you will therefore pay taxes on your 2018 income.
How much tax do you pay?
Your net income is taxed according to a sliding scale based on four tax bands. The more you earn, the more you pay in terms of percentage.
Every taxpayer is entitled to a tax allowance: a basic amount that remains tax-free. This amount must be posted in the lowest taxation bracket. For the 2019 tax year (income from 2020), this is 8.860 €.
Depending on your situation – if you have dependent children for instance – the tax allowance may be higher.
The tax rates for the 2020 tax year are:
Up to 13.250 €
From 13.250 € to 23.390 €
From 23.390 € to 40.480 €
From 40.480 €
Income tax is increased by communal additions, the percentage of which varies based on the taxpayer's place of residence.
Leave the expert work to the experts
You can obtain an estimate of your tax by using Tax-Calc, an online application developed by the Federal Public Service Finance (only available in French or Dutch however).
Specific rules and exceptions apply to each sector and situation. For example, an assisting spouse or a fiscal year with a loss have a major impact on your personal income tax. You should therefore play it safe and consult your accountant to fill in the tax return.