Income Tax Returns

Where to get them and when to send them

Income Tax Returns

Even if your only income is from employment, you need to file a tax return in order to declare your liability to municipal or communal taxes.

Tax declaration forms are sent out soon after the end of the tax year to which they apply. You will receive a form in French if you're living in Wallonia or in one of the French communities in or around Brussels. Taxpayers in Flanders receive forms in Flemish. There are differences in some of the allowances, particularly involving the municipal tax surcharge, depending on whether you live in a French or a Flemish area, so you must use the form you’re sent. However since a few years you can also do your tax declaration online .

If you don't receive a tax form, you must contact the local tax inspector's office (usually located in or near the town hall for the community in which you live). Those filing on a non-resident basis (including those on the special programme for executives and expert researchers) must obtain tax forms from the Tax Inspector for Non-residents.

Your tax form indicates the date by which it must be returned, which changes each year but usually falls around the end of June. If you won't be able to complete the form by the due date, you must make a request for an extension before 1st June. In fact, the government often adds a few extra days or even weeks to the deadline, particularly when there have been last-minute changes to the tax regulations or problems in printing or distributing tax forms. These extensions are publicised in the news media and are also available via the Internet from the current news pages of the Ministry of Finance website.

Your employer provides a summary of tax paid and withheld, as do most banks, insurance companies and government agencies where you have accounts or deposits. These documents must be included with your return in order to verify your claims for allowances and deductions. Married couples must state which partner is responsible for each element of income or expense and the basis for allocation of any jointly held property. Cohabiting partners may file a joint return, provided they’re registered at the same address according to the local population register and meet certain other requirements.

The completed tax return and all supporting documents must be sent to the address on your tax form (usually the office of the tax inspector for the local district). If you’re making a declaration under non-resident tax status, you must send your form to the Tax Inspector for Non-residents in Brussels.

Do you want to pay less tax? Do the Free tax check from ING.

This article is an extract from Living and Working in Holland, Belgium & Luxembourg from Survival Books.

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