Taxes and Accounting in Belgium

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Accounting Rules

Tax Year
From the 1st of January to the 31st of December.
Accounting Standards
Plan Comptable Minimum Normalisé (PCMN: only in French) or the Minimun Standardized Accounting Plan. Download this accounting plan (only available in French).
Accounting Regulation Bodies
Commission of the countable standards in Belgium
Institute of Chartered Accountants
Accounting Reports
Belgian accounting principles are promulgated by: the law of July 17, 1975, royal decrees and the recommendations of the Accounting principles Committee.
Publication Requirements
All Belgian companies have to present to shareholders an annual account according to a standard form; a complete plan for big companies and an abbreviated one for Small and Medium-Sized Companies.
This annual account must include: the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the appendix.
The Brussels stock market allows companies to publish their accounts by referring to the IASC (International Accounting Standards Committee) norms.
The Belgian companies whose capital is foreign may also follow the IASC norms.
Professional Accountancy Bodies
Institute of Chartered Accountants and tax advice , Website of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and tax advice
The corporate auditors , Website of the corporate auditors
Certification and Auditing
Companies have to seek a statutory auditor to conduct an annual audit of the financial health of their organization.
You can coontact an external auditor: Ernst&Young, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Accounting News
Ernst&Young News website
Ernst&Young News website on Belgium

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Tax Rates

Consumption Taxes

Nature of the Tax
VAT (value added tax)
Tax Rate
Reduced Tax Rate
Between 6% and 12 %. 7% on special goods (like TV service, social estate, etc), 6% on first necessity goods (like transport, food, medicine, art, papers and books, etc). 
For further information consult Flanders investments and trade.
Other Consumption Taxes
Excises apply in Belgium on alcohol. tobacco, petrol, luxury goods, gas, coffee and tea, etc.
Find Tax Professionals in Belgium on

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Corporate Taxes

Company Tax
 33,99%, including a surcharge of 3%.
Tax Rate For Foreign Companies
A resident company in Belgium is liable to corporation tax on its worldwide profits. A company is resident in Belgium if its registered office or centre of management is situated in Belgium. Trading profits and capital gains of a non-resident company are calculated and taxed on the same basis as those of a Belgian resident company.
Capital Gains Taxation
Capital gains are normally treated as ordinary business income and are taxable at the normal corporation tax rates. However, there are exceptions such as gains on shares qualifying for the participation exemption.
Main Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
Regarding specific company tax deduction, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Economy (in English) as deductions depends on the state where corporations are based.

Deduction of the Income Tax base: disallowed expenses, exempt foreign income, dividends-received deduction, notional interest deduction, both distributed and retained profits are subject to corporate income tax, tax losses carried forward, investment deduction, patent income deduction.

Other Corporate Taxes
Refer to the website of the Ministry of Economy (in English) for additional information on company taxes.

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Individual Taxes

Tax Rate

Income tax is withheld at source: from 25 to 50%
From EUR 0 to 7,560 25%
From EUR 7,560 to 10,760 30%
From EUR 10,760 to 17,920 40%
From EUR 17,920 to 32,860 45%
Over EUR 32,860 50%
Allowable Deductions and Tax Credit
To know the requirements for deductible expenses in the personal income tax, consult the GEOFISC association's website (in French).
Special Expatriate Tax Regime
An expatriate working in Belgium will typically be liable to Belgian income tax. Additionally, property tax, gift and succession duty may also be relevant. Residents of Belgium pay personal income tax on their total income from all worldwide sources on a sliding scale.
Residents also pay communal and regional taxes at rates between 0 and 8.5 percent of the total income tax payable.

The special expatriate tax status also offers two important tax advantages to foreign executives: the “tax-free expatriation allowances” and the “travel exclusion”.

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Double Taxation Treaties

Countries With Whom a Double Taxation Treaty Have Been Signed
Services Publics Fédéral des Finances (FISCUS)
Withholding Taxes
Dividends: 25% (15% for certain category of shares), Interest: 15%, Royalties: 15%.

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Find more on about Taxes and Accounting in Belgium.

Intellectual Property

National Organizations
Office for intellectual property (OPRI)
Regional Organizations
The European patent office and the Office for harmonization in the internal market
International Membership
Member of the WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization)
Signatory to the Paris Convention For the Protection of Intellectual Property
Membership to the TRIPS agreement - Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS)

National Regulation and International Agreements

Type of property and law Validity International Agreements Signed
National law
20 years Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT)
Strasbourg agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
Trademark Law
10 years renewable if they are put on the market within 5 years.   Trademark law treaty
Nice agreement
Protocol relating to the Madrid Agreement
Belgian law
Maximum 25 years  
Belgian law
70 years from the death of the author Berne convention
Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms Against Unauthorized Duplication of Their Phonograms
Rome ConventionFor the Protection of Performers, Producers of Phonograms and Broadcasting Organizations
WIPO Copyright Treaty
WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
Industrial Models
Beneluw law
5 years (can be renewed twice).  

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Legal Framework

Independence of Justice
The judiciary is independent in Belgium.
Equal Treatment of Nationals and Foreigners
Foreign nationals in the country can expect to a large extent a free and fair trial from the judiciary, though certain degree of racial and ethnic intolerance exists in the society. Corruption is limited in Belgium
The Language of Justice
All depends on which city and which region it is. It can be French, Flamish or German.
Recourse to an Interpreter
It is recommended to ask your embassy/consulate in order to get a list of interpreters recognized by Belgium government.
Sources of the Law and Legal Similarities
The judicial system is based on civil law and originates from the Napoleonic code, the Civil code (only available in French); the Constitution.
For further information consult the website of the Belgium Law.
Checking National Laws Online
Federal ministry of justice
Find Legal Experts in Belgium on

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National Standards Organizations
Belgium Institute of standardization
Integration in the International Standards Network
At the European level: the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) and the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization (CENELEC) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute.
At the international level: the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).
Classification of Standards
CE is the European certification mark.
Online Consultation of Standards
The ISO catalog
Certification Organizations
The Belgium institute of standardization

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Business Practices

General Information
Kwintessential Croos Cultural solutions
Executive planet Belgium
Opening Hours and Days
Banks and Public administrations: from 9.00 to 16.00, Monday to Friday.
Retailers: from 09.00 to 18.00, Monday to Friday but some close on Monday in the morning.
Supermarkets are open from 09.00 to 20.00, Monday to Saturday.
Workers usually work 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week.

Public Holidays

New Year January 1
Easter Monday Mobile holiday in April
Labor Day May 1
Ascension Mobile holiday May
Whit monday Mobile holiday May
Flemish community celebration July 11
National holiday July 21
Assumption August 15
French community celebration September 27
All Saints' Day November 1
Armistice November 11
German community celebration November 15
Christmas December 25
St Stephen's Day December 26

Periods When Companies Usually Close

Summer vacations 15 July- 15 August
Easter Holidays April

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