General information about tax system in Belgium.

Fellowship holders

According to Belgian law, fellowships are exempt from taxes if they are provided by authorized institutions and if the following conditions are met:

  • The fellowship facilitates extraordinary contributions to scientific research;
  • The fellowship is awarded in circumstances which allow personal initiative by the fellowship holder in continuing his studies or conducting his research;
  • The fellowship is granted free of charge, i.e. every dependency towards the grantor is excluded;
  • The fellowship is directly or indirectly financed by Belgian or foreign industrial, trading or agricultural companies, which may benefit, in one way or another, from the subsidised research activities.

Working  contract holders

Income tax is assessed once a year. Employers withhold a percentage of your monthly income to offset the tax bill at the end of the year. This means that the amount of income tax due is normally paid before the end of the taxable year. You will have to complete an annual tax return reporting income received during the preceding calendar year, and return it usually in the last week of June of the following year. Some months after submitting the tax declaration, the tax authorities will issue a tax statement. It indicates the amount to be paid, or the refund to be received. If you have to leave Belgium but are still entitled to a tax refund, you should contact the tax office and ask for a form that will permit declaring your income in advance.

To avoid double taxation, treaties prescribe which of the involved countries may subject a certain income of a person to its national taxes. In this way, the income in one of the countries is exempt from taxation. Generally you will be liable for income taxation in the country where you reside, Belgium.

If your employer in your home country sends you to Belgium to work (as a "posted" worker), you will only be considered as a "fiscal Belgian resident", if you spend an aggregate of 183 days or more in Belgium in a certain tax year. This is called the "183-days rule". This rule is only applicable if your employer is not a Belgian resident or is not established in Belgium.


Mr Jean-Paul LEONIS

Euraxess Contact Point - Researchers Helpdesk

Internal call: 4117

External call: +32 81 72 41 17


Office (on appointment): Rue Godefroid, 5 - door 47