Belgium: Additional income without taxes
The Belgian Government wishes to promote the possibility for citizens to have a limited additional income without taxation disincentives. At the same time, it wants to reduce the share of undeclared work in the economy. First there was the introduction in 2015 of the so-called ‘flexijobs’ in the hotel, restaurant and bar sector, and its extension in 2018 to many other sectors (taxation at a beneficial rate of small secondary jobs of workers with another main source of income). Next, there was the beneficial taxation of platform services in 2016.
Now, the Act of 18 July 2018 on Economic Recovery and the Strengthening of Social Cohesion, introduces an annual threshold of 6130 euro (indexed for 2018), for additional income derived from work for associations, small jobs by private persons to other private persons (C2C) and the on demand economy. Under this threshold of 6130 euro per year or 510,83 euro per month, no income taxes or social security contributions are required. This taxation free income is, in principle, open for employees who work at least 4/5ths, self-employed persons (in a principal occupation) and pensioners.
Association work includes services for non-profit sociocultural associations, factual associations or public authorities. The services may not be professional and must be on the list of permitted activities. The association must declare the association’s work. The list of allowed activities includes 17 categories, ranging from animator, to night pass, to care for babies and toddlers. There is an association when you organise something together with two or more people (parent committees, neighbourhood committees, etc.). This is possible with or without a company number.
Occasional services are defined as paid services from one private person to another private person. The services should not be professional or provided through the sharing economy. The list of allowed activities includes 11 categories, ranging from sports lessons, overseeing real estate, to the walking of animals. It is the person who does the job, who has to make the declaration. Anyone who provides services for a fellow citizen may not do so with a regular frequency.
Lastly, what concerns the income from the on demand economy (or “sharing”, “gig” or “platform” economy) a beneficial tax system already existed since July 2016, but the new Act now no longer requires the payment of any income taxes and social contributions for these platform services, if the threshold is not reached. For this category of income, it is important to know that only earnings derived from recognised platforms will be entitled to the dispensation. The list of platforms can be found here.