Property Taxes in Belgium

Understand the property tax regulations in Belgium...

There are a number of taxes related to residential properties in Belgium, including VAT, cadastral income, and local taxes related to inhabiting the home, that will depend on the region, province or district of the property. Under certain conditions, tax relief is available, for example, on mortgages, energy saving improvements or life assurance.

Value Added Tax - VAT

This can be charged on new buildings at the standard rate of 21 percent - this actually reduces the purchase price because the builder can offset the VAT against VAT on his own expenditure on the building. It is also charged on building and renovation costs - both materials and labour - at 21 percent for new buildings. Buildings are considered new until the 31st of December the second year after it was first occupied.

Taxes Related to Inhabiting the Home

These apply to all residents - tenants as well as owners. The main one is the regional head of household tax, paid by all households (but by only one person in the household), however, taxes are also levied by regions/provinces and municipalities (gemeenten/communes) on television connections, rubbish (often via official rubbish bags that are sold in supermarkets and shops), water (for purification costs), and so on.

Regional tax is billed using the population register. Other taxes are billed based on details given when people subscribe to the relevant service, or via sales (such as rubbish collection bags).

Details are on the relevant regional or municipality websites.

Cadastral Income

This is not a tax, but a basis for taxes. Better known as Kadastraal inkomen/Revenue cadastral (no commonly used English term exists).

Every property in Belgium is listed in the government property register - het Kadaster/le Cadastre. The agency for this register (het Kadastraal bestuur/l'administration Cadastrale) gives each property a notional annual rental income value, based on the size, characteristics and state of the building, and also its location.

The KI/RC is the basis for regional property taxes. This is why owners and municipalities (if they have to supervise a building permit for any changes) are required to inform the agency of any substantial changes to the building. Owners can be fined or even imprisoned if they do not do so.

  • For contact details and opening hours of a local property register agency: Click here
  • For more information: Click here (in French)

Property Tax (onroerende voorheffing/précompte immobilier - OV/PI)

This is the annual property tax and is charged to all owners. Tenants do not pay this.

It is a percentage of the Kadastraal inkomen/Revenue cadastral and is charged by the regions.The rates are a combination of the general regional rate (for Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders) and the local municipality rate. There is no harmonised level, so the rates vary from region to region and from municipality to municipality.

It is charged annually to whoever is the owner of the property on 1 January of the year of the tax, even if the property changes hands during the year. When an owner sells a property, the old and new owners can agree that the sale agreement stipulates that the tax is shared by them, in line with how much of the year that they own the property. (For example, a sale on 1 August means that the old owner pays 7/12 and the new owner pays 5/12 of the tax). This is not, however, required by law.

  • For more information from the Belgian Federal Portal: Click here (in French)
  • For detailed information from Service Public Fédéral Finances: Click here (in French)

Reductions are possible if the KI/RC is very low, or if there are children or handicapped people in the household. Owners should apply to the tax office shown on the assessment for reductions for property in Brussels and Wallonia, and to the Flemish region for reductions for property in Flanders.

Tax Relief

A number of forms of tax relief are available and can either be a tax reduction or a deduction at the time of purchase.

Life Assurance: If it is required by the mortgage lender to guarantee the loan, the premiums are tax deductible. Exact conditions are available from the Government Tax website in French and Dutch.

Mortgage payments: These are tax deductible for an owner's sole residence for mortgages for over ten years.

Energy saving improvements: Any installation of solar panels, double glazing, boilers that reduce energy consumption or insulation is tax deductible.