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Freelance and taxes: Belgium

Rates, deadlines, and general information on the country's taxation and tax accounting

Anastasiia R avatar
Written by Anastasiia R
Updated over a week ago

Because freelancers are not Solar Staff's employees and we don't pay taxes on their payouts, they must declare any income received via Solar Staff by themselves.

To carry on tax accounting in Belgium for your Solar Staff income, you need to:

Tax residence in Belgium

Belgium taxes its residents on their worldwide income, while non-residents are taxed on their Belgian-source earnings only.

A Belgium resident is an individual who:

  • Has domicile in Belgium

  • Has their center of economic interests in Belgium

  • Is registered in the Belgian National Register (Registre National)

Belgium has double taxation agreements with a number of countries (full list), the provisions of which may override the applicable tax residence rules and other provisions of national legislation.

Taxpayer ID number

In Belgium, a national number (numéro de registre national/rijksregisternummer) is used for interacting with government authorities or paying taxes and insurance premiums. It consists of 11 digits (the first six encode the individual's date of birth). The national number is assigned to each Belgian citizen, as well as foreign citizens with the right of permanent residence in the country (residence permit / permanent residence). It is written on the back of the ID card.

When registering as a sole proprietor with the Crossroads Bank for Enterprises (CBE) (Kruispuntbank van Ondernemingen, KVO), a freelancer is assigned a unique business number (ondernemingsnummer/uniek identificatienummer). It takes the form ZХХХ.ХХХ.ХХХ, the first digit being either 0 or 1.

After registering with the CBE, a sole proprietor can also request registration for VAT purposes (BTW-nummer). However, this is not mandatory and you can apply for it later. The VAT ID number consists of the prefix "BE" and the sole proprietor's unique business number described above. Learn more about obtaining VAT ID in the section on VAT.

Taxes and contributions payable by freelancers

Tax liabilities depend on the chosen tax status and/or eligibility for certain criteria. To receive income via Solar Staff, freelancers in Belgium are required to register as a sole proprietor (eenmanszaak, SP).

In Belgium, sole proprietors undergo mandatory registration with the CBE. To do this, they contact business counters (ondernemingsloket), which verify whether the freelancers' business activities meet the relevant requirements and arrange their registration with the CBE and social security funds. If necessary, they also help obtain a VAT ID number.

IMPORTANT! Solar Staff does not have the option to choose a tax status for freelancers based in Belgium, but you can fill in your taxpayer ID in your account.

In Belgium, sole proprietors pay the following taxes and contributions:

Income tax (Inkomstenbelastingen)

Income tax in Belgium has progressive rates.

Rates for 2023 and 2024:

Income for 2023, EUR

Income for 2024, EUR

Tax rate, %





15,820 –27,920





over 46,440

over 48,320


IMPORTANT! Belgian tax rules provide for tax-free allowance (a fixed income amount exempt from tax set at EUR 10,570 for the 2024 income).

For tax purposes, sole proprietors can deduct professional expenses and social contributions from their taxable income. If a sole proprietor has zero or minimal professional expenses, the tax authority may apply a fixed deduction (max EUR 2,910 for the 2023 income) after reviewing the tax return. To learn more, see here.

Tax returns and payment. Belgian Federal Public Service for Finance (FPS) (Federale Overheidsdienst Financiën) generates a preliminary tax return and sends it to the taxpayer in May of the tax year following the reporting year, e.g. in May 2024 for the income received in 2023, and in May 2025 for the 2024 income. Next steps:

  • Taxpayers who receive paper tax returns fill in and file them by June 30 (June 30, 2024 for the 2023 income, June 30, 2025 for the 2024 income, etc.);

  • Taxpayers who receive tax returns online submit the final return by July 15 (July 15, 2024 for the 2023 income, July 15, 2025 for the 2024 income, etc.);

  • Taxpayers who only receive income as self-employed file their tax returns before October 16

Sole proprietors whose professional expenses include real estate rent file Form 270 MLH with their tax returns. After receiving the tax return, tax authorities conduct an audit and send a paper or online tax notice together with the amount of tax payable / tax refund for the year (aanslagbiljet/belastingberekening/belastingbiljet/belastingafrekening) stating payment deadline and details.

In Belgium, all persons engaged in regular and independent business activities are required to pay VAT. The list of activities exempt from VAT is set out in Article 44 of the VAT Code (for example, giving private lessons).

If the freelancer's business activities are subject to VAT, upon their registration as a sole proprietor they submit an online or paper request for registration for VAT purposes (Form 604a) to Belgium's Federal State Service for Finance. The timeline is at least two days after registering with the CBE, but before starting the business activity. Following the VAT registration, a sole proprietor receives a confirmation and a VAT ID number (via eBox or mail). Learn more about VAT registration here.

Belgian VAT is paid under the following tax regimes:

General tax regime

The standard VAT rate is 21%. However, there are lower rates (12%, 6%, 0%) for certain types of activities.

Tax returns and payment. Sole proprietors with an annual turnover of up to EUR 2.5 million file their VAT return (BTW-AANGIFTE) on a quarterly basis. In other cases, it is submitted monthly. VAT is payable at the same time as the tax return is filed. The general deadline for VAT returns and payments is the 20th day of the month following the end of the reporting period (month or quarter). However, it may change from month to month, so we recommend you check the VAT calendar for deadline updates.

Sole proprietors with an annual income of up to EUR 25,000 may be exempted from accruing and paying VAT. However, they still have to register for VAT purposes and obtain a VAT ID number.

Freelancers can apply for the general VAT regime (or the exemption scheme) when registering as a sole proprietor or later by filing an amending declaration for VAT identification (Form 604B) online. The change of VAT regime (or the exemption scheme) enters into force on: July 1 for applications submitted before June 1; or January 1 for applications submitted before December 15.

IMPORTANT! Once changed, the VAT exemption scheme may only be re-applied on January 1 three years after the change (e.g., if you quit the VAT exemption scheme in 2024, you may not resume it until January 1, 2027).

Tax returns and payment. Freelancers using this VAT regime file a special tax return (BIJZONDERE BTW-AANGIFTE) only when they have a VAT obligation in Belgium, for instance when purchasing goods or services as a sole proprietor (entering their VAT ID) from a EU-based company. If they act as individuals in such purchases, no VAT obligation follows. The special tax return is filed quarterly before the 20th day of the month following the end of the quarter. No tax return is required if there were no VAT-related transactions in the reporting period. The tax return can be submitted in paper form or online.

Learn more here

Social security contributions (cotisations sociales)

After registering as a sole proprietor, freelancers need to join a social security fund. They are free to choose any Belgian fund that suits them in terms of payment rates and insurance conditions. Some funds also assist with the CBE registration, so you can contact them before starting your business.

The key social security funds in Belgium are Liantis, Partena Professional, Xerius, Acerta, Securex, Avixi, UCM, and Nationale Hulpkas.

The amount of contributions payable depends on the selected fund, tariffs, and your profit for past periods. On average, it is 20.5% of net profit with annual adjustments.

Learn more about contributions here

Contributions are paid quarterly to the selected social security fund. At the beginning of each quarter, a sole proprietor receives an extract from the social security fund stating the amount of contributions payable. They must be paid by the end of the quarter. Since the amount of contributions depends on the actual income, the sole proprietor makes a prepayment based on the income received for previous periods. The final amount of contributions is then adjusted based on the information from the sole proprietor's latest tax return reviewed by the tax authority.

Additional info

If you have any questions, get in touch via the chat in your Solar Staff account or email us at [email protected].

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