Personal income tax return form for the 2016 assessment year published

The tax return form for personal income for the 2016 assessment year (2015 income) was published on 1 April 2016. We’ve prepared a brief overview of the most important new features of the form.

Section IX – Interest and capital repayments on loans and debts, premiums for individual life insurance and lease and building allowances or similar allowances, which give rise to an entitlement to a tax benefit

There were a number of changes again this year to Section IX of the return. Following on from the sixth State Reform, each Region has applied the tax rebate for the primary residence in its own way.

Regional house bonus

The first important change is that the tax rebate for the regional house bonus for contracts entered into after 1 January 2015 has been reduced. This explains the division in the return form between loans taken out in 2015 and loans taken out between 2005 and 2014.

A taxpayer living in the Flemish Region, who took out a mortgage loan on 1 January 2015 to purchase his sole and primary residence, can henceforth claim a maximum tax rebate of €1,520.00 at a fixed rate of 40.00%. This tax rebate can be increased by €760.00 for the first ten years, provided the house remains the sole residence. An additional amount of €80.00 will also be granted if the taxpayer had three dependent children when he took out the loan, meaning that you can claim a maximum of €2,360.00 in expenses for the Flemish house bonus. Of course, this applies only to mortgage loans taken out in 2015. If you still have a current loan that was taken out between 2005 and 2015, the existing system is unchanged. The 760-euro increase to the tax rebate still applies only to loans taken out since 2006. The authorities have created a separate code for this amount to make things clear.

If you took out a loan in 2015 for your primary residence, and you already had a previous mortgage loan (taken out before 2005) which is still current, you can no longer choose to have the old home-building savings system apply to the new mortgage loan. So for this mortgage loan you are only entitled to claim the house bonus tax rebate.

However, this measure does not apply in Wallonia or the Brussels-Capital Region. For residents of Wallonia or the Brussels-Capital Region, a mortgage loan taken out in 2015 is still eligible for the regional tax rebate for home-building savings.

From the 2017 assessment year onwards, the integrated Flemish house bonus will come into effect, affecting mortgage loans taken out on or after 1 January 2016.

No changes have been made to the house bonus in the Brussels-Capital Region. But from the 2018 assessment year onwards, the house bonus will be completely scrapped in Brussels.

Expenses for mortgage loans not related to your primary residence

If you have incurred expenses for loans relating to real property that does not currently qualify as your primary residence, under Item C you have to record: "expenses not related to your primary residence".

A taxpayer who has taken out a mortgage loan for real property which, at the time the loan was taken out, was her sole and primary residence, can claim the federal house bonus. Here, too, the taxpayer must indicate whether the loan was taken out before 2006.

Unlike last year, expenses relating to real property other than the primary residence are eligible for the long-term savings rebate.

Section X – Tax rebates

Burglary protection expenses

The tax rebate for home burglary protection has been definitively scrapped in the Flemish and Walloon regions. In the Brussels-Capital Region, this tax rebate still exists for the 2016 assessment year, but from the 2017 assessment year onwards, it will disappear here too.

Service vouchers

The Walloon Region has reduced the tax rebate for expenditure incurred on service vouchers. Residents of the Walloon Region will henceforth only have to state the number of service vouchers. For the Flemish and Brussels-Capital Regions, you can still claim the expenditure incurred on service vouchers.

Tax shelter for start-up SMEs

The purpose of the tax shelter for start-up SMEs is to support the launching of SMEs through financial contributions by private investors. The government hopes this will get the economy moving again by prising open fat savings passbooks.

Three favourable measures have been introduced: the tax shelter for investments in shares, exemption from interest of certain loans, and partial exemption from the obligation to transfer payroll tax.

Natural persons who subscribe to new shares in a small start-up company can henceforth claim a tax rebate.

Taxpayers must record the payments made to purchase these shares in their personal income tax returns. A distinction will be made between payments made to small enterprises (30% tax rebate) and those made to micro-enterprises (45% tax rebate).

Taxpayers can also support an SME by granting a loan via a crowdfunding platform over a period of at least 4 years. For the 2016 assessment year, the amount that can be borrowed is limited to a maximum of €15,000.00. The interest you receive from the SME in relation to this maximum borrowed amount is exempt from tax.

Section XIV – Overseas accounts and individual life insurance, legal arrangements and loans to start-up companies

Legal arrangements

Taxpayers who state that they are the founder or fiscal beneficiary of a legal arrangement are henceforth required to provide the information listed below to the tax authorities. This is a direct result of the introduction of the Cayman tax.

  • Full name of the founder or third-party beneficiary
  • Full name, legal form and address of the legal arrangement
  • Identification number of the legal arrangement, if any
  • Name and address of the manager of the legal arrangement (for fiduciary or discretionary structures such as trusts)
  • Is the legal arrangement an entity described in Section 5/1(3)(b) of the Income Tax Code 1992? You have to tick this box if the legal arrangement includes a genuine economic activity. The income from these arrangements will not be subject to the Cayman tax if, at the request of the tax authorities, the taxpayer can show that these conditions have been met.

The new tax return form does not contain any separate section in which income subject to the Cayman tax must be reported. If you have received this type of income, you should record it in the other sections of the form according to its nature (income from real property or movable property, professional income or miscellaneous income).

Tax shelter for start-up SMEs: loans to start-up companies

If taxpayers have claimed the new "tax shelter for start-up enterprises" rebate and used a recognised crowdfunding platform, they should specify under this item the number of loans made via that platform.

Final comments

The ongoing regionalisation of the personal income tax system has clearly left its mark on the tax return form. This year again we have seen an increase in the number of codes, which continues to increase the complexity of the personal income tax system.

The filing dates have not yet been announced by the tax authorities. It is expected that paper returns will have to be filed around the end of June. Those who intend to file their returns electronically will probably have until mid-July.

The tax authorities have advised that your electronic return will be available via tax-on-web from 26 April 2016. If you opt to have your return filed by an agent, you will have several extra months.

We’re following the situation closely and are of course always at your disposal if you have any questions/comments about your personal income tax return. 

Authors: Nathalie Van Diest and Anke Van Loey

The further course of the relationship between the UK, the EU and the EEA
What impact will Brexit have on your corporate income tax?
For the time being, the United Kingdom (UK) is still part of the European Union (EU) and the European Economic Area (EEA). The UK has since been given until 31 October 2019 at the latest to implement Brexit. This means that cross-border transactions with the UK continue to fall within the scope of EU directives. However, after Brexit, the UK will no longer be able to rely on these directives. This
Less strict circular for catering sector
New circular regarding the VAT rate for restaurant and catering services
On 1 January 2010, the VAT rate for restaurant and catering services was reduced to 12%. This rate only applies to food. Drinks (including non-alcoholic beverages and coffee and tea) are still subject to the standard VAT rate of 21%. On 23 December 2009, the administration published an explanatory note in which it detailed how an overall price for a menu (including drinks) needed to
From now on, also 'high' fixed cost deductions for self-employed persons
Personal income tax return form AY 2019: several new features explained
From now on, also 'high' fixed cost deductions for self-employed and other changes  The new personal income tax return form for assessment year 2019 was published on 7 April, the starting shot for the annual tax return race. For the Flemish tax return, "only" 6 codes have been added, and for the Walloon and Brussels tax returns, "only"
Does the new definition of a company have any consequences for your organisation?
Broader requirements for registration with the CBE - clarification for unincorporated companies
In a previous article, we explained that the introduction of a definition of 'company' in the new Companies and Associations Code (CAC) also affects the registration with the CBE (Crossroads Bank for Enterprises). In this article, we will discuss in more detail the registration obligation for unincorporated companies.  Consequences of the broader definition of a company  With the new
Noticeable impact on tax matters
Impact of Brexit on registration and inheritance tax
The tension in the United Kingdom is palpable. In the meantime, the initial date of Brexit, 29 March 2019, has been delayed. Depending on whether an agreement will be reached or not on 29 March, UK's departure date will be moved to 12 April 2019 in case of a hard Brexit (no deal) and to 22 May 2019 in case of a soft Brexit (deal). It is clear that Brexit will have an impact on tax matters, bo
An easing-up for most SMEs
New interest deduction restriction mostly offers opportunities
As part of the reforms to corporation tax in late 2017, a new interest deduction restriction was also introduced. This is part of the second phase of the reform, meaning that it applies in principle to financial years starting on or after 1 January 2019 (assessment year 2020). The new interest deduction restriction was introduced in the transposition of the European Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive (A
Some important dates highlighted
The new Companies and Associations Code
The new company and association law had already been announced for some time, and it was approved by the Chamber on 28 February 2019. Below we give a brief explanation of some of the important dates associated with the entry into force of this new legislation.   Introduction of the new legislation  The law introducing the Companies' Code enters into force on 1 May 2019 and repea
The new rules for VAT processing of vouchers
The wonderful world of VAT and vouchers
Vouchers are a very popular marketing tool. There are various types of vouchers: discount vouchers issued by a manufacturer, redeemable at any sales outlet in Belgium, discount coupons issued free of charge by retailers, vouchers where you can get a newly launched article free of charge, gift vouchers that can be redeemed for a whole range of products or services, electronic vouchers, etc. Are yo
A showpiece, or rather a sticking plaster for a broken arm?
The Belgian fiscal consolidation regime
The general intention with the introduction of a fiscal consolidation regime was clear, namely to put the Belgian tax system back in a positive light. After all, many of our neighbouring countries have had a system of fiscal consolidation in place for many years, and Belgium consequently scored badly on this point when international groups were looking to choose an investment location. The ques
The long-term lease revival
Superficies as stealth usufruct?
A noteworthy judgement was recently handed down by the Court of Appeal of Brussels regarding the taxation of overly cheap accession in the case of superficies (23 January 2019). In the past, a number of rulings had already been made on this subject (see, inter alia, Court in Ghent of 31 October 2017). The tax authorities are clearly keen to see the end of the right of superficies, and the two judg

Subscribe to our newsletter