183 days rule in Belgium 183 days rule in Belgium
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  1. #1

    Nervous Newbie


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    Default 183 days rule in Belgium

    Hi,

    I'm self employed and have a contract with a company from Luxembourg. I work in Belgium for a Belgian client of them.

    I've talked to the Luxembourg company that I want to use the 183 days rule to pay taxes in my home country. They created the contract but for a period of 8 months(160 working days) saying that the 183 days are working days and it is ok.

    Next, I've signed a contract to rent an apartment here and the owner wants a 2 months deposit account in a Belgian bank. This was not possible since all banks require a document from the commune. I went to the commune and registered there just before their closing time. For the next week they're closed so I had to sign fast the papers and they were in a hurry too. On my way home I found out they changed my primary residence to Brussels. I knew this was going to create issues with using the 183 days because you must remain resident in your home country.

    I already talked to the owner to leave the apartment and I'm going to deregister from the commune and move to a hotel. I hope this scheme would allow me to still follow the rules of the 183 days.

    I don't know what to do to work legally because the contract is with my home country freelance company.

    Please give me any advice on this or any information about a lawyer, accountant or umbrella company that could help.

    Thank you so much!

  2. #2

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    There is a sticky which is a long thread about working in Belgium at the top of this board. The thread is called "Contracting in Belgium - A Short Guide to Tax and Social Security" I suggest you have a good read of it as it covers some of the things you mention directly.

    The rest you will be able to work out from the answers to some of the situations mentioned or reading the Belgium tax authority website.
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    Respect my authoritah!

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    What's your home country?
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  4. #4

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    Generally if you're working in any country they'll expect tax. The 183 day rule doesn't mean you won't be taxed on work you do in that country. The 183 day rule is simply the point they will tax you on world-wide income and expect you to pay social security.

    Up to you but if the tax authorities did come sniffing round regardless where your primary residence is they may still expect you to pay tax. This would then be dealt with as tax evasion.
    Last edited by BlasterBates; 31st October 2011 at 08:28.
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  5. #5

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    Default Tax resident in Belgium

    I am a Belgian tax resident and have zero Belgian income. All my contracts are outside Belgium.
    I pay less tax than if I were a UK resident with zero UK revenue and all my contracts outside the UK

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brussels Slumdog View Post
    I am a Belgian tax resident and have zero Belgian income. All my contracts are outside Belgium.
    I pay less tax than if I were a UK resident with zero UK revenue and all my contracts outside the UK
    Except he can't get home
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  7. #7

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    Default What about my human rights

    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Except he can't get home
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brussels Slumdog View Post
    I am a Belgian tax resident and have zero Belgian income. All my contracts are outside Belgium.
    I pay less tax than if I were a UK resident with zero UK revenue and all my contracts outside the UK
    Well what you are doing is tax evasion in Belgium : if you are resident in Belgium then you must pay Belgian tax on your world-wide income.

    Boo

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlasterBates View Post
    Generally if you're working in any country they'll expect tax. The 183 day rule doesn't mean you won't be taxed on work you do in that country. The 183 day rule is simply the point they will tax you on world-wide income and expect you to pay social security.
    No it's not : the 183 day rule is the length of time a company from a different EU country may send an employee to work in Belgium without that employee being liable for Belgian tax. In the OP's case s/he will be eligible under the 183 day rule (for 183 days ) because the employing company is registered in Luxembourg.

    As to what happens after the 183 days I am not completely certain but in logic, provided the new employer is Belgian and it is a bona-fide change of employment, then I don't see why the first 6 months shouldn't remain under the 183 day rule.
    However, if the Belgian Tax Authorities knew that your client remained the same then they might be tempted to look through both employing companies and treat all work as coming under employment by the end client. What Belgian law says about this I don't know, but if the BTA aren't made aware of who the end client is (just the Luxembourg company and Belgian replacement) then they will not be in a position to complain...


    Quote Originally Posted by BlasterBates View Post
    Up to you but if the tax authorities did come sniffing round regardless where your primary residence is they may still expect you to pay tax. This would then be dealt with as tax evasion.
    Not for 183 days, it's not.

    Boo
    Last edited by Boo; 6th November 2011 at 13:47.

  10. #10

    More fingers than teeth

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boo View Post

    Not for 183 days, it's not.

    Boo
    The 183 day rule doesn´t apply to businesses. Obviously short visits they´re not going to bother. If you go to Belgium open a plumbing business, and leave after 6 months the Belgian authorities would still expect VAT and tax, from your business. When you accept a 6 month IT contract in Belgium and the work is done there, you are setting up a business there, plain and simple. No difference between setting up a plumbing business, fixing everyine´s drains or going round fixing their IT systems. Of course he could argue that he´s an employee of a Luxembourg company; however on the whole tax authorities see through these forms of arrangements, i.e. you´re not really an employee, you´re doing business on your own account; however the tax authorities may see this as an artificial arrangement and hold you personally liable.

    There are plenty of examples of contractors trying this, certainly in Germany and the Netherlands and getting done for tax evasion, thinking they could use the 183 day rule, which they also have. In Switzerland the agency would force you to pay local tax even for a short term contract. I wouldn´t see that Belgium is any different. I did a 3 month contract in Luxembourg and paid tax there, even though I hadn´t been there 183 days.

    I would suggest amuser takes advice in Belgium to make sure he doesn´t fall foul of the authorities. In the end you don´t really save anything by not doing that.
    Last edited by BlasterBates; 6th November 2011 at 15:56.
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