Foreign executives, or expats, working temporarily in Belgium for a Belgian company or for a Belgian establishment of a foreign company enjoy a special tax treatment in Belgium, namely the expat regime. The expat regime applies to two categories of taxpayers, employees and company executives on the one hand (the “incoming taxpayer”) and employees employed as researchers on the other hand (the “incoming researcher”).
To benefit from the expat status, a number of conditions must be met. Both incoming taxpayers and incoming researchers are required to
- have not been a resident of Belgium
- nor have resided within 150 kilometres of the border
- nor have been subject to taxation of non-residents (natural persons) for professional income in Belgium
In addition, the requirement for incoming taxpayers is that the gross annual salary must amount to at least €75,000 for services rendered in Belgium. This income condition does not apply to incoming researchers, but they must hold a qualifying master’s degree or have at least 10 years of relevant professional experience. Moreover, they must be active within a research position in the company for at least 80% of their working time.
The expat status must be requested electronically by the employer from the FPS Finance. This application should be made within 3 months of the commencement of the employment of the expat in Belgium.
If the application is approved, the expat status can be applied for a maximum of 5 years, with the possibility of a one-time extension of 3 years.