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Tax

Fellowship

Doctoral fellowships awarded by Belgian universities
or federal scientific institutions are exempted from taxes
for a maximum of 48 consecutive months.
Their amount cannot be higher than the annual net wage
of scientific personnel with same age and qualifications
and they are not considered as professional income.
The fellow can guide and/or monitor students' projects for 4 hours/week max.

Post docs fellowships are also exempted from tax for a period of 36 months.
Other fellowships might be exempted if they are provided by authorized institutions and under certain circumstances (related to the autonomy of the grantee).

A fellow cannot have any other income than his/her fellowship.

Employment contract

Belgium has signed tax treaties with different countries in order to avoid double taxation. Generally you will be liable for income taxation in the country where you reside, Belgium. If your home country employer sends you to Belgium as a 'posted' worker, you will not be considered as a "fiscal Belgian resident" if you spend less than an aggregate 183 days in Belgium during a tax year. This rule is only applicable if your employer (paying your wage) is not a Belgian resident.

Income tax is assessed once a year. Employers withhold a percentage of your monthly income to offset the tax bill at the end of the year. This means that the amount of income tax due is normally paid before the end of the taxable year. You will have to complete an annual tax return reporting income.

If you have to leave Belgium but are entitled to a tax refund, you should contact the tax office and ask for a form that will permit declaring your income in advance.

Bank account

To open a current or checking account, you will need a proof of identity (a valid passport) and a proof of legal residence in Belgium (your residence permit).

Once the account is opened the bank will send you a debit card, probably with the Bancontact/Mister Cash logo. This card has to be signed and activated by choosing and confirming a personal PIN code.

With this current account you will be able to carry out all standard bank transactions in Belgium such as cash withdrawals, debit card payments for items bought in shops, transferring money from your bank account to somebody else's bank account, etc.

It is recommendable to apply for a "maestro" function on your card, which will allow you to withdraw money when you are abroad.

You may also request a credit card. However, some banks may wait a while to check whether you have sufficient deposits coming on your account.

If you need further information on this matter, don't hesitate to contact the nearest EURAXESS Service Centre.




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Last update: 16 December 2013 @ 08:39