New in the personal income tax return


Soon it will be time again to fill out your personal income tax return. As it is the case every year we briefly guide you through the tax return. Notwithstanding the fact that the tax authorities announce that this year there are just a few new tax codes, there are still a number of changes. We comment on the most important novelties.

The deadlines

But first the most important: the deadlines.

  • On paper, the return should be filed ultimately 28 June 2019.
  • Online you have the time until 11 July 2019.
  • Through a representative (accountant) you have time until 24 October 2019.

New tax reductions

Last year the government introduced a number of new tax reductions. You can obtain these reductions for this tax year for expenses made in 2018. These can be found in box X.

  • Pension agreement for the self-employed (code 1342 and 2342): the pension agreement is a new instrument for the self-employed to obtain an extra pension next to the existing scheme. A self-employed person can obtain a tax reduction of 30% for the contributions he made for such pension agreement.
  • Dual pension saving (code 1361 and 2361): you can choose whether you save 960€ for a tax reduction of 30% or 1.230€ at 25%. Whatever amount you save, you will fill it out under the same code. The tax authorities will verify which amount you actually saved in order to decide which percentage is applicable.
  • Shares in growth companies (code 1334 and 2334): you could already invest in starting companies (first four years after incorporation), but you can now also invest in growth companies (five to ten years after incorporation). You have the right to a tax reduction of 25% of your investment up to 25.000€.
  • Privak losses (code 1329 and 2329): in case you had a loss or depreciation at the occasion of the complete liquidation of a privak incorporated after 2017, you can report the loss up to 25.000€. 25% of the loss is recuperated through the tax return.
  • Adoption (code 1341): the expenses you made during the last five years for an adoption procedure gives the right to a deduction in the year in which the procedure is closed (20% of the expenses with a maximum reduction of 6.150€).

Tax exemption for dividends

When you receive dividends from shares, the first 640€ is exempt. The distributing company will, however, have to withhold withholding tax. You will have to claim the exemption yourself in the tax return (code 1437 and 2437).

Notification obligation for a securities account

In case you were the holder of more than one securities accounts in 2018, you will have to report this in code 1072/2072 of the tax return.

Three ways to earn tax-free extra money

Since last year there are three ways to earn some extra money (in total up to 6.130€) tax-free:

  • In the sharing economy (through a recognized platform).
  • Voluntary work.
  • Civilian services.

For voluntary work and civilian services, you should first be registered on For these two activities, a monthly threshold of 510,83€ (in 2019: 520,83€) applies.

When you stay under these thresholds, the income is exempt and should not be reported. Do you exceed the monthly threshold for voluntary work or civilian services, or the annual threshold (for the three activities together), the income becomes standard taxable professional income, except when you can prove that it is sundry income (code 1460 and 2460). This is also taxable, but at a lower tax rate (33%).

Professional expenses lump sum for self-employed with profit

Self-employed persons having profit can from now on also opt for a professional expenses lump-sum deduction instead of actually giving proof for these expenses. The lump sum amounts to 30% of the income with a maximum of 4.720€.

Capital gains

Capital gains on tangible assets are as from 2018 only taxable at 10% when the capital gains are realized at the occasion of a complete stop of the independent activity as from the age of 60 or in case of decease, or in case of a forced definitive stop because of damage, handicap, expropriation, etc. In other circumstances, the capital gains are taxed at 16,5%.

Capital gains on intangible assets are also taxable at 10%, under condition that the capital gains are realized at the occasion of a complete stop of the independent activity as from the age of 60 or in case of decease, or in case of a forced definitive stop and under the condition that the capital gains are not higher than the net profit of the four years prior to the stop of the activity. The capital gains falling within the scope of this reduced rate, are reported under the new codes 1686 and 2686.