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International organisations

As an international organisation present in Belgium, you are required to transmit the tax data of certain members of your staff.

You can now do this in an automated way to simplify as much as possible the filling in of the tax return for your staff.

Transmission of tax data of staff members of international organisations

  • Who are the staff members whose tax data must be transmitted?

    International organisations must only transmit the tax data of their (former) staff members whose remunerations (or pensions) are taxed in Belgium or exempt but with application of the tax progression clause.

    Data exchanges usually take place during the first quarter of the year. The remunerations or pensions paid to staff members in the previous year can now be transmitted in an automated way.

    You do not have to transmit the tax data of staff members whose remunerations or pensions are completely exempt (i.e. without application of the tax progression clause). This includes, in particular, people who benefit from :

    • a diplomatic status. These data must be transmitted yearly to the Protocol Directorate of the FPS Foreign Affair (via e-mail).
    • the exception of tax domicile.

    However, many different tax regimes can apply to the staff members of an international organisation depending on their status and nationality, agreements on privileges and immunities and the conventions for the avoidance of double taxation in use.

    Any doubts about the tax regime for the staff members of your international organisation?

    Contact us via e-mail for more information (for legal questions only).

  • How to transmit these tax data automatically?

    Preferably via the application Belcotax-on-web (BOW)

    BOW allows to issue tax sheets and declare the taxable income of each member of staff as an ordinary salary (sheet 281.10) or pension (sheet 281.11). More information on the amount to be declared and what it corresponds to.

    In Belgium, most enterprises and organisations go through a service provider (approved social secretariat, accounting office or consultancy firm) for issuing their BOW tax sheets. These service providers help employers to fulfil their social and tax obligations with the authorities. They take care of the whole process of encoding staff members’ tax data and issuing BOW tax sheets.

    Does your organisation wish to take care of the issuing of BOW tax sheets itself internally?

    • Start by consulting the technical documentation about the adoption and use of the BOW system and the  simplified brochure (PDF, 360.97 KB) specifically dedicated to international organisation to help you with the use of the BOW tool.
    • Download the excel file that will allow you to convert the data in XML format and to upload them in BOW.
    • Fill in the  Excel file (XLSX, 191.32 KB) by following the instructions mentioned in the brochure and in the technical documentation.
      ​Warning! To ensure that the data are correctly taken into account, the amount of the exempt remunerations subject to progressivity must be mentioned twice :
      • In the “Remunerations” area and
      • in the “Remunerations and indemnities of the beneficial owner exempt subject to progressivity (only for certain international organisations)”.
    • Upload the sheets in BOW.

    Via secure online data storage space (SharePoint)

    A SharePoint secure online data storage space is put at disposal only if the international organisation does not manage to use BOW.
    You must then appoint a person within your organisation who will be responsible for the upload of a structured Excel file containing all the tax information required.

    To grant them access to our SharePoint, please communicate their e-mail address via e-mail.

    We will then send them by e-mail :

    • a template of the structured Excel file to be completed and uploaded on the SharePoint.
    • a link to the specific SharePoint folder.
    • the necessary information to create a Microsoft account (necessary to access SharePoint) if they do not already have one.

    Once you have downloaded the file, please let us know by e-mail.

  • What other identification information of staff members must be transmitted?

    For each staff member, we must know :

    • the national number (identification number in the National Register mentioned on the residence or identity card)
    • the date of birth and
    • the residence address.

    The national number is essential to identify the tax file of a taxpayer. Without a national number, we cannot register the information transmitted. The staff members of an international organisation who do not know their national number can contact the Protocol Directorate of the FPS Foreign Affairs. We therefore encourage you to systematically record all the national numbers of your staff members.

    Not able to obtain the national number of some of your staff members ? In order to process their file, you must provide us with their date of birth and residence address.

  • How to calculate the taxable income to be declared?

    The remunerations of staff members of international organisations that are taxed – or exempt but with application of the tax progression clause – must be declared to the FPS Finance. The taxable amount to declare is the taxable amount is the taxable amount from the perspective of the Belgian administration.

    To calculate this taxable income:

    1. add up all the gross salaries and emoluments received during the income year: wages, benefits in kind, bonuses and allowances, indemnities...

    2. deduct all eligible levies from the gross income:

    • any legally due internal tax withdrawn by the international organisation.
    • any legally due tax which has actually been paid abroad.
    • all the legal (employers’ and personal) social security contributions paid to a social security system, whether foreign or Belgian (as in the case of ONSS contributions for workers subject to Belgian social security).
    • the benefits (of any kind or fringe benefits) resulting from the payment by the employer of employer’s contributions in the context of extra-legal collective insurances that are specifically exempt (e.g. pension, health care, hospitalisation).

    Warning! The following elements cannot be deducted from the gross income:

    • The personal contributions (i.e. paid by the employee) paid in the context of extra-legal insurances (e.g. pension, health care, hospitalisation) cannot be deducted from the gross income. This applies even if these contributions have been withheld at source from wages and paid through the employer.
      However, the allowances paid for supplementary pensions can be declared in the BOW sheets in the area: “Withholdings for supplementary pensions, contributions and normal premiums” if the conditions allow it.
    • The various indemnities paid by the employer that do not correspond to the notion of employer's contribution described above (e.g. expatriation allowance, allowance for dependent children or school fees) are in principle taxable. The amounts paid in this context cannot therefore be deducted from gross income unless it can be demonstrated that they constitute reimbursements of the employer's own expenses.

    3. The result of this calculation is the taxable gross income to declare to the FPS Finance.

    Regarding payroll tax: you must not declare any payroll tax for people exempt subject to progressivity.

    In principle, the presumption of taxability applies to all income that is not explicitly deductible. For more information, consult the full documentation in the notification to debitors.

    If you have any doubt about this calculation, ask your questions to the FPS Finance via e-mail.

  • In case of automated transmission, must the paper tax sheets still be provided?

    If your organisation transmits these data in an automated way, it no longer needs to provide the paper certificates. But it officially remains obliged to provide and distribute them to the staff members concerned in order to certify their employment and to prove their right to a privileged tax regime.

    Staff members will only be obliged to provide this sheet to the Belgian administration if requested.