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Update - Tax impact for Belgians who take in refugees


The war in Ukraine and the subsequent flow of refugees have generated a huge wave of solidarity. Many Belgian citizens have offered accommodation as a result of the #placedispo campaign. This situation raises several questions about the possible tax impact on Belgians who altruistically host refugees in their homes. We answer below the most frequently asked questions.

The principles mentioned below also apply to persons seeking international protection who are encouraged or obliged by Fedasil, from November 14th 2022 to April 1st 2023, to stay temporarily with host families outside the accommodation facilities because of the saturation of the reception network.

  1. If I open my home to refugees, is my home still considered as my own for tax purposes?
    If you open the doors of your own home to refugees altruistically and share the use of it under normal circumstances, it remains your own home.

  1. Are the refugees I am hosting to be considered as my dependants?
    No, only your children, ascendants and collaterals up to the second degree, as well as the persons who were solely or mainly responsible for you when you were a child, can be your dependants.

  1. If I take in refugees, do I lose the increase in the tax-free income quota as a “person living alone” with dependent children or as a tax co-parent?
    No, if you benefit from the increase of the tax-free quota for a “person living alone” with dependent children or as a tax co-parent, the administration considers that in this case, you do not intend to form a family. Taking in refugees in your home has an exceptional and temporary nature, which allows you to keep the increase.

  1. Is the income support granted to refugees considered a resource?
    Yes, in the eyes of the refugee.
  2. Is the allowance I receive as a host family to cover the extra costs of hosting (water, electricity, etc.) taxable?
    No, if you only receive a reasonable allowance to cover the extra costs of hosting (such as extra water, electricity and heating, cleaning costs, etc.), this amount is not taxable. This allowance cannot constitute a hidden rent nor a compensation for services provided.

    In this respect, the Minister of Finance has decided that the following allowances constitute reasonable compensation for the additional costs of hosting and are therefore not taxable:
    • Hosting a single person: 20% of a single person’s income support
    • Hosting a person with dependants: 20% of the income support of a person with dependants + 50 EUR per additional child as from the third one, with a maximum amount of 400 EUR per family
    • Hosting a cohabitant person: 20% of a cohabiting person’s income support
    If you give up the use of your home and/or your furniture and receive an allowance for this, then this amount constitutes indeed taxable income. This is the case, for instance, when you rent out your second home or a part of your home. In the latter case, you give up the use of a certain part of your home (e.g. a floor, various rooms, etc.) and therefore do not use it jointly.

    An allowance for services provided (e.g. for preparing meals, etc.) also constitutes a taxable income.

    The aforementioned principles also apply when a CPAS/public welfare centre withholds an amount from the refugee's income support and allocates this amount directly to the host family.