Professional income is taxed on its net amount. In other words, you must deduct from your gross salary:
- social contributions
- actual or fixed rate professional costs
- the dependant spouse allowance and/or assisting spouse deduction
- exemptions of an economic character (fiscal measures to encourage investment and/or employment)
Your salary is taxable on the gross sum minus personal social security contributions. You may therefore deduct the compulsory contributions which are paid to your mutual society. The amount will vary from one mutual society to another. For more information please visit the site of the Federal Fiscal Administration (French or Dutch).
To obtain your net taxable professional income, professional expenses must be deducted. There are two possible methods: the legal fixed-rate or your actual expenses.
If you failed to mention any expenses in your tax declaration, you will automatically receive the legal fixed rate allowance. The amount of fixed-rate expenses depends on the amount of your income and is calculated on a tapering scale.
To this general allowance, a supplementary allowance can be added for long journeys.
If your travel costs are reimbursed by your employer, the reimbursement is a taxable income. However, part of this sum may be exempted.
Expenses deducted as actual costs are those which the taxpayer has made during the tax period in order to acquire or retain his professional income.
Other expenses, such as the costs of accommodation, training and, clothing etc. are also deductible under certain conditions.
Dependant spouse allowance and assistant spouse deduction
A part of the professional income of one of the spouses may be allocated to the other if the income of this other spouse does not exceed 30% of the couple’s total professional income. This measure is known as the dependant spouse allowance.
A taxpayer who is assisted by his or her spouse during the exercise of a self-employed activity may attribute them a proportion of the net income.