The property tax is an annual Flemish tax on immovable property located in the Flemish Region. Immovable properties are grounds, buildings and some types of company equipment (‘equipment and tooling’).
In the vast majority of cases, the property tax must be paid for the entire period of twelve months by anyone who is the owner of an immovable property on 1 January of the tax year. If there is, for example, a division between bare ownership and usufruct, the usufructuary is the taxpayer.
The Flemish Tax Service sends the tax assessments from the beginning of May onwards, to all parties having to pay a property tax.
The property tax is calculated on the cadastral income of your real estate. The basic rate is set and received by the Flemish Region, but is completed with extra additional percentages set and received by your province and your municipality. The amount of the additional percentages may vary each year, because they are established annually by the municipal and provincial councils.
The payable amount can easily be calculated via a simulation tool from the Flemish Tax Service (in Dutch) ((opens in new window)).
The cadastral income is not a real income, but a fictitious rental income that is assigned to each immovable property (buildings, grounds, etc.), even if it is not rented. It gives an indication of the value of the immovable property. In Belgium the cadastral income (KI) of immovable property is determined by the Federal Public Service Finance. You can request the KI from the local division of the land register (in Dutch) ((opens in new window)).
Several reductions exist for property tax. Some of these are automatically allocated, whereas others you will have to apply for. You can also be entitled to reductions if you rent an immovable property. In that case, you do not pay the property tax yourself, but the landlord must deduct the reduction obtained from the rent.
For owners and tenants:
- Property tax reduction for children entitled to child benefit (in Dutch): if at least 2 children who are entitled to child benefit reside at the address of the property on 1 January of the tax year
- Property tax reduction for persons with a certain degree of disability (in Dutch), who reside at the address of the property on 1 January of the tax year
- Property tax reduction for the property in which a victim of certain war situations (in Dutch) has their main residence on 1 January of the tax year
- You can obtain a reduction of 25% on the property tax for a modest property (in Dutch) in which you reside yourself, if the total cadastral income of all your immovable properties in the Flemish Region does not exceed 745 euros (automatic allocation).
- Property tax reduction for energy-efficient buildings (in Dutch), based on the E-level stated in the energy performance certificate (EPC). The reduction can be granted for new build, for renovations deemed equivalent to new build and for buildings that undergo a major energy renovation (automatic allocation)
- Tax credit for legal persons for equipment and tooling (in Dutch) (automatic allocation)
- Tax credit for undeveloped immovable properties located in an area of the Flemish Ecological Network (in Dutch) (Dutch: Vlaams Ecologisch Netwerk/VEN). These are grounds, woods, etc. in the Flemish Ecological Network where nature receives additional protection.
- If an immovable property has been vacant for a certain period and has not generated any income, the property is referred to as “unproductive”. The property tax can be reduced proportionately to the number of months for which the unproductivity has lasted (in Dutch). For buildings, these must be non-furnished and been vacant for at least 90 days in the calendar year, without the owner having chosen for this vacancy.
- You can enjoy a temporary exemption from the property tax for five years if you convert a (former) commercial property into a dwelling, if the commercial property is located in a low-shopping area or a core shopping area (in Dutch).
- You can obtain a temporary exemption from the property tax after renovation or demolition and replacement building of neglected, unsuitable or inhabitable dwellings or commercial properties (in Dutch).
- An exemption is granted to some immovable properties because they are used for certain purposes without the objective of making a profit (in Dutch). These include hospitals, schools, etc.
- Immovable properties that are recognised and managed as nature reserve or as forest with a special value (in Dutch), can, in certain cases, be exempted from property tax.
- Exemption from property tax can be granted for certain recognised and listed monuments (in Dutch).
- Equipment and tooling are all appliances, machinery and other installations that are used for an industrial, commercial or handicraft business. In order to stimulate the economy, investments in new equipment and tooling (in Dutch) are exempt from property tax.
- Premises that are used by youth work organisations and youth accommodation centres (in Dutch) are exempt from property tax.
- Immovable property that is owned by and used for a public service or a public utility (in Dutch) can be exempt from property tax.
- Immovable property that is owned by another state (in Dutch), can, under certain conditions, be exempted from property tax.
- Some institutions, societies, associations, etc. enjoy an unconditional property tax exemption based on special legislation (in Dutch), such as the law by which they were established.