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European Commission - Press release

Taxation: Commission requests Belgium to remove discriminatory rules on personal income tax

Brussels, 22 March 2012 – The European Commission has formally requested Belgium to amend its regional and federal laws that discriminate against non-resident taxpayers whose income is entirely or almost entirely earned in Belgium.

The regional law allows for a reduction in personal income tax when citizens buy shares or bonds of investment funds in Wallonia. Residing in the Walloon region is a condition to benefit from this reduction. The Commission considers that excluding non-residents who earn all or almost all of their income in the Walloon Region from the benefit of the reduction is discriminatory.

The federal law grants a tax credit for resident taxpayers whose yearly income does not exceed € 18,730. Non-residents earning all or almost all of their income in Belgium and meeting the same condition of low income earnings are excluded from the benefit of the tax credit.

The Commission is of the opinion that this exclusion is discriminatory and sees no possible justification for these discriminations. Both cases breach EU rules by restricting the free movement of workers. The second case also constitutes an unjustified restriction to the freedom of establishment.

The Commission's requests take the form of reasoned opinions (second step of EU infringement proceedings). In each case, in the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Union.


For press releases on infringement cases in the taxation or customs field see:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/200

For the latest general information on infringement measures against Member States see:

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

Natasja Bohez Rubiano (+32 2 296 64 70)

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