If you are unable to settle your entire tax bill within the first 2 months after you have received it, you can always request a payment plan to avoid further penalties. If you owe a large amount to the authorities, whether as a company or private individual, you also want to avoid the tax collector comes knocking on your door if you would fail to pay on time.
In May 2021 the Belgian Finance Minister, Vincent van Peteghem (CD&V), stated the following: “The corona crisis presented many with unexpected financial challenges. If you are not prepared for the tax bill, you can request an easily accessible payment plan. This way you can spread the costs”.
The government consequently facilitated the possibility to pay your taxes over a longer period of time. Not only because of the coronavirus, but also if you experience financial difficulties in general. Since 1 September 2021 it has become easier to pay your tax debt to the authorities in instalments.
A flexible arrangement can always be requested via the online tax portal MyMinFin. It is recommended to apply for the payment plan as soon as you have received the tax assessment and not to wait until the very last day.
The procedure is different depending on the period for which you request to pay in instalments. For individual taxpayers, a payment plan can be requested anywhere from 4 up to 12 months.
The applicant is required to provide information on their family situation (e.g. partner, children, dependents, etc.), monthly earnings (e.g. salary, pension, business income, etc.), monthly expenses (e.g. rent, loans, utility bills, etc.) and any eventual investments or real estate abroad.
If the following conditions are met, the taxpayer will be informed within the week whether their payment plan was accepted by the authorities or not: (i) the payment plan is requested for a period of up to 4 months; (ii) the application is submitted before the due date as mentioned on the tax assessment; and (iii) the taxpayer has no other outstanding debts/taxes due to the Belgian authorities.
In all other cases, the authorities will have to examine the request and will inform you afterwards if the payment plan was accepted or not. If you are a company, the payments can be spread out over a maximum of 24 months or 36 months in exceptional cases. Large companies can even request an instalment plan of up to 50 months.
Please note that a late payment interest of 0.33% per month or 4% per year, continues to apply, even with a payment plan. Only when you experience serious financial difficulties, you can ask the taxman to waive the interest amount.