A lot of things are changing on 1 January. If you are planning to buy real estate in Brussels, you may have heard about the drastic changes concerning taxes.
House prices are relatively high in Flanders and Brussels (except in the more remote areas in Flanders, or in certain districts in Brussels). In order to help buyers, Flanders introduced a tax benefit (the so-called 'woonbonus') as did Brussels.
However, Flanders has already made adaptations to the system, reducing tax benefits for house buyers. The system still guarantees them a yearly tax refund spread over 20 years, but less than it used to be.
Brussels opts for "immediate discount"
Brussels is taking a different approach. The long-term tax benefit is being scrapped altogether, but a compensation is being introduced at the same time. The amount under which buyers will be exempt from the purchase tax, will be lifted from 60,000 or 70,000 euros now (depending on the district) to 175,000.
In Flanders, this tax is presently at 10 percent of the price. However, for some (smaller) properties a rate of 5 percent may still apply. In Brussels, the buyer's tax will only apply as from 175,000 now, the rate being 12.5 percent (for a dwelling of 275,000, this would 12,500 euros). In fact, Brussels buyers will get their "discount" on the spot, instead of it being spread over 20 years like in Flanders.