What’s new on 1 July?

Apart from the EU Digital COVID Certificate that we report on elsewhere on our pages 1 July also heralds a number of other interesting changes.  Online shopping outside the EU becomes more expensive, but if you want to leave some money to your friends after your death they won’t have to pay as much tax.

The VAT holiday on online purchases under 22 euros from outside the EU disappears.  This means that VAT will be charged on purchases under 22 euros originating from outside the EU and shoppers may have to fork out extra cash to take delivery of their desirables.

It’s an EU measure creating a level playing field.  EU web shops did not enjoy this advantage.

If you are purchasing from a non-registered webstore you will have to pay the VAT to the courier, who delivers your order.  The courier firm is bound to transfer the tax to the taxman, but may charge for this service.

Today also heralds a major change to Flemish inheritance tax.  On inheritances to distant relatives or friends the lowest tax rate will be charged on the first 15,000 euros.  This means that on up to 15,000 euros in total only 3% inheritance tax will be charged, if the cash is left to people outside your immediate family.  3% inheritance tax is the lowest rate you pay if you inherit from close family, but until now if you inherited from a distant relative of a friend tax rates could amount to as much as 55% of the inheritance. Monies over 15,000 euros will incur the regular 25% tax rate.

The new legislation also removes tax on legacies to charities.

1 July also means a pay rise for most health care workers.  On average pay conditions in hospitals should improve 6% as a result of the measure.

In Brussels the price of a school season ticket for public transport is cut from 50 to 12 euros.  This works out at a euro a month for the first and second child.  If you have three or more kids, they travel free.

Starting February 2022 young people resident in Brussels aged 18 to 24 will be able to enjoy the same rate instead of the present 499 euros a year.

Also starting today Brussels and Flanders are increasing road charging for lorries.

In Belgium as a whole many benefits are being increased including minimum unemployment benefit, minimum pensions and invalidity benefit for people who have a working career and children.

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