Net vs. gross income in Belgium: what to expect in terms of salary?

Net vs. gross income in Belgium: what to expect in terms of salary?

Before deciding to make the move to Belgium, you’ll want to have at least some idea of how much money you could make. But how big is the difference between gross income and what you take home at payday?

Salaries in Belgium depend on a number of factors, including age, sector and degree. According to a recent study, 80% of people in Belgium earn a gross income of more than 2,305 euros and a net income of more than 1,648 euros. Of course, how much pay you take home every month depends heavily on your particular situation: what job you’ll be doing, whether you’re married, which fringe benefits (like employer-paid medical and dental insurance, employee discounts, mobile phone, a company car…) you’re enjoying, etc. As a result, two people who share the same gross income don’t necessarily have the same net income.

Gross versus net income

Employers automatically deduct the payroll tax and social contributions (13.07 per cent calculated on 108% of gross income) from their employees’ gross salary. The total payroll tax depends on the taxable gross salary (gross income minus social security contributions), family composition, and other factors.

An example

Confused? Let’s say that you’re a starting crane operator who earns a gross income of 2,470 euros. You’re not married, and you don’t have any kids. How much would you likely take home? Let’s do the math.

Gross income€ 2,470
– Social contributions (13,07% of 108% of gross income€ 348.66
= Gross taxable income€ 2,121.34
– Withholding tax (depending on income scale, here 19%)€ 403
Net income€ 1,718.34

However, this is without taking into account special exemptions and reductions for lower incomes, your family situation etc. Your best bet? Calculating your income on the official Belgium Tax Calculator-website. More information about working in Belgium? Find out how Link2Europe can help, or go ahead and take a look at our exciting job offers.

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