Those who offer services via Uber and Airbnb will see a part of their income flow to the tax authorities. The shared economy is getting increasingly popular. But at the same time it forms a threat to the mainstream economy, where tax and social security contributions have to be paid. To keep the Uber’s and Airbnb’s of this world honest, the Belgian government has now decided to introduce a special tax on the shared economy.
In principle service providers that share platforms must state their income in their tax return. But in practice, this is certainly not always happening. That’s why the Michel-government decided to require professional intermediaries like Uber and Airbnb to withhold a portion of the amount that would normally go to the provider of the transport service or room. Moreover, they should show how much they earned over the past year and how much tax was withheld.
The percentage of withholding tax has not yet been determined. The four ministers – Kris Peeters (Economics), Alexander De Croo (Digital Agenda), Johan Van Overtveldt (Finance) and Willy Borsus (Small Businesses and the Self-Employed) – have still to reach an agreement.
Once the income of the service exceeds a certain threshold, the individual will be taxed at the progressive rate of personal income tax. He or she will also fall within the scope of social security. The height of the ceiling is yet to be defined by the four ministers concerned. It is hoped that the measure will bring in 20 million euros this year.
• Belgium’s PM would like to see platforms like Uber and Airbnb taxed properly.