Working in Belgium temporarily

The general rule is that you pay tax in the country in which you work. However, if your employer transferred you to Belgium temporarily to work there, this general rule is deviated from under certain conditions. If so, you continue paying tax in the Netherlands on the income you earn from your activities in Belgium.

When is the general rule deviated from?

You will keep paying tax in the Netherlands on your wage if you:

  • do not stay in Belgium for your work longer than 183 days in total during a period of 12 months, and
  • do not perform activities on behalf of a permanent establishment of your employer in Belgium

The 183 day rule

During a period of 12 months, you are not allowed to stay in Belgium for your work for longer than 183 days in total. This period of 12 months does not necessarily coincide with a calendar year. In relation to this, it is not important if you perform your activities over a continuous period or not. Furthermore, ordinary interruptions of employment related with a stay in Belgium, such as sick days, weekends and national holidays in Belgium are also included in the total of 183 days.

Permanent establishment in Belgium

You are not allowed to perform the activities on behalf of a permanent establishment of your employer in Belgium. When does your employer have a permanent establishment in Belgium? This is the case if your employer has a permanent business space at his disposal in Belgium. This business space must be made specifically suitable, or furnished, for the activities of your employer's company. Examples of permanent establishments are:

  • a plant
  • a workshop
  • a warehouse
  • accommodation for sales

If both conditions are not met, you will pay tax on your income in Belgium from the 1st day that you are working in Belgium. Therefore, there is no transition period in which you still pay tax in the Netherlands.


You live in the Netherlands and you are employed by an employer who is established in the Netherlands. Your employer transfers you to Belgium to perform activities on his account. Your employer does not have a permanent establishment in Belgium. You are transferred from 17 January to 30 April 2008. The number of days of your stay in Belgium during a period of 12 months is less than 183 days. Your wage will not be charged to an establishment that is located in Belgium (there is none). You must pay tax in the Netherlands on your income that you have earned with your activities in Belgium.




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