Your landlord does not like home work
If a tenant uses the rented house or apartment for professional purposes, the
landlord is taxed on the rental income and not on the cadastral income, which is
usually lower. In this corona era we have learned to work from home en masse
and many would like to continue to do so. But what does the landlord think about
The landlord is a private individual
If you, as a natural person, rent immovable property to another natural person
who does not use the property for professional purposes, you are taxable on the
indexed cadastral income, increased by 40%.
However, if you rent out to a company, a non-profit organization or a natural
person who does use the property for professional purposes, even partially, then
tax is due on the net rent. You calculate the net rent by reducing the rent and
all rental benefits you collect by 40%.
Additionally, you should add a small
calculation to this: the lump sum expense deduction of 40% may not exceed 2/3 of
the revalued cadastral income.
To make it concrete.
You own a property with a KI of 1.200.
You charge a monthly rent of 700. In other words: 8.400 on an annual basis.
The indexation coefficient of the real estate income is 1,8630.
The revalorisation coefficient for the KI is 4,63.
If you rent out to a private individual, the taxable income is:
1.200 x 1,8630 + 40% = 3.129,84.
If you rent out to a company or to someone who uses the property professionally,
the taxable income amounts to:
8.400 the lump sum expenses:
either: 40% of 8.400 (= 3.360), i.e.
or: 4,63 x 1.200 x 2/3 (= 3.704), i.e. 4.696.
The taxable income is therefore (8.400 3.360): 5.040.
For example, if you were to charge 800 rent per month, 40% of
9.600 (= 3.840) would be higher than 4,63 x 1.200 x 2/3 (= 3.704) and the
lump sum deduction would be limited to the latter amount. The taxable income is
The tenant and professional use
As you will notice: you really want to know whether your tenant will use the
property for professional purposes. And the tax authorities take this very far:
if your tenant is an Ostend citizen who rents an apartment in Hasselt to be
closer to his work, then that tenant can argue that he rents the house for
professional purposes. Its advantage: the rent then becomes a deductible
If the tax authorities accept this, you as the landlord
will be presented with the tax bill!
It is also possible that your tenant may "recharge" his rent to his employer,
because that employer requires the tenant to come and live within a certain
perimeter of the company. In that case, the tenant does not deduct the rent, but
his employer does. And again it is the landlord who is faced with a much higher
Only for the actual rent
Some reassuring news: the rule that professional use of the rented property
leads to taxation on the net rent only applies to the situation in which the
rent itself is booked as a professional expense. For example, if your tenant
gets his internet connection refunded or if he receives an intervention in
certain maintenance work, this does not mean that you as a landlord will
suddenly have to pay much more tax.
Corona home work
At the start of 2021, the tax authorities pleased taxpayers with a general
circular letter about the home working allowance: since February, the employer
has been allowed to pay employees a tax-free lump sum office allowance of
129,48 per month (until September 2021, this could even be 144,31).
If you read this circular letter carefully, you will see that this compensation
must cover all kinds of costs, including the costs for "use of office space at
the employee's home (including rent and any depreciation of the space)".
In other words: the employer pays out an allowance to his employees, among other
things to pay the rent, and then deducts it. Doesn't this lead to a
professional use of the property? The Minister of Finance was presented with
this question in Parliament.
In first instance, he confirms that the net rent in principle becomes taxable if
the employer pays the employee's rent and then deducts it.
But he does want to make an exception for the tax-free office allowances. There
is no question that the tenant uses the property for professional purposes, but
as long as he does not contribute his actual costs, deducting the rent from his
taxable income, the landlord will not be taxed on the net rent.