October 7, 2022

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Lower registration fees, higher net pay, higher corporate vehicle taxes: This will change on January 1

Lower registration fees, higher net pay, higher corporate vehicle taxes: This will change on January 1

New registration tax rates

Registration rights in Flanders have been reformed several times in recent years. This is now happening again. Because from January 1, the registration fee for buying a first house or apartment will decrease 6 to 3 percent.

At the same time, the price is increased for those who buy a second, third, and fourth home… These registration fees range from 10 to 12 percent. This also applies to those who buy a plot of land from January 1.

Reducing the salaries of Flemish MPs

Members of the Flemish Parliament will start the new year Earn five percent less. At the end of December 2019, a decision was unanimously approved to reduce the parliament’s allocations by five percent, but it has not yet been implemented.

About two years ago, the Flemish government announced savings, including in the cultural sector. As a counterbalance to criticism, the wages of Flemish MPs would fall by five percent. However, it has taken so far before this decision can actually be implemented. It was the ultra-left opposition party PVDA that dusted off the decision.

More wages for employees

On the other hand, many employees see their net pay rise again in the new year. They will have an average of 20-30 euros per month. This is because of indexing the tax tables, but also because of a better calculation of withholding tax, the taxes we pay with our wages.

In addition, wages will continue to rise due to higher rates of inflation. For example, half of white-collar workers will earn 3.5 percent more than in January. You can read more about this here.

idle energy contracts

Allows energy suppliers to use the so-called passive energy contracts It no longer renews automatically. These are contracts that are actually no longer available in the market, but are tacitly renewed, so that the consumer often pays a higher price. From now on, suppliers must suggest an alternative to customers with such a contract.

“De Inspecteur” on Radio 2 discovered at the beginning of 2021 that more than half a million Belgian families had dormant energy contracts, thus paying an average of 600 euros too much annually for their energy.

For indefinite contracts, the energy supplier has until March 1 to align its business practices with the new legislation.

It is forbidden to use new oil boilers

If there is natural gas on your street, you cannot replace your heating oil with a new one from January 1. Then you will have to Switch to a different heating method. It is still allowed to repair the current installation.

The Flemish government asserts that fuel oil is one of the most polluting fossil energy sources. About 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions from home heating come from the use of fuel oil, while only 16 percent of homes are heated using it. That is why fuel oil should be phased out in favor of less polluting fuels. From April, there will also be fines, from a minimum of 3,000 euros.

A new integration process has begun

The new civil integration and integration decree will also start on January 1. In this new process, newcomers will have to pay for the courses, among other things. The Dutch course and social orientation course cost €90 per test and each test taken costs €90. A path of at least 360 euros.

Another novelty in the decree is that NT2 students will soon have to take a standardized test to reach language level A2. The Flemish Board of Education (Vlor) considers it unacceptable to give exams without preparatory scientific research. The exact timing of the mandatory exams is still unclear.

The reform plans have been met with significant criticism in recent months, not only from fluorine but also from the Flemish Social Partners (SERV). They fear that the plans will create additional barriers for newcomers. Many civil society organizations and the professional field itself have already criticized the new policy.

Sexology partially pays off

Sessions with a sexologist are partially compensated for the first time. Neutraal Ziekenfonds Vlaanderen and Vlaams & Neutraal Ziekenfonds reimburse ten euros per visit, up to ten sessions. So you can redeem up to €100 per calendar year. These two health insurance funds only intervene to visit a clinical sexologist recognized by the VVS.

Some other Flemish health insurance funds also intervene in sessions with the sexologist. But this falls under the broader heading of “psychological counseling”. Therefore, they do not distinguish between sexual and psychological care.

More expensive stamps

Stamps will become more expensive from January 1st. Bpost increases the price of non-previous stamps by 8 percent, and the price of previous stamps by more than 18 percent. Thus, the price of the cheapest stamps (a stamp that is not pre-paid in a sheet of ten stamps) rises to 1.16 euros each. Anyone who buys just one non-preprint stamp will have to pay €1.19 for it from January. The pre-stamp will cost €1.89, or €1.86 per pack of ten.

Shipping stamps to other countries will also change prices at the beginning of 2022. Sending a letter abroad is no longer possible for less than 2 euros. The cheapest price here is € 2.09, which is for a shipping stamp within Europe purchased in a package of at least five stamps. The price increase should partially offset the increased costs per outgoing speech, now that digital communications are increasingly used.

(Read more below the photo)

Car inspection is more expensive

In the new year, the prices for car inspections in Flanders will also be increased, adjusted according to the indicator. This was reported by Goca Vlaanderen, the sector’s association for vehicle inspection. For example, the inspection of a petrol car increases from 37.20 to 38.90 euros. For a diesel car, this will be 47.70 euros instead of 45.60 euros as of January 1. The cost of a re-examination is now €13.80. For manual inspection (including registration application and motor vehicle permit) it will be 76.60 euros. You will find a detailed list of prices here.

Higher taxes were imposed on commercial vehicles

From January 1, taxes on diesel and gasoline commercial vehicles will increase. The taxable benefit of these cars increases due to the annual adjustment of reference carbon dioxide emissions, the average emissions of newly registered cars.

If your employer provides you with a company car, and also allows you to use that car on private trips, the tax authorities consider this a taxable advantage. The in-kind subsidy is calculated according to a special formula. This formula takes into account, among other things, carbon dioxide emissions and the catalog value of the vehicle.

More information on this can be found in this article.

Instant fine for bike thieves

Anyone who dares to steal a bike in the New Year can expect an on-the-spot fine of €250. For electric bikes, the fine is up to 400 euros. From January 1, the government will implement a coherent policy against bike theft.

Every day about 230 bicycles are stolen in our country. Currently, drastic action is not often taken because the police and the prosecutor have their hands full of more serious crimes. The government wants to address this feeling of impunity through an eye-catching policy.

The immediate fine, which can be paid by bancontact, QR code or bank transfer, has the advantage that bike theft can be punished quickly and firmly without increasing the burden on the police and judiciary. Until now, after a bike theft incident, the police first had to interrogate the suspect, whether or not his lawyer was present, and then the prosecution would begin the prosecution.

Lock ID Card

Locksmiths should be able to present an official identification card to their customers in the new year. Today, there are still too many unreliable locksmiths who overprice, do poorly and often change phone numbers, making them difficult to trace.

Locksmiths won’t quite get that ID. They must meet two conditions: sign a code of conduct and technical competence. Thanks to the ID card, you can be sure that you are dealing with a competent and honest locksmith. In addition, there will also be checks on these cards.

C. Barton van Flymen

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