Twenty digital platforms – such as Vinted or Airbnb – have provided the Belgian tax authorities with detailed lists of all Belgians who sold or rented goods or services via these platforms. “We are going to work on this now,” said the tax authorities.
A recent European directive obliges so-called “platform operators” to provide transparency once a year about which users are active on their platform. This had to happen for the first time this year; the lists had to reach the tax authorities by Wednesday, January 31 at the latest.
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In concrete terms, for example, a platform like Vinted must report to the Belgian tax authorities which Belgians via Vinted “either performed 30 or more transactions through Vinted in 2023, or earned more than 2,000 euros via the same platform”. Anyone who remains below that will be left alone.
At the beginning of last year, Vinted informed all users that it would effectively transfer this information to the tax authorities. Anyone who did not agree to this could no longer use Vinted.
However, Vinted is not alone: it concerns all platform operators. Also consider Airbnb, eBay, but also numerous other digital rental or sales platforms. “Last Tuesday we had already received the requested reports from 20 different digital platforms,” said Francis Adyns, spokesperson for the FPS Finance. The government service itself does not want to say which platforms are or are not involved.
Two platforms informed the government that they believe they are not subject to the reporting obligation. “That is now being further examined.”
The tax authorities – which until now tried to determine on their own to what extent Belgians are active on such digital platforms – will now work with this detailed information. “This is with a view to identifying taxpayers who do not meet their tax obligations,” Adyns added.
If you regularly sell or rent something via a digital platform, the tax authorities may decide that it is “occasional income”, on which you are in principle taxed at 33 percent. Anyone who earns very large sums from renting via Airbnb, for example, even risks having these amounts considered as professional income.