Fiscal declaration on dependent family

General information on dependent family

A part of the monthly salary is withheld as income tax: the withholding tax. If you have children (or in exceptional cases, other family members) whose expenses are fiscally considered to be your responsibility, you are entitled to a reduction in the withholding tax for family responsibilities and therefore a higher net salary.

If you have one or more dependents, you will receive a tax benefit, namely an increase in your tax-free minimum. This means that a larger part of your income is not taxed and that your tax owed therefore decreases. It is therefore important to know which persons you can consider as dependents from a tax point of view.

If you are married or legally cohabiting and both you and your partner have a professional income, the reduction in withholding tax for family responsibilities (children or other persons) can only be applied to one of the partners. In this case, your employer can only apply the reduction if you officially inform him that you wish benefit from it.

This communication must be in the form of an official statement, to be signed by both partners, in which one partner (male or female) expressly waives the reduction in withholding tax, and the other partner opts to be allocated the reduction.

  • The partner for whom the reduction is to be applied must submit the original declaration form, properly completed, dated and signed by both partners to his / her employer.
  • The partner who waives the reduction provides a copy of the form to his / her employer.
  • On the form, the partner who waives the reduction must also indicate that he / she informed the "debtor of the professional income" (the employer or the entity that pays a replacement income) of this decision. This should only be done when the partner who waives the reduction is an employee. In that case, he / she must include the name and address of his / her employer under "Name and address of the aforementioned debtor" and, as noted above, submit a copy of the "Declaration Family responsibilities" to his / her employer. This arrangement is only applicable to married persons and legal cohabitants who both have a professional income.

Partners are considered to be legally cohabiting if they submitted a written declaration of cohabitation to the civil registrar.

Professional income refers to income from either salaried or self-employed activities, but also includes a replacement income such as unemployment benefits. In this context, the scholarship granted to a doctoral fellow is not considered as a professional income.

The tax deduction provided for family members or the application of the marriage quotient is only applicable for residents in Belgium. If you are a non-resident, the deductions will not be taken into calculation through the salary slip. If you are entitled to a certain right as non-resident; the paid taxation will be corrected with the annual tax declaration that is completed.

More information on the yearly taxation can be found here

When to complete this document?

  • When you start your employment at Ghent University
  • When your family situation changes
  • Or when family is moving (on a later that than the start of the employment) to Belgium; or is leaving Belgium

This document must be completed as from the moment dependent family will be living in Belgium with you on the same address and is depend to live from your income.


When all the conditions are met, you can take the following dependents as fiscally dependent who live in Belgium:

  • your children or adopted children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren
  • the children whom you have wholly or mainly dependent on you
  • your ascendants (parents, grandparents),
  • your (half) brothers and (half) sisters,
  • the persons who had your dependents when you were a child.

Persons not included in this list can under no circumstances be regarded as dependents.

Your spouse, the person with whom you legally cohabit or with whom you form a de facto family, can therefore never be considered a dependent.

The conditions to be fiscal dependent are following:

  • the persons must be part of the family in Belgium on the 1st of January of the current year. (Family that arrives in June; can only be taken into calculation as dependent for taxation as from the 1st of January following on that June month).
  • Their income cannot exceed a certain amount. This amount can be found here
  • They may not receive remuneration that you bring in as a business expense.

Marriage quotient

You cannot take charge of your spouse, your legal cohabitant, or the person with whom you form a defacto family.

However, if you or your spouse / legal cohabitant has little or no professional income, you will automatically benefit from the “marriage quotient”. This ensures that during the calculation of the tax, part of the professional income of the partner with the largest income is transferred to the other partner. That part will then be taxed at a lower rate and the tax due will decrease.


  • you must submit a joint declaration (persons who form a de facto family are therefore not intended),
  • the professional income of the partner with the lowest professional income must be less than 30% of the total professional income of both partners combined.
  • The marriage quotient is thus added to the professional income of the partner with the lowest professional income until he / she reaches 30% of the total professional income of both partners combined. The marriage quotient is a maximum of a certain amount that can be found on this website.

No marriage quotient is allocated when it increases the tax payable.

If your partner does not have an income, the beneficial marriage quotient can be taken into account for the tax withdrawals on the payslip. This will also reduce the taxes that are paid through the monthly salary and will let the net monthly salary rise.

As from the moment the partner does find a job in Belgium, it is important to inform this to the DPO helpdesk, as it will impact your taxes and salary.