A new tax rule allowing people to make up to €6,000 a year without paying tax while performing certain odd-jobs has been postponed by parliament, after a legal challenge to the Council of State. The new rule covers retired people or those in regular employment at least 80% full-time, making some money on the side of their regular salary performing a range of tasks including minor repairs and maintenance, giving lessons or working in the context of volunteer associations.
But the organisation Unizo, which represents the self-employed, criticised the measure, arguing it would present professional independents with unfair competition. Tradesmen like plumbers and joiners have to pay tax like everyone else, the organisation said, with no access to a tax break worth €500 a month.
Now opposition parties in the Chamber – PS, Ecolo-Groen, cdH and sp.a – have tabled amendments to the bill, and called for the amended version to be returned to the Council of State for an opinion. That could delay the measure returning to the parliament for weeks, or even longer, given that the summer recess is soon upon us.
The measure’s main supporter, government party Open VLD, said it was confident the new rule would pass when the time comes.