Living in Belgium, working in Germany

If you work in Germany, you are liable to pay income tax on your salary in Germany. This also applies to people who live in Belgium and work in Germany. As a cross-border worker, you can take advantage of possible deductions and other tax benefits of the German tax system under certain conditions. To do so, you must meet the requirements for the so-called 90% rule, i.e. 90% of your income in the calendar year must be subject to German tax liability or your world income subject to German tax liability must not exceed € 9,744 (as of 2021/2022: € 9,984). The wage tax withheld depends on the tax bracket, which also depends on the family situation.

If you live in Belgium and work in Germany, you are subject to compulsory social security in Germany. However, this does not mean that you lose all your Belgian benefit entitlements, e.g. with your health insurance. If you have health insurance in Germany, you can continue to see your doctor in Belgium through your Belgian health insurance. However, you must be enrolled in a Belgian health insurance scheme.

If you become fully unemployed, you must claim your unemployment benefit in Belgium.

If you have children and your partner (or another parent) works in Belgium, the child supplement will be paid as a priority. It is possible that you will receive a compensatory amount from Germany if the child supplement is higher there. If your partner does not work and does not receive any benefit from Belgium, you are entitled to the German child supplement as a priority. Since 2019, the responsibilities for the child supplement differ depending on the region.

As an employee who lives in Belgium but works in Germany, you build up a German pension (Rustpensioen/pension de veillesse). In Germany, the German pension insurance is responsible for the pension. A company pension (collective pensioenverzekering, assurance groupe) is not a matter of course, please ask your employer. If the spouse working in Germany dies, the surviving dependants are covered by a widow’s pension (pension de survie). For this, please contact the German pension insurance. Any widow’s pension will only be paid if you were married.

Residence permit

If you do not have EU nationality, you are not allowed to work in Germany without a residence and work permit. For more information, please visit the Federal Ministry of the Interior website. This website is also available in English.

Working in several countries

If you work in more than one country, you may be subject to different rules regarding both social security and taxation. In these cases, we advise you to always contact Team GWO or a Border Info Point for personal advice.

General information about working in another EU country

The following animated film provides general information about working in another EU country and the consequences for your social security. For your specific situation, please contact an adviser at a GrenzInfoPunkt.

A lot of information about living and working in another EU country can also be found on this website:Living and working abroad