Wage and Salary

It is difficult to compare Belgian and German salaries. There are differences in taxes withheld and social security contributions also differ.

An example of German pay slip

For an idea of what your pay slip may look like, here is an example:

Month Year
Salary € 2,500.00 € 30,000.00
– Pension insurance € 232.50 € 2,790.00
– Unemployment insurance € 30.00 € 360.00
– Health insurance € 198.75 € 2,385.00
– Long-term care insurance € 44.38 € 532.56
Total of social contributions € 505.63 € 6,067.56
– Solidarity tax € 0.00 € 0.00
– Church tax € 0.00 € 0.00
– Income tax € 274.00 € 3,288.00
Total taxes € 274.00 € 3,288.00
Net € 1,720.37 € 20,644.44
Your entries
Year Tax class Exemption Children Church KV rate
2021 1 € 0.00 No 14.6 % – 1.3 %

This assumes the following:

  • it concerns someone who is not married or is married to a partner who has income in Belgium (tax class 1)
  • the employee does not have to pay church tax in Germany, this only applies to residents of Germany
  • the employee has compulsory (or voluntary) legal health insurance costs in Germany
  • Caution: this example does not take into account the 8% reduction in income tax provided for in the double taxation agreement because municipal tax is still payable on German income in Belgium.

A married person whose Belgian income is equal to the income of his partner below a certain limit (2021: € 9,744 for single assessment – joint assessment: €19,488) may be placed in a different tax class, namely tax class 3. This implies that the net salary per month will be higher. You must take into account that the classification into tax classes is only the preliminary assessment for the final wage tax in Germany. If it turns out afterwards that the classification was not correct, you can expect a claim for reimbursement. Find out in advance from staff at the GrenzInfoPunkt or the tax office (Team GWO)

In addition to income tax, you also pay solidarity surcharge. This is a percentage of the income tax. From 2021, the exemption limit up to which no solidarity surcharge is payable will increase. For a single taxpayer, it will rise to €16,956; for a joint taxpayer, to € 33,912.

The social security contributions withheld are significantly higher than in Belgium (approx. 20% compared to 13.08% in Belgium)