As a self-employed student, you will have to deal with a number of taxes: the VAT return, social security contributions and personal income tax. You are entitled to a full exemption for all the aforementioned taxes, which means that you do not have to pay anything provided that your annual income as a self-employed student remains below €8,204.59. If you exceed this amount, you can possibly still get an exemption for the other 2 taxes. It is important to know that these exemptions must first be requested manually to avoid having to pay taxes in advance, despite staying below the limit amount. So definitely a must-do for every starting self-employed person!

In this article we'll discuss the following topics:

The social contributions

Applying for social contributions must be done via the enterprise counter where you are registered as a self-employed person. Assuming that you have received your company number through our partner Acerta, you must also apply for the exemption for social security contributions through Acerta. The best way to do this is via Acerta's web form.

Enter your estimated income for the year for which you want to apply for the exemption and if it is below $8,204.59, the application will usually be approved. The estimated income only takes into account the income as a self-employed student, so you should not include your earnings as a student worker. You will receive a confirmation email afterwards to ensure you are exempt or not.

If you are not sure whether you already have an exemption from social security contributions, please contact Acerta.

The personal income tax

Do you earn €10,160 net or less? Then you do not pay personal income tax (income year 2023). If you go over that, the income bracket up to €10,160 will still be exempt. Simply put, it means that you are always entitled to an exemption, regardless of your income. If you exceed the limit of €10,160, you only pay personal income tax from the income above €10,160. If you stay below the limit, you will receive a full exemption and you will pay €0 in personal income tax. Please note that you must add your income as a student worker to your income as a self-employed student.

The personal income tax is calculated by the FPS Finance (Federal Public Service or FOD Financiën in Dutch) and is calculated automatically at the end of the income year. You do not have to apply for this yourself or fill in a form.

The VAT return

As a self-employed student, you can claim the VAT exemption scheme if your annual income does not exceed €25,000. This amount only calculates the income from self-employed activity, so you do not have to add the earnings as a student. If you meet the conditions, you are therefore entitled to the VAT exemption scheme for small businesses. The VAT exemption can be applied for automatically when you apply for a company number, or afterwards after your company number has already been activated. So there are 2 possibilities:

Applying for an exemption for a new company

This means that your company number has not yet been applied for. When applying for your company number to start as a self-employed person, you always first fill in a form (called form 604A). In this form you have the choice to opt for 'VAT exemption scheme for small businesses'. When you indicate this choice, you are automatically exempt from VAT from the start.

Apply for an exemption for an existing company

If the above is not the case and you did not opt for the 'VAT exemption for small businesses' when registering your company, you can still apply for it afterwards. In this case, you submit a 'declaration to change a VAT identification' via form 604B. You fill in the form via the MyMinfin link. Afterwards you will receive an email confirmation for approval or rejection of your change request.

Please note that if your application has been approved, it will only take effect from a certain date.

You must submit your application:

  • before 1 June for an entry into force on 1 July
  • before 15 December for an entry into force on 1 January

If you are not sure whether you already have a VAT exemption, it's best to contact FPS Finance.