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Belgian residents made record donations to charity last year

13:34 27/12/2021

New figures show a record number of Belgian residents made a donation to charity in 2020 - in a year when many people's income was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis.

Some 960,110 Belgian taxpayers made at least one charitable donation last year, according to data from household tax returns.

The number of Belgian residents who report donations in their tax return has increased year after year. Five years ago, the figure was 724,819.

Donations of at least €40 are rewarded by the taxman. Normally they attract a 45% tax reduction, meaning a €40 donation costs €22 in real terms.

But last year, the tax relief on charitable donations was increased to 60% to encourage people to support charitable initiatives during the coronavirus pandemic, meaning a €40 donation cost €16 in real terms.

This led to a record €370 million of tax-deductible donations to charity being made in 2020, up by more than a quarter on the previous year's €290 million.

Unfortunately, the 60% tax relief has not been renewed in 2021 - a year in which many Belgian households helped donate to the flood relief effort. But you can still make a 45% tax-deductible donation to a recognised charity of your choosing in the coming days, before 31 December.

Photo: Maxime Asselberghs/Belga

Written by The Bulletin