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Expat Q&A: Your guide to service vouchers in the Brussels region
Need a hand with cleaning your home or doing the household chores? Give ’Titres-services’ a try! As a method of payment subsidised by the region, the service voucher system allows anyone living in the Brussels region to take advantage of low-cost services for cleaning, ironing, shopping or transporting people with reduced mobility. The Expat Welcome Desk explains in detail how these service vouchers work.
What is a ’titre-service’?
The titres-services are a regional system through which individuals can access special services for household chores. Essentially, titres-services are a form of payment subsidised by the state, so the system is both legally compliant and fiscally advantageous. A titre-service is issued in paper or electronic format, and Sodexo is in charge of delivering service vouchers to users in the Brussels-Capital Region.
Each titre-service is nominative and cannot be transferred to another person, so you have to spend it yourself.
What services can you pay for with a titre-service?
Through the titres-services system, you can get help for tasks related to the management of your household as a private individual. These activities can take place at home or outside the home.
Here’s a complete list of services covered:
Household help in the home
Domestic help covers the following activities:
- Cleaning the home (including windows)
- Laundry and ironing
- Mending laundry
- Cooking meals
Note that babysitting services are not included!
Ironing outside the home: You can have your ironing done outside your home, at the ironing centres of approved companies.
Household shopping: These are small purchases to take care of your daily needs (for example, a trip to the post office, bakery or chemist).
The purchase of furniture, household appliances, audio-visual equipment, hot meals, the periodic distribution of newspapers and magazines, etc. is therefore excluded from household shopping.
Transport of people with reduced mobility
This service is available to the user him/herself or to his/her disabled minor child.
How much does it cost?
The price of the service voucher will differ depending on the type of user.
As a ’simple’ user, you can order a maximum of 500 service vouchers per calendar year. The cost will be:
- €10 for the first 300 ordered
- €12 for the next 200
As a household (includes all the people registered at your address), you can order a maximum of 1,000 per calendar year. The cost will be:
- €10 for the first 600 ordered
- €12 for the next 400
This applies no matter which member of your household orders the service vouchers.
Is it tax deductible?
If you are a ’simple‘ user established in the Brussels-Capital Region, you benefit from a tax reduction of €1.50/service voucher on the first 163 service vouchers purchased per person per tax year. This means that it actually costs you €8.50 for the first 163 titres-services ordered.
If you are married or cohabiting in the Brussels-Capital Region, you can each take advantage: both receive the same tax reduction (€1.50/service voucher) on the first 163 service vouchers that you each buy in your own name.In order to be eligible, you and your partner must each have a Sodexo user number.
You haven't used all your titres-services? Don't panic, the tax deduction applies to those purchased (even if you have not yet used them).
How can I register to benefit from this system?
As this is a regional service, your main residential address in the national register will have to be in the Brussels-Capital Region. You therefore first need to be sure that you have registered your residence with the commune.
Registration as a titres-services user is free and can be done:
Through an online form
- via the eID – the registration is effective immediately
- manually – the registration will be effective within 7 working days
Through this paper form which has to be filled in and sent:
- via this WEBPAGE
- by post to: SODEXO titres-services - Boulevard de la Plaine, 15, 1050 Ixelles
If you work for a European institution or an international organisation and do not have a residence permit from your local authority, you are entitled to order service vouchers, but it is not certain that you will be able to benefit from the tax deduction. This will depend on your tax situation. To register, you will need to complete the ’registration without eID‘ procedure and fill in an online form. You will receive your user number after a few days.
How to find a household helper?
The first step in finding a registered cleaner or household helper is to contact agencies specialising in home services. These agencies can put you in touch with qualified, registered cleaners who have been vetted and referenced. They will help you find a housekeeper who meets your requirements (particularly with regard to the type of services and working hours). Find an approved company in your area.
You can also search on websites specialising in home services.
Another option is to use online platforms that put private individuals in touch with home service providers. These platforms can help you find a registered cleaner, but it is important to check the person's details and references carefully before hiring them.
If you prefer to search on your own, you can publish an ad in local newspapers or on online advertising sites. Do not forget to specify that you are looking for a registered cleaner paid through titres-services, and to ask for references and proof of the person's experience.
Finally, do not hesitate to ask your friends and relatives for advice. They may know a cleaner and recommend their services.
The Expat Welcome Desk is a free service that advises internationals on the practicalities of daily life in the Belgian capital, from accommodation and residence permits to employment rights and taxation, among a number of topics.