Flanders adapts its car tax scheme for 2021
The Flemish government is changing its car tax scheme on the 1st of January 2021. As a result, 70% of the (lower-priced) vehicles will pay fewer taxes, 30% will pay (a lot) more. This was announced by the Flemish Finance Minister Mathias Diependaele (N-VA).
The change results from the new WLTP emission testing, which will be taken into account instead of the NEDC-measurements from the 1st of January 2021. As these CO2 emission figures are higher, the taxes (based on them) will be higher. In Flanders, this concerns registration tax (the so-called BIV) and yearly road tax.
But the Flemish administration also adapted its calculation method. “If we didn’t do this, there would be a serious increase for everyone,” says Diependaele. In the new system, the taxes on small popular cars decrease ant they increase heavily for big and heavy SUVs.
Some examples, an Opel Corsa can pay up to €143 less registration tax, a Renault Clio up to €100, etc. On the contrary, a Mercedes GLC or a BMW X3, both SUVs, will pay up to €447 and €794 more.
This doesn’t account for all SUVs. The new Hyundai Tucson or the recent Volvo XC40 will also pay less (€215 and €193, respectively) because their WLTP results differ less from the previous NEDC testing.
Minister Diependale stresses that this will not benefit the treasury, all in all, it will be a zero operation. He estimates that 70% will pay less, 30% more.
PHEV and CNG
Plug-in hybrid cars and those running on CNG (compressed natural gas) will no longer benefit from the tax exemption. Only the fully electric cars and those running on hydrogen remain in this category.
Especially for CNG-driven cars, this will make a big difference. Plug-in hybrid cars and CNG cars purchased until the 31st of December of this year will benefit from the old ruling and be exempted from taxes.
Be aware that these changes apply for individual car buyers only in Flanders. Lease cars and company cars fall under federal tax rules and are not implied here.
Pickups under fire
Apart from this, the Flemish government is also studying the pickup truck’s statute, as we mentioned earlier. A pickup is always considered a ‘light freight’ vehicle and very lowly taxed because of its mainly professional use.
But now the Flemish administration has noted that the number of pickups has tripled in ten years. A lot of them are not used professionally but just bought for pleasure and to avoid taxes.
To counter this improper use, the Flemish government is studying different means to alter this aberrant behavior without penalizing the real professional users.
Some critical voices also point at the fact that such big vehicles don’t belong on Belgian roads. Their bulk and weight are even aggravating the accidents they’re involved in.