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Taxes

More than €5 billion of taxes go into the state budget

* Contributions to the social security system
Sources: National Bank of Belgium, National Accounts Institute, National Social Security Office

The chemicals and life sciences sector makes a significant contribution to the federal, regional and local public finances through the taxes it pays. To give a balanced picture of the sector’s contribution, benefits from subsidies and tax incentives are also taken into account.

 In 2019, companies and employees in the chemicals and life sciences industry contributed more than €5 billion to the state budget , equivalent to 25% of the sector’s value added in 2019.

The main contribution comes from companies’ social security contributions (€1.8 billion in 2019). These help to finance the social security system, and account for 35% of the sector’s total net contribution to the state.

The sector’s 94,000 workers also contribute to the state budget through their individual social security contributions (€789 million in 2019) and personal income taxes (an estimated €1.5 billion in 2019).

Corporate taxes are also an important source of state financing : the sector paid 1.6 billion in 2019. Corporate taxes on profit amounted to €1 billion after tax incentives, with the balance accounted for by environmental, property and other taxes on production activities (€173 million in 2019). Pharmaceutical distributors in Belgium also pay an annual tax on the sale of pharmaceutical products on the Belgium market (€375 million in 2019).

In addition, the sector contributes indirectly to the state budget through the indirect taxes and additional levies it pays. For example, as an intensive energy consumer, the industry pays taxes on energy through its energybill, such as the federal levies on electricity and gas, and levies linked to renewable energy, energy efficiency and CHP.  In the absence of consolidated official public data, these sums have not been taken into account.

On the other hand, the sector received tax incentives on wages and subsidies, particularly related to R&D and shift work, worth an estimated €509 million in 2019. These incentives are crucial to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of the chemicals and life sciences industry in Belgium.

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