A withholding tax card or "tax card" contains information about:
- the tax class of the employee or pensioner (for the main card), or;
- the tax rate (for the additional card).
This document is necessary for the employer or the pension fund to establish the withholding tax on salaries or pensions.
The card is issued at the beginning of the year by the competent tax office (RTS office) of the Luxembourg Inland Revenue (Administration des contributions directes – ACD) for resident employees or pensioners.
Who is concerned
All resident employees working in Luxembourg, as well as all pensioners who are subject to taxation in Luxembourg, must have a withholding tax card.
Income from a paid occupation and pensions paid by Luxembourg statutory pension funds are subject to withholding tax (tax deducted at source).
Taxes deducted at source by employers or pension funds are based on the tax scale appearing on the main tax card and, if applicable, the tax rate appearing on the additional tax cards.
The withholding tax on wages or pensions is determined by taking into account the tax reduction (deductions, abatements and tax credits) mentioned on the withholding tax card ("tax card").
How to proceed
Issuing of tax cards
The withholding tax cards are issued automatically by the ACD once a year, as well as in the event of a change in personal circumstances.
Tax cards are sent directly to recipients by post. It cannot be picked up directly from the issuing RTS office.
If a taxpayer who received a tax card in year N has not received his year N + 1 tax card before March 1 of year N + 1, he must contact the competent RTS office and inform his/her employer that the application is in progress.
Changes in personal or professional circumstances
The tax card is automatically updated by the ACD within an average of 30 working days if the following events occur:
- a change of employer;
- a change in the employer's company name or address;
- the employee is deregistered from the Joint Social Security Centre (CCSS) by the employer;
- retirement, in accordance with the social security laws;
- a change in the composition of a taxpayer's household as reported to the Children's Future Fund (Caisse pour l'avenir des enfants – CAE).
- any change of address and/or marital status of a resident taxpayer as reported to a "Biergercenter" of a Luxembourg communal administration.
Tax cards are not affected by civil partnerships.
A taxpayer who gets married or has a child during the year sees his or her tax class change:
- in the event of marriage: if the spouses are taxed jointly, they will be listed in tax class 2;
- in the event of the birth of a child: if a taxpayer benefits from a tax reduction (in any form whatsoever) for the child, he will be listed in tax class 1a, unless he is already listed in class 2.
These tax class changes on the tax card take effect from the date of marriage or the birth of the child. Tax withheld between the date of birth and the delivery of the new updated tax card may be rectified after the new tax card is submitted to the employer or the pension fund.
Checking and submission of tax cards
The taxpayer must check the information printed on the card upon receipt.
Employees must submit their original card to their employer (or the competent body) before unemployment or re-employment benefits can be granted.
In principle, pensioners only receive a copy for information purposes, while the original is sent directly to the pension fund. The tax card is established based on data from the last card issued when the taxpayer was employed.
If any of the information on the card is incorrect, the changes must be requested to the Luxembourg Inland Revenue (Competent RTS Office) using form 164 R and attaching the required supporting documents.
The Luxembourg Inland Revenue reserves the right to request supporting documents as part of the process of verifying any information, statements, applications, declarations, claims or appeals submitted to its offices.
The different types of tax cards
The taxpayer who receives several salaries or pensions at the same time receives multiple tax cards.
The same applies to married taxpayers who each receive a salary or a pension which is taxable in Luxembourg, and who are subject to joint taxation.
Workers who have several employers must submit a tax card to each employer.
The withholding tax from the main salary (the most stable and highest salary) is calculated and applied on the basis of the main withholding tax card (1st tax card) by application of the tax scale for salaries or pensions.
For other salaries, the withholding is made on the basis of an additional tax card (second, third, etc., tax card), with the application of a fixed tax withholding rate of:
- 33 % for tax class 1;
- 21% for tax class 1a;
- 15 % for tax class 2.
If the main tax card does not apply to the most stable and highest income, taxpayers may file a request with the relevant RTS office, using form 164 R, to have the main card changed to an additional card.
Taxpayers must provide the necessary supporting documents (copies of both spouses' salary slips for the last 3 months) attesting to their income.
The taxpayers must specify that they wish to have the main card changed to an additional card by including the annotation, 'Prière de reconsidérer la fiche principale' (Please review the main card). This change has no influence on the tax due at the end of the year, but only on the amount of tax deducted at source.
Taxpayers applying for a reduced rate must attach copies of their payslips for the last 3 months with the annotation, '
Registration of tax deductions on the tax card
Employees/pensioners may file a request (using form 164 R) to have certain tax deductions listed on their tax card (deductions, abatements, tax credit) so that they can be taken into account by their employer or relevant pension fund when calculating net income.
For example, the taxpayer may request the registration:
- of additional business expenses (frais d'obtention - FO);
- single-parent tax credit (
- interest expenses (only on personal loans – special expenses);
- divorce-related arrears on payments and permanent expenses (special expenses);
- old-age provident fund premiums (special expenses);
- payments into a home savings scheme (special expenses);
- certain extraordinary expenses (illness, parents in need, disability, household staff expenses, childcare expenses, children who do not belong to the taxpayer's household, etc.);
- insurance contributions and premiums (special expenses);
- flat-rate travel expenses (FD);
- for the deduction of the increased-rate allowance for business expenses of disabled employees, a copy of the medical certificate specifying the degree of reduction of employee's work capacity should be attached.
- the tax allowance for sustainable forms of transport.
Interest expenses relating to the purchase of a residential property may not be included on the tax card, and will only be taken into account as expenses upon the filing of an income tax return (form 100, sheet L).
The tax deductions listed on a tax card are valid only for the year for which they were requested. Applications must be renewed every year to ensure that the required conditions are met.
The advantage of tax-card listings is that they enable tax reductions (deductions, abatements, tax credit) to be taken into account when calculating the net salary without having to wait for the income tax assessment notice resulting from the tax return.
The amount of tax deducted at source during a fiscal year may occasionally be too high or too low. The difference can be refunded or recovered retroactively during the year following the fiscal year, either through an adjustment by the tax base method (form 100 - tax return) or by annual adjustment (form 163).
Supporting documents to be submitted
The supporting documents to be attached to the application for registration of a tax deduction must be accompanied by the documents listed on the last page of the form 164.
The Luxembourg Inland Revenue reserves the right to request additional supporting documents as part of the process of verifying any information, statements, applications, declarations, claims or appeals submitted to its offices.
Tax cards are not affected by civil partnerships.
Requesting a duplicate tax card
Employees/pensioners who are Luxembourg residents and who have lost their tax card must file a request for a duplicate with the relevant RTS tax office, preferably using the form 164 R provided for that purpose.
Please note: the withholding tax card is not to be confused with:
- the salary certificate;
- the pension certificate;
- the income certificate.
No tax card
If no tax card is submitted to the employer or pension fund, the tax deducted at source on the salary or pension is determined on the basis of tax class 1, and the tax rate may not be lower than 33 %.
Forms / Online services
Demande en établissement, rectification, inscription d'une modération ou établissement d'un duplicata d'une fiche de retenue pour contribuables résidents (Modèle 164 R F)
Antrag auf Ausstellung, Berichtigung, Eintragung einer Ermäßigung oder Ausstellung eines Duplikates einer Steuerkarte für ansässige Steuerpflichtige (Vordruck 164 R D)