Paying taxes as an employee or pensioner

Last updated more than 5 years ago

Taxpayers employed in Luxembourg or who receive a statutory retirement pension from a Luxembourg source are in principle subject to tax withholding by the employer or the pension fund. The amount of tax withheld on wages, salaries or pensions may in fact correspond to the final tax owed by the employee or pensioner.

In some cases, employees or pensioners, whether resident or non-resident in Luxembourg, are still required to file an income tax return in Luxembourg and report their taxable income. This is known as taxation by assessment.

After the duly completed and signed tax return has been filed by the employee or pensioner, the tax office will check its content and verify the information and documents provided. Next, the tax office will issue an income tax assessment and the Revenue Department of Luxembourg Inland Revenue (Administration des contributions directes – ACD) will issue an adjustment based on the information provided on this assessment.

The tax assessment serves as notice of assessment. Its purpose is to inform the taxpayer of the amount of tax due. It summarises the information provided in the income tax return and shows net reported income, the special expenses and allowances to which the taxpayer is entitled, the tax withheld at source and any adjustments made by the relevant tax office.

The adjustment resulting from the tax assessment recapitulates the amount of income tax to be paid (in the 'balance due' column) or refunded (in the 'excess paid' column), as well as the payment date for tax due.

Taxpayers who filed a joint income tax return each receive a copy of the tax assessment and of the adjustment resulting from the tax assessment.

It should be noted that the fiscal adaptation law rules out the payment of interest on tax refunds by the state.

Who is concerned

The information provided on this page applies to employees or pensioners, whether they are residents or non-residents:

  • who must file an income tax return in Luxembourg; and
  • who receive a tax assessment indicating a tax balance to be paid.

Prerequisites

Employees or pensioners must first file an income tax return with the relevant tax office.

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How to proceed

Paying the tax due

The taxpayer must pay the tax due within 1 month of receiving notice of the tax assessment. If notice of the tax due is given in Luxembourg, it will be presumed that notice was given on the third working day after the postmark date. If notice of the tax due is given abroad, notice will be considered to be given on the receipt of the tax assessment.

Payment of the tax due must be made to the bank account mentioned on the adjustment following the tax assessment. For the Revenue Department of Luxembourg Inland Revenue to be able to process the payment, the bank transfer must include the following information:

  • the type of tax (for example, income tax);
  • the tax year;
  • the taxpayer’s tax number (or file number for taxpayers filing jointly) or, if none has been assigned, the taxpayer’s date of birth.

Failure to meet the payment deadline will generally lead to late payment penalties. A penalty of 0.6 % for each month after the payment date is calculated on the amount of tax due.

Taxpayers required to make quarterly advance tax payments must comply with the following payment dates:

  • 10 March;
  • 10 June;
  • 10 September; and
  • 10 December of the tax year.

If the advance payments are not made in accordance with these scheduled dates, the taxpayer will be subject to a late payment penalties of 0.6 % per month, starting with the month following the payment date.

Advance tax payment amounts are set by the relevant tax office on the basis of the most recent tax assessment. Upon receipt of a substantiated request from the taxpayer, the advance payment amounts may be revised. The tax offices strive to ensure the fair and equitable determination of quarterly advance tax payments for taxpayers and update their criteria with each income tax return filed. 

Requesting an extension of the payment deadline after receiving the tax assessment

On request, taxpayers may obtain additional time for the payment of the tax due.

To be accepted, the request for an extension of the payment deadline must be:

  • substantiated, which means that it must explain the reasons for the request;
  • written on a separate sheet of paper;
  • sent to the tax office at the address shown on the adjustment received prior to the initial tax payment date.

In principle, requests for deadline extensions will be denied by the tax office if submitted by taxpayers whose financial situation would allow them to easily pay their tax debt.

If a taxpayer’s request is approved by Luxembourg Inland Revenue, a payment schedule will be established so the taxpayer can pay the debt in several instalments over a predetermined period.

When a payment deadline extension is granted, late payment penalties are not applied for the 4 months following the initial payment deadline. Beyond these 4 months, the late payment penalty is calculated as follows:

  • 0.1 % per month, for payments between 5 months and 1 year overdue;
  • 0.2 % per month, for payments between 1 and 3 years overdue;
  • 0.6 % per month, for payments more than 3 years overdue.

Failure to comply with the payment schedule makes normal late payment penalties chargeable on the balance still due of 0.6 % per month, not counting the month of the missed deadline and the month of payment considered as a full month.

If the employee or pensioner disagrees with the tax assessment issued by the relevant tax office, they may contest the decision of the tax authorities before the Director of Luxembourg Inland Revenue.

Who to contact

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