With this new month comes a number of changes that can affect your budget. Overview of major changes.
Low interest rate for the e-DEPO account
Due to the European Central Bank’s (ECB) tightening monetary policy, interest rates on the e-DEPO account, the government’s “savings account”, have been on the rise. In less than a year, it went from 0 to 3.1% total. Next month, those increases will come to an abrupt end. Most importantly, interest decreases.
- Fearing the impact of the interest rate hike on public finances, the government decided to put an end to it. Starting next month, the rate will be 2.5%, compared to 3.1% this month.
- After paying the withholding tax (30%), you will get a net rate of 1.75% in May.
- It was also decided to limit or suspend deposits. “This decision may be taken after a reasoned opinion from the Federal Debt Agency, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Minister of Finance.”
From May 1, all private sector workers are entitled to a bicycle allowance. This decision was taken by trade unions and employers’ organizations during the National Council of Labor (CNT) convening at the beginning of the year.
- From this date, those who cycle to work will be entitled to a maximum compensation of €0.27 per kilometer traveled. Last year, this allowance was 0.25 euros per kilometer.
- Compensation applies to a maximum of 40 km per day out and back. “This represents a cap of €10.80 per day. This is definitely an interesting incentive for workers to cycle (part of) their commute more regularly,” says Virl Michels, mobility expert at SD Worx.
- Last but not least The bicycle allowance only applies to home-based business trips, not to professional trips.
- You are entitled to a bike allowance if you use a regular, electric, mountain bike, racing bike, pedal bike (more powerful electric bike than base models), folding bike or cargo bike.
Proximus launches new tariff plans for mobile phones
Telecom company Proximus is launching four new mobile tariff plans on May 2.
- Mobile Basics: 5GB of mobile data, unlimited texting and 150 calling minutes for €16.99 per month.
- Mobile Easy: 10GB of mobile data and unlimited calls and texts for €19.99 per month. Customers with such a subscription can access the Proximus 5G network at speeds of up to 200Mbps.
- Mobile Maxi: 50 GB of mobile data, unlimited calls and texts for €29.99 per month. People who subscribe to this subscription can access 5G speeds of up to 500Mbps.
- Mobile Unlimited: A completely unlimited subscription, with unlimited data and unlimited calls and texts for €49.99 per month. This subscription comes with 5G speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The end of cash on trains
From May 1, if you bought the ticket on the train itself, you will need to use your bank card. Cash will no longer be accepted.
- Cash payments will still be possible at counters and ATMs.
- The main arguments put forward by SNCB: ensuring better safety for employees on board, who will not have cash, and following the societal trend towards digitization and electronic payment.
Reminder: It’s time to complete your tax return
Finance Minister Vincent van Peteghem (CD&V) has submitted the tax return for the 2022 tax year. You will have to complete it and submit it to the tax authorities in the coming months.
- Please note: those who have their tax return completed by an accountant will have less time to file it. The same deadline now applies to all individuals. The tax letter must have been received by the tax department by June 30 at the latest. The deadline has been extended to July 15th for those using the platform taxes on the web.
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