An individual who transfers or licenses copyrights or related rights in exchange for a remuneration can benefit from a favorable tax regime since 2008.

The remuneration received in exchange for the transfer or licensing of the copyrights qualifies as movable income which is taxed at a separate tax rate of 15% ( certain thresholds apply). Since the taxable basis is calculated by deducting lump sum expenses, the effective tax rate is further reduced. 

At the end of 2022, the Belgian legislator amended this favorable copyright regime thereby a.o. restricting the scope of the regime. For more information, we refer to our previous article

A number of software developers and companies operating in the information technology sector have argued that the amendments violated the principle of equality in as far as income relating to computer programs would be excluded from the scope of the favorable copyright regime.

Judgement of the Constitutional Court

On 16 May 2024, the Belgian Constitutional Court addressed this issue. The Court first confirmed that the reformed copyright regime must be interpreted as to exclude income related to computer programs.

The Court subsequently ruled that the exclusion of income relating to computer programs from the favorable copyright regime is reasonably justified. The Court has therefore concluded that the principle of equality has not been violated.