taxes & technologie

nissan leaf

the belgian state is traditionally a master in inventing taxes and at the same time finding exceptions for the lobbies and the rich and the poor to pay less taxes – ahummmm

it would be much better to pay less taxes and have less exceptions – but that’s another question 😉

needless to say that we the belgians are champion in trying to avoid those taxes !!  it is a national sport

multi billion € jackpot

today cars are heavily taxed – that is to say not the car itself but the driving  – a tank filled with 100€ gas or diesel brings up quickly around 70€ vat and excise duties to the state – a total of more than 5.5 billion € per annum or around 1000€/car/year – money that is unfortunatley not always invested in better roads…

it s in the interest of the state that this hydrocarbon jackpot is going on for ever and ever – to pay for the generous pensions of the civil servants – and even more with the so-called ‘urgent’ change from diesel to gas due to environmental pressure – which seems to be a hoax

with the fragile rise of the electric cars – and better and better batteries and thus radius – the state needs to tackle a big problem

electric cars are better for the environment – at least when you consider that the electricity is not coming from nuclear plants and that car owners will produce their own energy – e.g. with efficient solar panels and a large (tesla ?) home battery

and driving electric is cheap : 1€ for 100kms – against 10€/100kms with traditional cars

the state s sink hole

it is the environmentalists wet dream that all cars will drive electric in the next 10 years…  it s really not impossible – the technology exists today !  but do you hear that from the government ?  no…  and why ?

replacing all 5.5 million hydrocarbon cars with electric cars in belgium would create an enormous sink hole in the state s treasury

a prosperous time is coming for toll collecting companies – everything is already in place and working for trucks – the next step is smaller private cars – probably somewhere after the 2019 elections ??  frankly : belgium needs that money – not only for it s bad roads but also to pay for your and my pension

genderless – less gender

since a couple of months it s possible in belgium to change gender on the ID or passport

it s pretty easy to do so at the administration desk of the city

and for those who are hesitating – it’s even possible to register an ‘x’ for not man not woman

it seems like a victory for those who are struggling with their identity and genderfluidity

and than i read this article from selm wenselaers in zizo magazine about how transgenders must choose who they want to be – society is pushing them to choose

well isn t that strange ?

society is changing fast and next to women and men we need other ways of describing diversity – but it s absolutely strange that no one has ever thought of abolishing asking the question : what gender do you have ??

why wasn t it possible to stop mentioning the gender on the id card ? can some one tell me why that is still necessary ?

wouldn t that be easier and simpler – except for the marketeers – who still cares whether one is a man or a woman ?  hasn t it become an insult to ask a person whether he is a man a woman an x ?

in a society

where biometrics are more and more important

one s identity can easily be read by the iris

by the shape of the head


the chemical composition of sweat

is gender still relevant ?

i wish at least one politician had had the brains to abolish gender questions for id cards or any other form and forbid it to ask or register that for marketing purposes

that would for sure simplify the world and society

the success of airbnb

jo van hove airbnb

recently i put my apartment on airbnb with the main idea to have a bit of pocket money to travel

so there i went : making a description, deciding about the price, making some nice pictures, buying some new bed linnen, etc etc…  quite some work !!

this is the result

i was waiting for the first guest to book

and waw : only one day later i was a bit in a panic because a booking came in – never expected that so fast !

when a guest comes in – cleaning the house, preparing everything at the cosiest and cleanest possible – which took me more than 2 hours

during the entire cleaning before, during and after the stay – i was wondering what makes airbnb a so great experience

three things strike me the most

  1. it’s easy to get in and easy to set up
  2. airbnb takes care of the money – so you are hassle free with your guests and the money transfer is instant
  3. airbnb works completely on social surveillance with ratings and reviews and comments that make it really safe to accept guests – you cannot afford to rent out a filthy room and guest cannot afford to behave like animals because you want a good rating because good ratings means income

it s a real smart system – based on trust and confidence – i just love it

except that politicians are now walking in the trap of the ‘hotel lobby’ (got that ? 😉 ) – it s a real shame – airbnb is very wel regulated by guests and hosts – no room for excesses

i can agree with a simple tax system for people really living from airbnb rentals – which is not my case – but please keep it simple and not like what i found for belgium

in brief : when airbnb hosts have less than 25000€ rental income per year - no taxes are applied to the renting of the space itself, but only to the services like breakfast and cleaning - which are considered by default 20% of the rental

so hosts have to pay actually 20% taxes on 50% of the 20%... you follow ?  in reality 10% of your rental will go to the state
as long as the sites where you advertise are 'recognised' by the state

but once the 20% exceeds the sum of 5000€ per year (so more than 25000€ rental) - the income is considered 'professional' and the host will need to pay 34% of the entire rental to the state

also above 25000€ rental revenu the host will need to get a vat number and will need to pay an additional 21% of vat to the state

and we re not talking about local tourist taxes yet

it becomes all too complex : why not apply the T20 rule ?  for everything you sell or rent out : pay 20% taxes – regardless how much you earn – it’s easy, it’s simple and it won’t hurt anyone…