Problems when living in another country – Belgium is a bureaucratic mess

One of the main problems when moving and living in another country is bureaucracy. It is sometimes amazing what types of Kafkaesque things bureaucracy is capable of. You get sent from one office to another, until you end up back in the office where you started with nothing being resolved. Office A says it needs a paper and you should go to Office B, but Office B sends you to Office C, which sends you to Office A.

Recently, I had moved back to Belgium. Previously I had lived here in 2005-2006 and was studying a year at a local university. Just getting registered at the local municipality took at least half a year. I was living in the student dorms and left after a year. After that I attended university in the Netherlands and got registered there. After finishing university, I went to Slovakia, looked for a job for a while and on and on was working there. Then in early 2011, I moved back to Belgium. A while after I registered at my local municipality, I received some sort of a notice to pay some regional taxes for the address I hadn’t lived at since 2006! What a mess they have in the Belgian system! Why should I pay for their mistake? Can’t they tell that I wasn’t living in Belgium, if they did not have me registered as being employed there, paying taxes, or for the local health insurance (which is mandatory by the way)? I sent them different papers proving that I had not lived in Belgium since 2006, but they did not take them into account. Instead they want as “proof” some sort of an official paper, which doesn’t even exist in Slovakia. They even sent the matter for execution and today I received a letter stating that I have to pay some insane amount (including interest – even when I wasn’t even living in the country), or otherwise they will break into my house and take my furniture!


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