Alexander Lukashenko said those who worked fewer than 183 days per year would not be liable in 2017 – but stressed the tax would not be scrapped.
The decree – adopted in 2015 – requires those people to pay about $250 (£205) as compensation for lost tax revenues.
It triggered mass protests last month, and more rallies are planned for March.
Mr Lukashenko has run Belarus – a country where little dissent is tolerated – since 1994.
He has been described by some Western officials as “Europe’s last dictator”.