The US ends corporate anonymity

Shell corporations are the vehicle of choice for the criminal and the corrupt to launder illicit funds with impunity. Drug cartels, human trafficking rings, purveyors of counterfeit and pirated goods, rogue nations evading sanctions, corrupt officials stealing from state coffers, and others use anonymous corporate structures to move and hide illicit wealth. For ages, they could conceal their identity with paper bearer shares. Belgium was …

The final decision on the double taxation of French Dividends?

The Belgian Supreme Court has – for the second time – confirmed that the double taxation treaty between Belgium and France, Belgium must give a tax credit for the French withholding tax on French dividends against the Belgian withholding tax. The Belgian tax authorities cannot hide behind the text of the Belgian tax code to deny Belgian taxpayers the benefit of the Belgium-France tax treaty. …

New Tax Rules for Overseas Properties

The European Court of Justice has ordered Belgium to change its rules on the taxation of overseas properties and to pay a penalty of €2 million and a daily payment of €7,500 (for prior coverage see here). Discrimination of owners of overseas properties. In the case of real property in Belgium, whether that is a second residence or a buy-to-let, the tax is calculated on …

Brexit and Belgian Pensions

retirees

If you live in the UK and you receive a pension from the Service Fédéral des Pensions, you may have received a letter to say from 1 January 2021 the rules concerning social and tax deductions to be deducted from Belgium pensions will change for people living in the United Kingdom. This is correct, until the end of the year, the UK is part of …

Gift tax and the ‘cheese route’

Belgians have suddenly discovered that there is a “cheese route” and that it has been closed today A “cheese route”? The “kaasroute” as even French speakers call it is a cheesy joke. It is supposed to be the road to the Netherlands where Belgians can make gifts of cash, shares or bonds before a notary free of gift tax and, therefore, inheritance tax. Since 15 …

Webinar ‘Expat Financial Affairs’, Q&A

On 10 December, we made two presentations on wills and estate planning at the annual Expat Financial Affairs event of the British Chamber. Here are some of the questions and our answers. Real estate acquired before marriage is personal or communal property? Under the Belgian default matrimonial property rules, spouses have community property from the day they get married.  Everything spouses acquire during their marriage is community …

Upcoming webinars

we organise regular – free – webinars on various issues related to taxes and estate planning
– The new Tax on Securities Accounts – 7 January 2021
– The Art of the Gift – 28 January 2021
– The Art of writing a Will – 25 February 2021

Expat Financial Affairs 2020

We will be making two presentations on wills and estate planning at the annual Expat Financial Affairs event of the British Chamber.
The first is for ‘pre empty nesters’
The second presentation is for youthful retirees.

Webinar ‘Expat Estate Planning’: the Questions

On 26 November, we participated in a webinar on estate planning for expatriates. This is always an interesting event to hear the questions expatriates have.
These are their questions with our answers.

Help! I received a tax return from the Belgian taxman…

Pensioner under the sun

I live in Cyprus and I just received a tax return from the Belgian tax authorities that must be filed by 3 December.
My husband worked in Belgium years ago, I never lived there. He died seven years ago. I now receive a widow’s pension.
I never received an income tax return – and neither did he.
Why do I get one now?