End of Tax on Securities Accounts

On October 17, the Belgian Constitutional Court ruled that the tax on securities accounts is unconstitutional (Decision 138/2019). For budgetary reasons the court did not make the decision retroactive and taxpayers
must still pay the tax for 2018 and 2019.

Individuals who own certain financial instruments on one or more securities or brokerage accounts must pay the tax if the average value of the accounts is over €500,000 (€1 million for married couples and registered partners). The financial instruments are stocks, bonds, rights in mutual investment funds or shares in investment companies, cash bonds, warrants, and trackers held.

The tax is 0.15 percent of the average value of the financial instruments calculated on the stock price or the asset value October 1 to September 30, recorded at the end of each quarter.

Belgian banks must report the average value of the relevant securities accounts and the tax due per account holder. They take the tax from the account holder’s account and pay it before December 20.

For overseas accounts, Belgian resident account holders must file a return with their income tax return to report the value of their accounts, unless the bank has a tax representative in Belgium. The tax is due by August 31 of the following year.

The tax has been declared unconstitutional but only for the future. Belgian taxpayers will still have to pay the tax on their overseas securities accounts for the period 1 October 2018 to 31 September 2019 with their income tax return for 2019 in May-June 2020. The tax must then be paid before the end of October.

More on taxnotes.com

Author: Marc Quaghebeur

Marc Quaghebeur is a Belgian tax lawyer with Cabinet DAVID specialising in international tax issues and cross border estate planning. He is a member of the Brussels Bar and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. He

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