2018 Tax Return : Box VII – Investment Income

Box VII is for the income of your investments, i.e. dividends and interest. These are normally taxed at source; the (Belgian) bank or the company that pays the dividend deducts 30% tax when they pay out. If that is the case, you don’t have to declare the interest or dividends in your tax return, but foreign banks do not withhold …

2018 Tax Return : Cross border taxation

If you live in Belgium and you have income from another country, both countries will want to tax the entire income and that may result in double tax. To prevent double taxation, states sign “conventions for the avoidance of double taxation”. In these double tax treaties, the two states agree which of them can tax business income, rental income, dividends, …

2018 Tax Return : Box V – Pensions

Box V is for pensions and other similar income. The Belgian state pension goes in code 1228/2228 and a survivor’s pension goes in 1229/2229. The tax that has been deducted goes in code 1225/2225. Other pensions such as the complementary pension paid by a pension fund or other pension scheme are to be reported usually under code 1211/2211. Pensions paid …

2018 Tax Return : Box III – Real Estate

In box III, you declare the income from any real estate you may own, that can be actual rental income you receive or the theoretical income from a second or third residence. If you only own the house you live in, you don’t need to declare anything at all, unless you rent out part of your house. If you have …

ECJ condemns Belgian tax on second residence abroad

Belgium has been condemned again by the Court of Justice of the European Union for its tax regime for a second home in another Member State. The issue is not new and not always well understood. Belgium charges tax on all real estate owned, even if you do not receive rent for it. If you only own the house you …

Belgium and Netherlands Sign Agreement on Taxation of Pensions

On 5 March, Belgian and Dutch officials signed an agreement clarifying the taxation of pensions under article 18 of the double tax treaty (in English) between the two countries.  The agreement was published in the Staatscourant (the Dutch official journal). The agreement is the result of a change in policy announced by the Dutch government at the end of last …

Belgium’s first wealth tax : a tax on securities accounts

On February 1, the Belgian Parliament adopted a law introducing an 0.15 percent tax on financial instruments held in securities accounts with a value over €500,000. That will, in effect, be a wealth tax on securities and brokerage accounts. For more, read the contribution in Tax Notes International or ask the author.  

Belgian Supreme Court Upholds Tax Treaty Precedence Over Domestic Law

The Belgian Supreme Court recently confirmed that Belgian tax authorities cannot hide behind the text of the domestic law to deny Belgian taxpayers the benefit of the Belgium-France tax treaty. (1971 protocol; 1999 protocol; 2008 protocol; 2009 protocol.) The case is a classic example of double taxation of dividends. French dividends are taxed at source at a reduced rate of 15 percent, and the …

New Tax Measures under the Programme Law

The Programme Law of July 1 introduced a number of fiscal measures, including transfer pricing documentation in line with action 13 of the OECD’s base erosion and profit-shifting project and measures to combat tax fraud. To read more, click here.

Guidance Clarifies Tax Treatment of DredgeWorkers

The Belgian tax authorities on October 26 published a practice note (Ci.R9. Div. 607/317) clarifying the tax regime for employees working aboard dredgers. The tax authorities note that in principle, dredging projects fall under articles 5 and 7 of Belgium’s tax treaties. This means their profits are taxable in the country where the enterprise is set up unless it has …