Capital Gains

As a matter of principle, Belgium doesn’t tax capital gains if they are made by way of “normal management of private wealth”. Private wealth is anything that you don’t use for your job or for professional purposes. And the normal management of your private wealth is what you do to keep your wealth growing safely, without speculating. Speculation would be e.g. borrowing to get leverage to make more profit.

In general, gains on the sale of shares or property are tax exempt, with a few exceptions:

  • the capital gain on the sale of your main residence is always tax exempt,
  • capital gains on a second residence or other property in Belgium are only tax exempt after five years. If you sell within five years, the capital gain is tax at 16.5%.
  • capital gains outside the normal management of private wealth are taxed at 33%, plus local tax (between 6 and 9 % of 33%). These include speculative capital gains.
  • capital gains on the sale of an important participation in a company are liable to tax at 16.5% (plus local tax); if you are in this situation, check with your accountant.
  • if you are a day trader, that may well become a professional activity and then your gains may be liable to tax, and possibly social security, as a professional investor.

Your tax return:

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