Life Insurance Gifts and Joint Life Second Death.

On 1 January 2022, Wallonia aligned its inheritance tax rules relating to life insurance on those of the Flanders. The Brussels Region has just amended its legislation along the same lines. The rules are now aligned in the three regions. Among the new tax measures introduced by the Brussels-Capital Region, we would like to highlight the following: Gift of an insurance policy When a person …

Condolences, or is it congratulations for you?

Your mother who was living in New Zealand passed away and you inherited a nice sum of money. You want to bring this back to Belgium. Is any inheritance tax due? You sold your share of the family farm in Kansas and you made a nice capital gain, you paid capital gains tax in the US, is any capital gains tax due in Belgium? You …



EU officials: An Introduction to Taxes 21 April 2022 @ 18:00  The tax status of an EU official is governed by the articles 12 and 13 of the Protocol (No 7) on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union.Article 12 states that the remuneration they receive from the European Institutions is exempt from national taxes in the Member States. The exemption of the remuneration paid by the international institutions …

Inheritance tax return: the value of real estate

When a Belgian resident dies, his next of kin have four months to file an inheritance tax return. They usually do this together, but they can do this separately as well, usually when they disagree.  In practice, they call upon a notary to help them file the inheritance tax return, but that is not obligatory, not even when the deceased owned real estate. We cannot …

Constitutional Court gives foreign (inheritance) tax credit

Banco de Espana

In a decision of 3 June 2021, the Constitutional Court ordered a major change of the Belgian inheritance tax code, or rather the three regional inheritance tax codes. The Court ruled that the inheritance tax legislation in all three regions, is discriminatory, where it grants a credit for overseas inheritance tax on foreign real property, but not for overseas inheritance tax levied on movable assets …

Flanders ends Dual Bequest Route

Yesterday the Flemish parliament introduced a tax break for “bequests to friends” and for bequests to charities. These are just the sweeteners to close the dual bequest route. The route is closed to people living in Flanders, people living in Brussels or Wallonia can still use the dual bequest. Dual bequests A dual bequest allows the testator to engage in philanthropy while reducing the inheritance …

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.