End of double taxation for Unilever dividends

Unilever

Unilever’s decision to abandon its dual Anglo-Dutch corporate structure in favour of a single company based in London is good news for Belgian residents. Unilever is the result of the merger of Dutch company Margarine Unie and British soapmaker Lever Brothers in 1929.  Unilever has two holding companies: Unilever NV in Rotterdam and Unilever PLC in Merseyside, but its head …

Taxes in Corona Times

Covid-19 has changed certain rules and habits. You cannot visit the tax office to get help to complete your tax return, that has to be done over the phone (see help). You may have been forced to work from home and your employer can pay you a tax-free allowance of €126.94 for working at home, plus €20 (for the use …

2020 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, …

2020 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 …

2020 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 …

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Ten myths about the 183 days’ rule

In The myth of the 183 days, we wrote that there was no such thing as a 183 days’ rule. In this post , we will say that there is a 183 days’ rule. Is that a contradiction? Not really. There is no 183 days’ rule to determine whether you are a Belgian resident. There is, however, a 183 days’ …

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 FR). 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 …