Investing in UK real property?

With the Stamp Duty holiday available until 31 March 2021, it may be worthwhile to invest in real property in the United Kingdom. To help buyers who have taken a financial hit due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Stamp Duty nil rate band in England and Northern Ireland has been increased to £500,000. As a result, it is reported that the UK property market activity …

Properties abroad: ECJ puts pressure on Belgium

Second residences abroad are taxed more than in Belgium

Belgium taxes houses and apartments abroad more heavily than houses and apartments in Belgium. The Court of Justice had already found this in 2014 and 2018 and has now condemned Belgium to a penalty of €2 million and a daily payment of €7,500. Different tax rules This “heavier tax burden” relates to the fact that the tax base for overseas property held by Belgian taxpayers …

The tax on foreign savings deposits, again

Savings deposits

The European Commission has sent a letter of formal notice requesting Belgium to amend its rules regarding the exemption of interest from savings deposits. Interest from savings deposits Under Belgian law interest on regulated savings accounts is exempt from personal income tax up to a threshold of (currently) €990, Article 21, first paragraph, 5°, ITC 92).  Any interest over €990 is taxed at a favourable …

Golden Years in Belgium

Golden years

The King Baudouin Foundation and the Federation of Notaries have published a brochure “Golden years in Belgium. An expat guide to life after retirement.” This brochure gives tips on how to spend your retirement years in Belgium, on everything from meeting people to health care and welfare. It takes you through pension and inheritance rights and tells you how to get or keep in touch …

End of double taxation for Unilever dividends

Unilever House London by

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 office is at Unilever House …

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, interest, royalties, salaries, pensions, etc. …

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 by the European Institutions are …

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 a second residence, you need …

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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’ rule to determine whether 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 year that they would tax …