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.

Webinar ‘Expat Estate Planning’: the Questions

On 26 November, we participated in a webinar on estate planning for expatriates. This is always an interesting event to hear the questions expatriates have.
These are their questions with our answers.

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 ÂŁ500,000. 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 …

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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Wallonia reduces gift tax

In the wake of the tax reform in December 2017, the Walloon government is proposing to reduce the gift tax of houses and apartments and to simplify the calculation of the tax. Wallonia follows Flanders and Brussels. The gift tax is calculated depending on the relationship between the donor and the donee and the value of the gift. In direct line (between parents and children) …

Sale and Lease Back of real property: nothing changes, but does a VAT payer really have to pay back the VAT?

Upon referral from the Court of Appeal of Mons, the Court of Justice of the European Union will hear a case regarding the Belgian VAT treatment of real property acquired through sale and leaseback transactions (C-201/18 – Mydibel S.A. v État belge). The VAT payer, a producer of potato products, had given a right of emphyteusis (a temporary right in rem between 27 and 99 years) on …

Belgium Proposes VAT Regime for Real Estate Rentals

After a budget review, Belgium’s federal government proposed in its summer budget in March an optional VAT regime for rental agreements, starting October 1, 2018. For more, read the contribution in Tax Notes International or ask the author.

French Conseil d’Etat confirms decision of the European Court

On 27 July, the French Conseil d’Etat has confirmed the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (re  De Ruyter, numĂ©ro C-623/13) that had ruled that it was illegal for France to charge social charges on the income and capital gains of non-residents from within the European Economic Area. In France, the taxpayer does not only pay income tax, but also social security contributions (“prĂ©lèvements sociaux”) called …

European Commission refers Belgian to European Court of Justice

On 18 June 2015 the European Commission announced that it is referring Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Union because it taxes Belgian residents differently on property abroad and at home. If a Belgian resident earns income from property located abroad, that is taxed at a higher value than that from comparable property in Belgium. The Commission does not criticize the way Belgium assesses …