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.

Help! I received a tax return from the Belgian taxman…

Pensioner under the sun

I live in Cyprus and I just received a tax return from the Belgian tax authorities that must be filed by 3 December.
My husband worked in Belgium years ago, I never lived there. He died seven years ago. I now receive a widow’s pension.
I never received an income tax return – and neither did he.
Why do I get one now?

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 …

The tax on securities accounts in 2020

The Council of Ministers has approved the preliminary text of a bill preliminary draft law introducing an annual tax on securities or brokerage accounts. The government announced this new tax in a notice published in the Belgian State Gazette of 4 November 2020, to prevent any attempts to evade the tax. It is a tax that closely resembles the tax on securities accounts, which the …

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: Appeal the Tax Bill

How and where you do that is explained on page 2 of your tax bill. You have to send a letter to the address in the middle of the page within six months after you receive the tax bill. That means the letter must arrive with the tax authorities within six months plus three working days from the date the tax assessment was sent out. …

2020 Tax Return : The Tax Bill

tax bill

Now that you have filed your tax return, all that you can do is wait for the tax man to send you the tax assessment or tax bill. The “avertissement extrait de role”/”aanslagbiljet” is really the tax bill for your 2019 income. If you have not seen one before, you can click here to see one. If the tax bill is not sent before 30 …