In box XIII you have to confirm whether you have bank accounts outside Belgium, even if you didn’t have any income on these accounts.
Do I have to report the money on my bank accounts?
No, you tick the box with code 1075, list the countries where you have bank accounts with the name of the account holders. You also tick the box to confirm that you have reported these accounts. In fact, you don’t report what accounts you have to the taxman but to the National Bank.
Why is that?
Belgium has banking secrecy rules; the taxman cannot look into your bank accounts. However, in some circumstances he can investigate your bank accounts. To keep up appearances, the banking secrecy is maintained by storing the information with the National Bank. The National Bank has the list of your Belgian bank accounts, but you must report your overseas bank accounts yourself. You can do that online (with your electronic identity card) or on a paper form. When you open or close an account, you must report that as well.
How much does the taxman know about my bank accounts?
There isn’t much information in National Bank’s database, just a list of your bank accounts. That list helps the taxman when he wants to investigate your bank accounts, but he can only get that list if he has indications of tax fraud or if he has indications that your spending is higher than the income you declared. What is more, he must give you a chance to volunteer that information.
The list of bank accounts helps the tax man identify the banks where you have accounts; he can then contact them to investigate these accounts. There is no information about the money on your accounts with the National Bank but it is just a matter of time before the overseas bank reports that information via his own tax authorities (see Nowhere to hide).
Overseas Life insurance
You must also report that you have overseas life insurance (check the box at code 1076). However, no further information must be given about the name of the insurance company, just the names of the policyholders and the country. You also don’t give the value of the insurance policies, but that does not mean that the taxman does not get that information from the insurance company (see Nowhere to hide).
Please note that life insurance is normally not taxable in Belgium. “Branch 21” policies are an alternative for savings accounts and they are tax-free if taken out for more than 8 years. “Branch 23” policies (“insurance wrappers”) are linked to investment funds and they can go up and down. The gains are tax-free.
Your tax return:
- the Guide
- Tax filing in Corona Times
- Is this your first time?
- Couples and Children
- When do I need to file?
- on Paper or Online?
- Filing Online
- Filing on Paper
- The Taxman sends a Tax Proposal
- Box I – Contact Details and Bank Account
- Box II – Your Family Situation
- Box III – Real Estate
- Box IV – Earnings
- Box V – Pensions
- Cross Border Taxation
- Box VI – Maintenance Received
- Box VII – Investment Income
- Box VIII – Maintenance Paid and Losses from Previous Years
- Box IX – Mortgage Payments
- Box X – Other Tax Deductions
- Box XII – Paying your Taxes in Advance
- Capital Gains
- Box XIII – Overseas Accounts and Insurance Policies
- Box XIII – Trusts
- Stock Exchange Tax
- Tax on Securities Accounts
- Nowhere to hide
- The Tax Bill
- Appealing the Tax Bill