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As of 26 February 2021, any securities accounts with an average value exceeding EUR 1 million are subject to an annual tax on securities accounts of 0.15%. Who does this tax apply to? Which investments are targeted? How is it calculated and paid? In a two-minute video, Bernard Goffaux, Head of Estate Planning (Banque de Luxembourg) explains the key points on this tax.
In a two-minute video, Bernard Goffaux, Head of Estate Planning (Banque de Luxembourg) explains the key points on this tax.
Who does this tax apply to?
This annual tax targets the existence of securities accounts as a means of holding financial instruments.
This tax applies irrespective of:
- whether the account holder is a natural person or legal entity
- the number of account holders
- the type of rights held by the account holders (full ownership, bare ownership or usufruct)
- the size of financial wealth of the holder(s) or their financial standing.
What would the tax threshold be?
The tax only applies to securities accounts containing financial instruments and cash of which the average value exceeds EUR 1 million.
This threshold applies to each securities account individually.
There is no breakdown according to the number of account holders.
What is the rate of this tax?
The rate of this new tax is 0.15% on an annual basis.
Which securities accounts are concerned?
This tax targets all securities accounts opened via a financial intermediary established in Belgium (on behalf of natural persons and legal entities residing in Belgium or abroad) as well as securities accounts opened on behalf of Belgian residents via an intermediary established abroad.
This definition broadens the scope of the tax on securities accounts held by insurance institutions established in Belgium in relation to branch 23 life insurance.
Which financial instruments fall within the scope of this tax?
The following are targeted by the tax:
The tax on securities accounts will now concern all financial products held in securities accounts, with no exceptions. Under this broader definition, the tax will apply to financial products that were not initially included in the scope, such as structured products without capital protection.Cash, when deposited in a securities account, falls within the scope of the tax.
The following are not targeted by the tax:
Physical commodities held in securities accounts (physical gold in particular) are excluded from the basis for calculating the tax when they are deposited in a securities account.
Registered securities would continue to be exempt from this tax.
When did this tax enter into force?
The governmental agreement of 30 September 2020 targeted “a fair contribution from individuals with the greatest ability to pay, while respecting entrepreneurship”.
The tax officially came into force on 26 February 2021 (after the vote on the bill and following publication in the Belgian official journal).
What anti-abuse measures are planned?
In Belgium, no new tax laws are now enacted without provisions aimed at cracking down on transactions intended to circumvent enforcement. This new tax is no exception.
The legislature thus identifies a series of operations aimed at circumventing the application of the new tax that will be deemed to constitute tax abuse and will therefore not be permitted by the Belgian tax authorities. Indeed, a specific anti-abuse measure and a general anti-abuse measure have been established for operations made as of 30 October 2020.
Although the presumption of tax abuse can be refuted by the taxpayers in question for certain operations, the same will not apply for specific anti-abuse measures targeting the following operations:
- splitting a securities account into several securities accounts held with the same intermediary
- converting taxable financial instruments (held in a securities account) into registered financial instruments
These operations will be treated as abusive transactions and the taxpayers in question will not be permitted to provide evidence that they occurred for reasons not relating to tax.
Situation as at March 2021.
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