The Belgian Constitutional Court issued a decision annulling the annual tax on securities accounts, with effect as of 1 October 2019.
The decision implies that the tax can no longer be levied for future periods. However, taking into account the potential budgetary and administrative implications, the Constitutional Court also decided that for the tax periods that have elapsed by 30 September 2019, the tax remains due.
The case identifying information is: case n° 138/2019 (17 October 2019)
An annual tax has been levied on securities accounts held by natural persons, effective 10 March 2018. The tax aims at deriving higher tax revenues from capital and assets and at providing a more equitable fiscal policy.
Soon after its introduction, several claims were filed with the Belgian Constitutional Court against the new annual tax on securities accounts. According to the claimants, the tax was contrary to the Belgian constitutional principle of equality and non-discrimination and the European fundamental freedom of capital and/or services as the scope of the tax is selective.
The Constitutional Court decided that several elements of the tax on securities accounts, related to the taxable items and taxable base (listed below), gave rise to unreasonable differences in the tax treatment between individuals:
Accordingly, the Constitutional Court held that provisions of the law regarding the tax on securities accounts needed to be annulled.
With this decision, the law introducing the tax has been annulled. However, the decision also reflects that the law is maintained for the tax due for tax periods ending on or before 30 September 2019. Hence, the annulment of the law applies for future tax periods (starting as from 1 October 2019). Consequently, in principle, financial intermediaries and/or natural persons cannot seek refunds of amounts of the tax that has already been paid, and they will have to declare and pay the tax in respect of a tax period that has ended on or before 30 September 2019.
Read an October 2019 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Belgium
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