Belgium: Tax on securities accounts; specific anti-abuse measure effective retroactively (30 October 2020)
Belgium: Tax on securities accounts
The Belgian federal government reached an agreement on a draft law to introduce a new annual tax on securities accounts (“solidarity contribution”).
According to a notice published in the Belgian official gazette (4 November 2020), the draft law includes an anti-abuse provision that would apply retroactively as from 30 October 2020. The draft law is subject to review by the Council of State.
The new tax on securities accounts—to be reinstated as an indirect tax—would:
- Apply to securities accounts held by resident and non-resident individuals, companies, and legal entities (including legal constructions subject to the “Cayman tax”)
- Be imposed on the average value of the taxable financial instruments (excluding nominative securities) on that securities account, if that average value exceeds €1 million
- The tax rate would be 0.15%, but limited to 10% of the difference between the taxable base and €1 million (to mitigate the effects of the tax if the average value would just exceed the €1 million threshold)
The draft law includes a general anti-abuse provision that would target the following situations:
- Spread of taxable financial instruments over different securities accounts to avoid the threshold of €1 million for an individual account
- Conversion of taxable financial instruments into nominative securities
- Transfer of securities account to a foreign legal entity which transfers the securities to a foreign securities account
- Transfer of securities account to a fund of which the parts are nominative
In these situations, there would be a rebuttable presumption of abuse, meaning that the new tax would apply unless the taxpayer provides evidence to the contrary.
The government has decided that the anti-abuse provision, for the purposes of the new tax on securities accounts, would apply retroactively as from 30 October 2020. So any of the above transactions as from 30 October 2020 would be deemed abusive (absent evidence to the contrary).
Read a November 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Belgium
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