Belgium: Treatment of dividends of French origin

Belgium: Treatment of dividends of French origin

In the income tax treaty between Belgium and France (1964), one measure concerning dividends from France provides they will be subject, at source, to a maximum tax of 15%, and Belgium may, in turn, subject these dividends to the Belgian tax regime.


The tax treaty also provides that Belgium will eliminate the double taxation resulting from this treatment by application of a fixed portion of foreign tax (quotité forfaitaire d’impôt étranger—QFIE), under the conditions set by Belgian tax law with a minimum set at 15% of the net amount of the dividend. In 1988, the QFIE was repealed for Belgian tax residents (natural persons).

Nevertheless, questions about application of the QFIE continued, with several courts finding that taxpayers were entitled to application of the QFIE at a rate of 15% as provided for under the Belgium-France income tax treaty. The Belgian tax administration eventually appealed the issue to the Belgian high court which issued its decision holding that the provision in the income tax treaty requires Belgium to grant Belgian tax residents application of the QFIE regime. Accordingly, the high court held that it could not give effect to a rule of Belgian domestic law that would deprive taxpayers the right to apply the QFIE.

Read a November 2020 report (French) prepared by the KPMG member firm in Belgium

© 2022 KPMG LLP, a Delaware limited liability partnership and a member firm of the KPMG global organization of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International Limited, a private English company limited by guarantee. All rights reserved.

For more detail about the structure of the KPMG global organization please visit

The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. For more information, contact KPMG's Federal Tax Legislative and Regulatory Services Group at: + 1 202 533 4366, 1801 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Connect with us