A new annual tax on securities accounts as from February 26, 2021!

Following the annulment of the former tax on securities accounts by the Constitutional Court (judgment of 17 October 2019), a draft law “introducing an annual tax on securities accounts” was submitted to the Chamber early this year. The draft has since been approved at first reading in the chamber committee.

The new annual tax on securities accounts will be levied on the securities accounts themselves and not on the holder of the securities account. A securities account is defined as an account on which financial instruments can be credited and debited.

The new tax will apply to securities accounts held both in Belgium and abroad, when the account holder is a Belgian resident. The tax is not limited to individuals residing in Belgium, but also applies to companies and legal persons (subject to corporate tax) established in Belgium.

The tax is also applicable to securities accounts held by non-Belgian residents (individuals and companies or legal entities) when the securities account is held in Belgium.  However, since the new tax is a wealth tax, Belgian non-residents can avoid the application of the new tax to their Belgian securities accounts if the applicable double tax treaty grants the right to tax the wealth to their jurisdiction of residence (e.g. the Netherlands).

All financial securities and cash balances held in the securities account are covered, including derivatives (such as trackers, turbos, etc.).

The new tax is due when the average value of assets held on the securities account during the reference period exceeds EUR 1,000,000.00. The reference period starts in principle on 1 October and ends on 30 September of the following year. The reference period may be shorter if a securities account is closed or if the account holder moves from Belgium to a state with which Belgium has concluded a double tax treaty, which assigns the right to tax the assets to the state of residence.

The threshold is determined on the basis of the average value of the assets on the securities account at four reference points during the reference period (31 December, 31 March, 30 June and 30 September).

If the securities account is held by a Belgian intermediary, the latter must withhold the tax due and file the return. Belgian intermediaries must fulfil these obligations no later than 20 December (after the end of the reference period ending on 30 September).

In all other cases, it is the account holder’s responsibility to file the return and pay the tax due. If there is more than one account holder, all account holders are jointly and severally liable. Each account holder can file the tax return on behalf of all the account holders.

Do not hesitate to contact the person in charge of your file or to mail at info@taxconsult.be for more information.

Tax Consult A&A