The annual securities account tax has been presented to parliament on 11 December 2017.
From 1 January 2018, Belgian individual tax residents will be subject to an annual tax of 0,15% on their Belgian and foreign securities accounts.
Also, non-residents individuals are, in principle, be subject to the annual securities account tax on their Belgian securities accounts. However, it should be noted that the Belgian Income Tax Treaties allocates the competence to tax movable property not belonging to a permanent establishment to the residence state.
The main purpose is to tax wealthy (Belgian) individuals. The tax is only due if, over the reference period, the total average value of the securities accounts of an individual exceeds at least 500.000 EUR. The reference period runs from 1 October until 30 September. The first period runs from 1 January 2018 until 30 September 2018.
A securities account is an account held by an intermediary on which one or more taxable financial instruments are recorded. Registered nominative securities will also qualify as a securities account and would thus be taxable. Moreover, registered securities which will be converted before the end of the year into registered shares remain subject to the annual tax for one year. Also as of 1 January 2018, an anti-avoidance provision applies for a contribution of a securities account to a company which sole purpose is to avoid the annual tax.
The financial instruments which are included in the taxable base are (un)quoted shares and bonds (as well as certificates thereof), shares of investment companies and units in investment funds, savings certificates and warrants. Financial instruments related to life insurance contracts, pension savings accounts and quoted structured products linked to covered securities are excluded. The taxable base is equal to the total average value of the financial instruments calculated on a quarterly basis.
As a rule, Belgian intermediaries (Belgian banks and brokers) must withhold and declare the tax. Optionally, a taxpayer can ask a Belgian bank to withhold and pay the tax on several accounts if the total value exceeds the threshold. For foreign securities accounts it’s the Belgian individual tax resident who must pay and declare the tax electronically.