Tax on securities accounts adopted by Parliament
Taxable persons and taxable accounts
Not only Belgian tax residents fall within the scope of the new tax, but also non-residents. However, a distinction is made with regard to the taxable accounts:
- For Belgian residents, the tax on securities accounts applies both to Belgian and foreign securities accounts.
- For non-residents, only securities accounts held with a Belgian financial intermediary (e.g. a Belgian bank) are subject to taxation.
Please note that an anti-avoidance clause is introduced to prevent that private individuals hold a securities account through a company in order to avoid the new tax.
Furthermore, the tax will only be due if, over the reference period, the total average value of the securities account(s) is at least 500.000 EUR (per account holder). Should the account holder have securities accounts with different financial institutions of which the average value of taxable securities is not, for each financial institution separately, at least 500.000 EUR, but is at least that amount for all financial institutions collectively, the tax will be due on all securities accounts. In principle, the reference period runs from 1 October until 30 September.
Qualifying financial instruments
To determine whether the threshold of 500.000 EUR is reached and to determine the taxable base, only the following securities need to be taken into account (other securities are considered as not taxable):
- listed and unlisted shares (including share certificates),
- listed and unlisted bonds (including bond certificates),
- listed and unlisted shares or units in investment funds,
- savings certificates,
In fact, almost any security on a securities account is considered as a taxable instrument, except derivatives (e.g. options, futures etc.), structured products (unless they qualify as bonds) and nominative shares (i.e. shares that are not held on a securities account). Also securities accounts held within the framework of pension savings/life insurance contracts are out of scope.
In principle (similarly to the Belgian stock exchange tax), it will be Belgian banks and stockbroking firms who will have to pay and declare the tax due, if the average value of taxable securities on the securities accounts held with them is at least 500.000 EUR. Upon request of the account holder, Belgian banks can also levy the tax on accounts of less than 500.000 EUR.
For foreign securities accounts, however, it will always be the Belgian individual tax resident who needs to pay and declare the tax (by means of a special declaration via an electronic platform).
Sometimes, specific rules apply, e.g. should the securities account(s) be held in co-ownership or usufruct.
Entry into force
The law will enter into force on the first day after its publication in the Belgian Official Gazette, which is to be expected in the coming days/weeks. The first reference period will start on that date and will end on 30 September 2018.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to your KPMG contact in case you want to discuss the practical impact.