This article lists the specific statement obligations introduced in recent years for Belgian tax residents.

The recent change in the Belgian special tax status brings a new perspective with reference to previous articles commenting on the new special tax regime. Whereas the individuals under the old regime were fictitiously tax non-residents, the inpatriates under the new regime are considered tax residents. This is provided they have not remained residents abroad. Expats who have decided to switch to the new regime become tax residents of Belgium and the following obligations are applicable.

1. Foreign bank accounts

The existence (but not the balance) of accounts held at any time during the year with a banking, exchange, credit, or savings institution established abroad and, in the country, or countries where these accounts were opened must be included in your tax return.

The National Bank of Belgium main contact point must be informed of details of the foreign bank account unless this has been communicated in a previous year.

As a result, any changes to bank accounts held abroad, closing, or opening of an account must be communicated annually to the National Bank of Belgium.

2. Tax on securities accounts

If during the reference period from October 1st to September 30, you were the holder or co-holder of securities account with an average value of more than one million euros, then it is subject to tax on securities account.

If the tax has not been levied by your financial institution you must submit, usually to a bank, a separate return by the last day of the deadline for submitting the personal income tax return (June 30 of the year following income year if sent on paper or July 15 if sent electronically), the tax itself must be paid by August 31 at the latest.

3. Tax on stock exchange transactions (TOB)

When you buy or sell an investment product (shares, bonds, investment funds...) you often incur payment of stock exchange transactions: the TOB. This tax refers to a tax levied by your bank or brokerage firm when you buy or sell financial securities and corresponds to a certain percentage of the amount of the transaction. If no tax is withheld by your Belgian or foreign bank or stockbroker, you must settle the TOB yourself.

The tax must be paid by the last working day of the second month following the date of the transaction. The TOB declaration must be filed at the latest on the day of payment.

4. Individual life insurance abroad

The tax return must include the existence of individual life insurance contracts concluded with an insurance company established abroad, as well as the country or countries where these contracts were concluded.

5. Legal constructions abroad

Also, to be included in your tax return are the existence of legal constructions of which you or your spouse, as well as the children over whom you have parental authority, are the founder or the beneficiary of a dividend or any other advantage granted by the legal construction during the concerned year as well as the identification data. Apart from certain exceptions, the income from such constructions is indeed taxable by transparency, within the framework of the "Caïman tax regime,” as if the taxpayer had received them.

By founder, it means any individual who sets up the legal structure, who contributed assets to it as well as any individual who holds the legal rights to the shares or the economic rights to the property and capital held by the legal structure.

6. Administrative sanctions

Concerning foreign accounts, life insurance contracts and securities accounts, a taxpayer who fails to comply with this statement obligation risks being subject to an administrative fine of up to 1,250.00 EUR. The fine is due in addition to the possible tax increase (going from 10% to 200%) on undeclared income.

As regards to the Caïman tax regime, a fine of 6 250,00 EUR is applicable for individuals who fail to comply with the statement obligation. The fine is imposed per year and per legal construction not mentioned. The fine is payable in addition to any tax increase on undeclared income from such a legal arrangement.

7. Properties located outside Belgium

Since tax year 2022, real estate situated abroad will be taxed based on a fictive notional rental value determined by the Administration of Measurement and Valuation (hereafter referred to as AMV).

If foreign real estate income has been declared for income years 2020 and 2021, the AMV should have contacted the taxpayer to collect the information necessary to establish the notional rental value.

If you have acquired or sold of a right in rem (owner, usufructuary, possessor, emphyteutic lessee or superficiary), you must submit a specific declaration via tax authorities’ website within 4 months of the acquisition or sale of the property.

Becoming a Belgium tax resident entails an amount of reporting. Specific attention should be given to the financial aspects. Holding foreign stock accounts and making transactions (e.g., buy/sell) triggers a reporting requirement and settlement of tax. The adage no one is supposed to ignore the law has become increasingly relevant.

For more information contact Luc Lamy ll@taxconsult.be or Alexandre De Munck adm@taxconsult.be

Further reading:

Taxation of real estate held abroad by Belgian resident individuals
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