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Tax on Securities Accounts: deadline approaching

Tax on Securities Accounts: deadline approaching

On 26 February 2021, the Tax on Securities Accounts (TSA) was reintroduced after the previous version was abolished, as it was considered in violation of the Belgian Constitution.

The new TSA applies to Belgian resident taxpayers (private individuals, organizations, and companies) who hold a securities account with a Belgian or foreign bank or broker, as well as non-resident (NR) taxpayers who own a brokerage account with a Belgian bank or intermediary. In other words, NR taxpayers are only exempt from the TSA if they hold a securities account outside Belgium. This includes, for example, foreign diplomats, consular officers, and international staff members who benefit from the so-called ‘exception of fiscal residence’ and are seen as NR taxpayers.

If the taxpayer is resident in another country, the relevant double taxation agreement (DTA) will often include a clause that even prohibits Belgium to tax the taxpayer’s wealth. The tax authorities have published a FAQ list in January 2022 with an overview of all DTAs that Belgium has concluded that include such a clause. For example, if you are tax resident in the Netherlands and you hold a brokerage account with a Belgian bank, the Belgian authorities cannot levy the TSA, as Article 22 (4) DTA gives the right to tax wealth exclusively to the Netherlands.

The tax itself amounts to 0.15% and is due if the average value of the brokerage account exceeds 1 million EUR. All types of financial instruments registered in the brokerage account are considered relevant for the TSA (e.g. shares, bonds, turbos and speeders, but also cash).

The tax is levied on the securities account itself, and not on the account holder. The number of account holders or type of property right are irrelevant. The average value of the portfolio is calculated by taking the value on four reference dates (31 December, 31 March, 30 June and 30 September) over a 12-month taxable period from 1 October to 30 September.

If you hold your investments with a Belgian bank or broker, the latter will automatically take care of the necessary formalities and deduct the tax at source. In other words, if you only hold securities in Belgium, you will not have to do anything yourself. However, if your investment account is held with a bank or broker outside Belgium, the latter will normally not comply with any TSA formalities. In this case, the Belgian taxpayer is responsible for the calculation, declaration, and tax payment himself.

For this year, the TSA will be due on brokerage accounts with an average value exceeding 1 million EUR, considering their value on 31 March 2021, 30 June 2021, and 30 September 2021. As the TSA was only introduced in February 2021, the first reference date on 31 December is not considered this year.

The TSA filing needs to be submitted no later than 15 July 2022 (same deadline as for your personal tax return for tax year 2022) and the tax itself must be paid no later than 31 August 2022. The TSA filing can currently only be done on paper as an electronic version is not yet available.

If you need professional help to prepare your 2022 TSA filing, do not hesitate to reach out to us!