One of the key measures of the Belgian Budget bill for 2018 is the introduction of a new tax on securities accounts for Belgian individual tax residents. Non-resident individuals and Belgian and non-Belgian resident companies are not covered by this new tax.

A securities account is a special purpose bank account maintained by banks in Belgium and abroad, which is used to hold in custody shares and other securities.

The new tax on securities accounts is an annual tax of 0.15% on the total of defined assets registered on securities accounts which exceed a value of 500.000 EUR. The tax is due on the total value as from 0 of the taxable assets on the account once the value of such assets exceeds 500.000€. Taxable assets include trackers, exchange trade funds, bonds, saving notes, warrants, debt certificates, share certificates, quoted and non-quoted shares. Cash, pension savings funds, life insurances, registered shares, term deposit accounts and traded options are not taxable assets.

According to the Belgian Ministry of Finance, the value of non-quoted shares will be determined by the market value or, if the market value is not available, on the basis of an estimated value.

This tax will probably be collected at source by Belgian banks. It will likely to be up to the taxpayer who holds the securities account outside Belgium to report the assets and pay the tax directly.

Anti-abuse measures will be taken to prevent individuals from evading the tax by the setting-up of companies to hold the securities account.
The likely date of entry in force of this new tax is 1st January 2018.

Further details concerning this tax are expected to be published in the near future.

By Sébastien Popijn