On October 7th, 2021 the Belgian tax authorities published the long-awaited guidance on the new annual tax on securities accounts in the form of a FAQ.[1] By means of citations and interpretations of the legal provisions and preparatory works to the law, the FAQ provides guidance on numerous - mostly practical - questions that have risen since the introduction of the tax earlier this year.

The FAQ i.a. provides more clarity on: what the term ‘security account’ encompasses and especially to what extent it includes a cash account that is linked to a securities account, the valuation of financial instruments for the calculation of the taxable base and practical matters such as the declaration and payment. Other specific topics discussed in detail include the application of the tax in cross-border situations, i.a. Belgian securities accounts that are held by non-residents and the application of double tax treaties. Furthermore, the FAQ also elaborates on securities accounts that are exempt and which are not, e.g. securities accounts linked to Belgian branch-23 insurance contracts.

Although on first sight the FAQ contains few surprises and novel insights, it can certainly prove useful as a comprehensive practical guide to the application of the tax. Moreover, if one has a closer look, one finds some interesting and surprising precisions such as the fact that as soon as one account holder is a Belgian resident, the entire (Belgian or foreign) securities account is considered as taxable (‘contamination’) and the requirement for exempt accountholders (including certain non-residents) to provide an attestation (even annually if invoking a double tax treaty).

For completeness sake: also, a Royal Decree with the modalities for the recognition of a fiscal liable representative in Belgium, the tax declaration and sanctions has been published on August 6th, 2021.[2]

  1. FAQ JTER: Annual Tax on Securities Accounts, FOD Financiën, 7 October 2021 (available in Dutch and French): https://eservices.minfin.fgov.be/myminfin-web/pages/fisconet/document/3619f1a2-995b-4470-ba42-ad379a2003a3.
  2. Royal Decree amending the Royal Decree of 3 March 1927 implementing the Code of Miscellaneous Duties and Taxes as regards the declaration, payment and various rules relating to the annual tax on securities accounts, 6 August 2021: http://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/cgi_loi/loi_a.pl