Constitutional Court strikes down tax on securities accounts
17 October 2019
On 17 October 2019, the Belgian Constitutional Court decided on the abolition of the law of 7 February 2018 adopting a tax on securities accounts.
As a compensation for the reduction of the corporate income tax rate, the Belgian legislator introduced a 0.15% tax on securities accounts exceeding EUR 500,000 as from 10 March 2018. The first tranche of € 500,000 was tax exempt.
Several taxpayers submitted a request for repeal of this tax before the Constitutional Court for breach of the principle of equality, embedded in the Belgian constitution.
On 17 October 2019, the Court ruled that the tax on securities accounts is unconstitutional. The legislator is allowed to levy tax on large fortunes, but in doing so, it shall not breach the principles of equality and non-discrimination. Under the incriminated law, some financial instruments were subject to the tax and some were not. Also according to the Court, the regulation fails to prevent escape from the securities tax in case the securities account is held by several persons.
The tax on securities accounts is only abolished for the future, meaning that the tax for the reference period 2018 (10.03.2018 - 30.09.2018) and 2019 (1.10.2018-30.09.2019) remains to be due and will not be reimbursed.
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