Summary

New forms have become available for Belgian employees to report offshore bank or brokerage accounts, including accounts related to equity incentive plans, to the National Bank of Belgium (“CP”).

Companies offering equity incentive plans in Belgium should consider alerting Belgian participants to the new form as the form must be filed at the same time as the annual tax return.

Foreign Account Reporting

In 2012, Belgium introduced a reporting obligation pursuant to which Belgian resident individuals have to provide a specific contact point at the National Bank of Belgium (the "CP") with certain information regarding any bank, security or other account(s) they maintain with a foreign financial institution.

The tax authorities can request this information from the CP under certain circumstances.

This obligation is in addition to the already existing, but more limited, obligation for individuals to report the existence of a foreign account and the country in which the account is maintained on their personal income tax return.

Up until now, details of the reporting obligation and the forms had not been published and, therefore, there was no way to comply with the obligation in practice.

Information to be Provided

To comply with the new reporting obligation, certain information must be provided to the CP, including contact details of the individual and information about the account, when it was open and if it is closed. 

The form is now available in Dutch and French:

An online form is expected to be available on May 26, 2015.

The form must be filed by the date the personal income tax return is due, i.e., by June 30 (paper filing), July 15 (electronic filing) or October 29 (filing by accountant or other professional representative).

Individuals who indicated in their tax returns for the income years 2011, 2012 and/or 2013 that they maintained a foreign account will receive a letter from the tax authorities requiring them to provide the information about the account to the CP.

Going Forward

Companies offering equity incentive plans in Belgium (which result in Belgian employees maintaining an account outside of Belgium) should consider informing employees about their foreign account reporting obligations in an employee information supplement or other communication provided to employees when they receive an equity award.