Background

Since 10 March 2018, a tax on securities accounts can be due in Belgium by individual tax residents who are holding (a) securities account(s) with intermediaries in or outside Belgium. If the average value of the taxable financial instruments on the account(s) meets or exceeds the threshold of €500,000 (per person), a tax of 0.15% is due annually. The threshold is an average annual value. In principle, the values at 4 points of reference - 31 December, 31 March, 30 June and 30 September - are added up and divided by 4.

Decision of the Constitutional Court

On 17 October 2019, the Constitutional Court has annulled the tax on securities accounts. The Court states that the tax violates the constitutional principle of equality and non-discrimination on several points. For example, the Court considers it unreasonable that the tax does not apply to derivative financial products registered in a securities account or to registered shares.

Consequences

In principle, an annulment has retroactive effect. This means that the annulled provision is deemed never to have existed. However, taking into account the budgetary and administrative consequences of the annulment with retroactive effect, the Court decides to uphold the effects of the annulled tax for the taxes due over the reference periods ending before or on 30 September 2019.