Main Content

Extension of the scope of the Belgian Stock Exchange Tax to “foreign intermediaries”

Market: Belgium (available in english, dutch and french)

Lion statue in front of the Brussels stock exchange building against a slightly clouded sky.

Summary of changes to the Belgian Stock Exchange Tax since the framework-law of 25 December 2016.

The extension of the scope of the Stock Exchange Transaction Tax has prompted many questions to which the Federal Public Service of Finance has attempted to answer on its web page.

You will find below a summary of the major amendments which, we emphasise, do not apply to insurance contracts.

1. History

Until 1 January 2017, a Belgian stock exchange tax was levied on each purchase and sale of certain stock exchange transactions concluded or executed in Belgium.

The relevant rate varies according to the type of assets:

  Bonds Shares  Capitalisation funds
Rate 0.09 % 0.27 % 1.32 %

Ceiling per order

Until 1 January 17

650 € 800 € 2,000 €

Ceiling per order

From 1 January 17
1,300 €  1,600 €  4,000 €

2. Scope

Since 1 January 2017, the Stock Exchange Tax is applied more broadly since it applies when:

  • An individual having his/her habitual residence in Belgium or a Belgian company or branch gave, directly or indirectly, an order to an intermediary established abroad.

  • An order is placed through a foreign bank or through a foreign securities broker.

  • A stock exchange transaction is offered via the internet by foreign intermediaries.

Unless the individual or company proves that the tax has already been paid.

3. Operation

There are two possible patterns:

  1. Foreign intermediaries fulfil the obligation and the person placing the order must no longer fulfil it. Then, they must file the tax return and perform the payment obligations no later than the last business day of the month following the month in which the orders were placed.

  2. Individuals or companies placing an order must perform the obligation themselves. This should be done no later than the last business day of the second month following the month in which the orders were made.

The Ministry of Finance has extended the term:

  • as for the term for foreign intermediaries to file the tax return and perform the payment obligations for orders made between January 2017 and April 2017, it has been extended to 30 June 2017.

  • as for the term for individuals and companies that handle the bonds themselves, the January 2017 term has been extended to March 2017.

In the near future, find our next "experts' point of view" on "the reform of Belgian inheritance law".