What do you have to tell the tax man about your money and investments?

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If you have investments or savings in a personal capacity (i.e. not as part of your business), you don't usually need to report the income from those savings or investments on your tax return. We say 'usually' because there are some exceptions. You must report this income on your tax return in the following cases:

  • If, in 2019, more than €980 in interest was credited to your Belgian savings account(s) and no withholding tax was deducted, you must report the amount that exceeds €980. You will be liable to pay 15% tax on this. This may be the case, for instance, if you have savings accounts at the same bank or with different banks, and the sum total of the interest exceeds the threshold of €980. If the savings account is held in the name of two married partners or two cohabiting partners, a tax break of €1,960 per year applies (double tax break). For the income year 2019/tax assessment year 2020, the threshold is €980 per person. For the income year 2020/tax assessment year 2021, the threshold is €990 per person. The amount may therefore be subject to change every year. → Code 1151 / 2151 on your tax return
  • If you have savings in a foreign savings account, you must also report any interest received in 2020 above the threshold of €980 per person. You must add this to the interest received on any Belgian savings accounts.→ Code 1151 / 2151 on your tax return
  • If you held a foreign account (current account, savings account, securities account, etc.) at any time in 2019, you must report this on your return. In 2019, the tax authorities sent letters to around 200,000 Belgians who had forgotten that they had a foreign account.→ Code 1075 on your tax return
  • Some foreign funds may not automatically deduct the Belgian withholding tax on the taxable income that they collect. But this doesn't mean that you don't have to pay any withholding tax. Specifically, this relates to foreign collective investment funds.How do you know whether you have a foreign collective investment fund in your portfolio?
    • Check the ISIN code. If the code doesn't start with 'BE', it refers to a foreign fund.
    • If it is a foreign investment fund, check whether the fund is established as a legal entity or an investment fund. You will find this information in the fact sheet or prospectus. If the legal form is an 'investment fund' rather than an 'investment undertaking', you will have to report the income on your tax return.
    But how do you calculate how much you need to report? Most fund managers offer a module or calculator on their website that you can use to calculate the exact amount for your tax return.→ Code 1444 / 2444 on your tax return
  • If you have a foreign securities account, you must report the taxable income received (dividends and interest). This is because no Belgian withholding tax will have been deducted. The amount you have to report on your return is the gross amount less the foreign withholding tax.The tax you have to pay on dividends and movable income can mount up: you pay once in the country where your securities account is held, and again (30%) in Belgium.→ Code 1444 / 2444 on your tax return
  • The Constitutional Court of Belgium overturned the tax on securities accounts, but this decision only applies from 1 October 2019. If the average value of your securities account(s) held at Keytrade Bank and/or other banks together exceeded €500,000 between 1 October 2018 and 30 September 2019, you may still be liable for tax.→ Code 1072 / 2072 for reporting the existence of more than one securities account

You should be aware that if you have not made a withholding request to your bank or intermediary for each securities account, and you meet the reporting requirements, you will have to report the tax yourself.

You should do this by filing a specific return rather than via your ordinary return. More information can be found at (in Dutch) https://financien.belgium.be/nl/particulieren/belastingaangifte/taks-op-de-effectenrekeningen#q3

Tip: Recover up to €240 of your withholding tax

This article does not contain any investment advice or recommendation, nor a financial analysis. Nothing in this article may be construed as information with a contractual value of any sort whatsoever. This article is intended for information only and does not constitute in any way a commercialization of financial products. Keytrade Bank cannot be held liable for any decision made based on the information contained in this article, nor for its use by third parties. Every investment entails risks such as a possible loss of capital. Before investing in financial instruments, please inform yourself properly and read carefully the document "Overview of the principal characteristics and risks of financial instruments" that you can find in the Document centre.

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