Belgium: Entry into force of the legislation to combat tax fraud and tax avoidance
Clearstream Banking1 informs customers that the law aimed at combatting tax fraud and tax avoidance on Belgian withholding tax on income from movable assets dated 11 January 2019 was published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 22 January 2019 entering into force on the same date.
this new law introduces major changes to the Belgian withholding tax reclaim procedure.
The following measures, as described in the TaxFlash T18040, are included in the law adopted by the Belgian parliament:
- The introduction of an anti-avoidance rule on dividends received by Belgian and foreign pension funds when holding the securities from which the dividends arise for less than 60 days;
- New withholding obligation: all Belgian pension funds (subject to corporate income tax, to tax on legal entities etc.) qualify as withholding tax agent when collecting or receiving abroad foreign source dividends without the intervention of an intermediary established in Belgium;
- The full ownership of underlying securities on dividend record date is a condition to apply a withholding tax credit;
- Possibility of the Belgian tax authorities to recover Belgian withholding tax from the Belgian withholding agent or from the beneficiary of the income from movable assets if an illegitimate exemption was applied or when the reimbursement of withholding tax was unjustified.
Impact on customers
We are still assessing the impacts of these new measures with our local partner and will publish an updated operational procedure as it becomes available.
It is already foreseen that these changes may be retroactive and apply to income already distributed or paid before the date of publication.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information as it becomes available.
For further information, please contact the Clearstream Banking Tax Help Desk or Clearstream Banking Client Services or your Relationship Officer.
1. Clearstream Banking refers collectively to Clearstream Banking S.A., registered office at 42, avenue John F. Kennedy, L-1855 Luxembourg, and registered with the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register under number B-9248, and Clearstream Banking AG, registered office at 61, Mergenthalerallee, 65760 Eschborn, Germany and registered in Register B of the Amtsgericht Frankfurt am Main, Germany under number HRB 7500.