Standard refund - eligibility, documentation, deadlines - Belgian equities

03.01.2017

Who can apply for a standard refund?

A standard refund of withholding tax on dividends from Belgian equities is available through Clearstream Banking for beneficial owners who did not obtain relief at source or a quick refund, as follows:

Eligible beneficial ownersEffective rate of tax
after refund
Tax refund
available a
Residents of Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) countriesTax treaty rate or
30%,
whichever is lower
30% minus
the tax treat rate b
Supranational or international organisations0%30%
Non-resident pension funds0%30%
Foreign companies holding “qualifying” participation1.6995% or 0%28.3005% or 30%

a. Expressed as a percentage of the gross dividend amount.
b. Amount of refund will be 0% if the DTT rate exceeds 30%.

Documentation requirements

To apply for a standard refund of withholding tax on dividends from Belgian equities, the following documentation must be submitted to Clearstream Banking according to type of eligible beneficial owner, as follows:

For residents of Double Taxation Treaty (DTT) countries:

  • Form 276-Div.-Aut. (or together with a Certificate of Residence if section IV in Form 276-Div.-Aut. Is not completed);
  • Full chain of original Credit Advices provided for each standard refund application by each intermediary between the final beneficial owner and Clearstream Banking;
  • Power of Attorney from the final beneficial owner (if Form 276-Div.-Aut. signed by a third party);
  • Power of Attorney from the Clearstream Banking customer;
  • Letter of request to Clearstream Banking for Reclaim of Belgian Withholding tax.

For supranational or international organisations:

  • Annexe 229 - Attestation de propriété in the name of each beneficial owner concerned;
  • Full chain of original Credit Advices provided for each standard refund application by each intermediary between the final beneficial owner and Clearstream Banking;
  • Power of Attorney from the final beneficial owner (if Annex 229 signed by a third party);
  • Power of Attorney from the Clearstream Banking customer;
  • Letter of Request to Clearstream Banking for Reclaim of Belgian Withholding Tax.

For non-resident pension funds:

  • Annexe 26 – Précompte Mobilier;
  • Full chain of original Credit Advices provided for each standard refund application by each intermediary between the final beneficial owner and Clearstream Banking;
  • Power of Attorney from the final beneficial owner (if Annex 26 signed by a third party);
  • Power of Attorney from the Clearstream Banking customer;
  • Letter of Request to Clearstream Banking for Reclaim of Belgian Withholding Tax.

For foreign companies holding “qualifying” participation:

  • foreign companies with minority participation claiming a reduced rate of 1.6995%:
    • Self-declaration for reduced dividend withholding tax rate of 1.6995%
    • Power of Attorney from the final beneficial owner (if Self-declaration signed by a third party);
    • Power of Attorney from the Clearstream Banking customer (upon request);
    • per payment corporate action instruction.
  • foreign companies with substantial participation claiming exemption:
    • Self-declaration for exemption of dividend withholding tax
    • Power of Attorney from the final beneficial owner (if Self-declaration signed by a third party);
    • Power of Attorney from the Clearstream Banking customer (upon request);
    • per payment corporate action instruction.

Specific documentation for reclaims higher than EUR 100,000

In order to have a reclaim for withholding tax of more than EUR 100,000 accepted, customers must justify the request by providing the following additional documentation together with the above mentioned reclaim documentation:

  • A copy of the Credit Advice from the previous dividend payment, if received by the same beneficial owner.
  • A Statement containing the details of all the transactions (purchase, sale, lending, etc.) between the previous dividend payment date and the dividend payment date stated on the reclaim form. This statement must mention the following trade details: security name, ISIN, quantity of shares, trade date, settlement date, transaction type (purchase/sale) and the counterparties of the trade. This is only required if there were transactions between the previous dividend payment and the dividend payment date for which the reclaim is submitted. This is a free format document however an example of Statement of Transactions is available under Tax Forms to use - Belgium.

Important: Both the statement and the credit advice must be certified by the customer with two authorised signatures.

Form descriptions are presented according to the procedures available for relief and/or reclaim of withholding tax on income from Belgian equities.

Deadline for receipt of documents

The statutory deadline for reclaiming withholding tax is five years as of 1 January of the year in which the tax withheld was remitted to the Belgian Treasury. Example: payment of 15 March 2012 - deadline 31 December 2016.

The deadline by which Clearstream Banking must receive the documentation for an application is, at the latest, two months before the relevant statutory deadline.

All refund applications received after this deadline will be processed by Clearstream Banking on a “best efforts” basis but, in such cases, Clearstream Banking will apply an extra charge. Clearstream Banking accepts no responsibility for forms that have not reached the Belgian Tax Authorities by the date considered as being the statute of limitations deadline.

When are refunds received?

The estimated time for receiving a refund is:

  • For a partial tax refund based on a DTT, eleven months from the date of receipt by the Belgian Tax Authorities; and
  • For total tax refunds based on Belgian domestic law, one year from the date of receipt by the Belgian Tax Authorities.

Note: These timings can vary depending on when the application is filed and on the complexity of the information supplied in the reclaim form.