Recently, the Belgian Minister of Finance published a general policy regarding “public finances”, “boosting of the economy/entrepreneurial climate” and “combat against tax fraud”. Based on this policy, certain new tax measures will be introduced in the upcoming months. From a personal income tax perspective, the following changes are anticipated:
- further increase in the withholding tax rate on interest and dividend income, notably from 27% to 30% as of January, 1st 2017. Since January, 1st 2013, a uniform withholding tax rate of 25% was applicable, which was increased to 27% as of January, 1st 2016;
- abolition of the speculation tax, which was introduced in the framework of the 2015 tax shift legislation. This tax is applicable as of January, 1st 2016 and amounts to 33% of the gains realised by individual taxpayers on the quick selling of listed stocks and certain stock exchange listed financial instruments (i.e. within a 6-month period following the purchase);
- going forward, certain tax benefits (available to individual taxpayers) will only be granted to taxpayers who stayed in Belgium during a “minimum period”;
- so-called “internal capital gains” (i.e. situations where individual taxpayers realise capital gains on shares by assigning their holding interests to a fully owned holding company) will become subject to specific tax audits. Moreover, new legislation will be implemented in this respect as of January, 1st 2017;
- introduction of the so-called “mobility budget” in the course of 2017, which will allow employees to convert their current company car into a “budget” or to receive “additional net salary”. This system would be neutral from a cost and benefit perspective for the employers and the employees, but also from the budget perspective of the State. It would ‘as such’ not change the current tax regime for company cars.