Federal government reaches agreement on new securities tax

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A solidarity contribution of 0.15 percent per year will be requested on all securities accounts with an average value of more than 1 million euros. An agreement has been reached on this within the federal government.

On Monday evening, the De Croo government reached an agreement on a ‘securities tax 2.0’. The government wants to request a solidarity contribution of 0.15 percent per year on all securities accounts with an average value of more than 1 million euros. This was confirmed by Minister of Finance Vincent Van Peteghem (CD&V) on Tuesday The morning on Radio 1.

The proceeds, according to the administration’s first conservative estimates, some 420 million euros per year, will go to the financing of healthcare, Van Peteghem explained.

‘We live in very exceptional times, in which we demand efforts from every citizen to follow up the measures and from the healthcare staff to keep our healthcare running. We also ask for a contribution from the large capacities to help support that health system financially. ‘

constitutional Court

The previous government led by Prime Minister Charles Michel already introduced a securities tax of 0.15 percent on securities accounts from 500,000 euros in 2018. But the Constitutional Court overturned it because the tax violated the principle of equality and non-discrimination. For example, not all financial instruments were included, but only shares, savings certificates and bonds, and the tax only applied to the accounts of natural persons.

Van Peteghem is convinced that the new securities tax will pass the test against the Constitution. All securities accounts will be taxed, including those of companies, legal entities and financial structures, as well as other financial instruments such as swaps and options. “We have ensured that all objections to the previous securities tax have been addressed and resolved,” said the CD&V Deputy Prime Minister.

At the same time, an anti-abuse provision has been included to prevent owners from splitting their securities in different accounts or converting their shares to registered shares, in order to avoid the tax, Van Peteghem emphasizes.

Finally, tax is no longer charged per holder, but on the account itself, which, according to the minister, makes the system ‘simpler and more efficient’. ‘With the previous version, we had to see who owned which account. That shouldn’t happen now. ‘

It is not yet entirely clear when the new securities tax will take effect. The design will now first go to the Council of State for advice. After that, it still has to go through the parliamentary procedure.

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