Nair & Co.

Belgium: Tax Rates Increased for Equity Based Stock Options and Dividends


Sunnyvale, CA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 04/16/2012 -- Belgium’s prolonged budgetary discussions resulted in an increase in tax on equity based payments particularly stock options and dividends where most taxable benefits on stock options granted will be increased to 18% from the current 15%.

Currently, stock options are taxed from the moment it is granted, if they are accepted in writing within 60 calendar days after the offer is made. Capitals gains tax on the subsequent exercise, possession or sale of acquired shares is exempted as earned income. The taxable portion on non-quoted stock options (with a term of five years or less) is 15% of the value of the underlying shares at the time of stock option grant. The taxable portion of such stock options increases if their term is for more than 5 years.

Effective January 1, 2012, for non-quoted stock options having term of up to 5 years, the taxable benefit on stock options which has been extended to 18 %. Individuals who opt for stock options under a plan qualifying under the law of March 26, 1999 will see an increase in the taxable base.

Belgium Withholding Tax on Dividends:

The current withholding tax of 25% which applies to dividends received from either a Belgian company or a foreign company through a Belgian intermediary will remain the same.

Plans to increase the withholding rate of 15% on dividends of publicly issued shares (since 1994) to 21%.

Taxpayers whose annual movable income surpasses € 20,000 will be subject to a solidarity surcharge of 4% over and above the 21% withholding rate.

Belgium Capital Gains Tax on Employee Stock Options

Capital gains on shares, securities are tax free. For employee stock option plans’ participants (individuals), this year’s budgetary discussions did not introduce a general capital gains tax.

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