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2. TAXABLE INCOME

This tax is levied upon dividends, interest, annuities, and upon all other products of invested capital of whatever kind. These are divided into four main categories.

The tax is in the first place on income from shares of all kinds (actions or parts), bonds or other loans payable by commercial or non-commercial share companies having their head office or principal administrative establishment in Belgium.

Income from shares of all kinds includes dividends, interest, partners’ shares, founder shares and all other profits distributed in any form and for any consideration whatsoever, also total or partial repayments of a company’s capital as the result of profits.

If the company is wound up in consequence of liquidation or for some other reason, the tax is based on the total amount distributed in cash, bonds or otherwise, after deducting fully paid-up capital remaining to be refunded.

This capital is, if necessary, multiplied by a co-efficient fixed by Royal Decree,1 account being taken of the average rate of exchange in the year of payment.

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When a company is dissolved without any distribution, the tax is payable on the real value of the company’s property, subject to deduction as above.

This tax, however, will not be collected from share companies which are liquidated by way of merger before July 1st, 1935.2

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The second category of income assessable to personal property tax includes income from bonds issued by the State, provinces and communes and other public institutions or bodies, except as exempted by special legal provisions.3

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The third category of income liable to personal property tax is made up as follows:

(1) Capital invested in any commercial, industrial or agricultural, concern, operated otherwise than by the companies in the first category, and excluding capital invested either by an owner in his own business or by managing partners in partnerships having legal entity.

The collection of personal property tax is therefore limited to the income from capital invested in any commercial, industrial or agricultural enterprise by non-active partners, especially sleeping partners, who only contribute funds, securities or property, even though they may intervene from time to time as legal or technical advisers, etc., to the association.

(2) All loans and debts to the charge of individuals and companies other than share companies, resident or domiciled in Belgium.

The income from debts and loans includes income:

(3) Sums of money deposited in Belgium with banks, exchange, credit, deposit or savings institutions, or with bankers, notaries, business agents or other depositaries.

The tax is payable on the income from these deposits whoever the depositaries may be, and irrespective of the domicile or residence of the depositor and of the duration and nature of the deposit (guarantee, surety, or consignment).

Nevertheless, debts or deposits of a professional character are exempt, if it is duly shown that the interest thereon is included in the accounts of the beneficiary enterprises situated in Belgium (Article 18, last clause of co-ordinated laws).

The fourth category includes income from foreign debentures and securities, foreign debts, cashed or received in Belgium by any person whatever or cashed or received abroad by individuals or legal entities domiciled or resident in Belgium.

Under certain conditions fixed by the Minister of Finance, the tax is not payable on income from foreign securities deposited in Belgium by individuals or legal entities having in Belgium no domicile, residence or establishment.

The tax also applies to the yield from the lease, use and concession of any personal property and to income from real property situated abroad.

Income from Colonial Enterprises

The Law of June 21st, 1927, created a special regime in favour of enterprises operating in the Belgian Congo.

In principle, enterprises — whether they have or not the form of companies — which have their head office or principal administrative establishment in Belgium and their centres of operation in the colony, are liable to taxes on income, regardless of whether the taxable income is of Belgian or colonial origin.

The tax is imposed: (a) in the case of share companies, on the income from share and on profits placed to reserve or on one-twentieth of the annual net profit in the case of Congo private companies (sociétés àresponsabilité limitée); (b) in the case of other taxable enterprises, on income distributed to members or partners or on other income from invested capital.

The rate of the tax is 17 per cent for the incomes enumerated above; it is reduced to 13 per cent on income from bonds.

The Colonial Treasury receives the whole of the tax on the interest on colonial loans and on dividends accruing to the Government of the Belgian Congo from securities in its portfolio, and four-fifths of the capital yield of the other taxes on securities, including the tax on income from bonds; the remaining fifth goes to the Belgian State.

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