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(e) GAIN DERIVED FROM THE PURCHASE AND SALE OF REAL ESTATE, PERSONAL PROPERTY AND SECURITIES

Purchase and Sale of Real and Personal Property

A foreign enterprise — individual, partnership or company — which has no domicile or establishment in Belgium, but from time to time realises a profit from the purchase and sale of real estate in Belgium, is not taxable on this score. Nor is an individual foreigner who, being domiciled or resident in Belgium, occasionally sells property at a profit. On the other hand, the revenue authorities regard as professional income liable to professional tax on industrial and commercial income any profit of this kind realised in Belgium by a foreign company having an establishment in the country. The reason for this is that, in the case of companies, all operations, even when only occasional, are considered professional.

Purchase and Sale of Securities

The profit obtained by an individual from the sale of a security bought some time before at a lower price is not regarded as income. On the other hand, profits from speculative transactions by professional speculators, such as stockbrokers, are so regarded.2

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In the case, therefore, of stockbrokers and other dealers in stocks and bonds, no difficulty can arise; all profits from transactions of any kind in securities invested in their commercial enterprise must be included in their accounts and figure in the balance-sheet, whether they are cash transactions, dealings for settlement or contango operations.

On the other hand, transactions effected by stockbrokers or dealers in stocks and bonds on their own private account are only taxable if they are contango operations or dealings for a settlement, these being clearly speculative transactions.

Since any appreciation of the assets of a company is regarded as profit, the tax is payable on all profits—including profits from the purchase and sale, occasional or otherwise, of securities—realised by or through the Belgian establishment of a foreign company.

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