As previously announced, the withholding tax rate on movable income will be increased from 25% to 27%. Income on saving accounts would however not be affected by the increased withholding tax rate.
Further, a new and so-called “speculation tax” will be introduced. This tax of 33% will apply as of 2016 to capital gains on stock exchange listed shares or derivatives such as warrants and options, if such capital gains are realized by individuals within a period of six months after the date of acquisition of the concerned shares or derivatives. It seems that losses suffered on the sale of such shares or derivatives, would not be tax deductible. More clarifications on this new tax are expected. The list of derivatives may still be expanded.
On the more positive side of the tax shift, at least for the taxpayer, the Government has decided that by 2019 every individual taxpayer earning a gross income of no more than EUR 2.800 per month will benefit from an increase of his net income of at least EUR 100 per month. This measure would be beneficial to approximately 2.2 million employees. In case of a gross income of EUR 1.500 the net financial benefit would even amount to EUR 140 per month.
Also the personal income tax rate of 30% will be abolished, and some technical modifications on the calculation of the income tax will be introduced. These measures are also intended to increase the net after-tax income.
The purpose of the tax shift is to reduce income taxes on professional income, to restore the competitive position of Belgian industries and businesses, and to create jobs. The measures outlined here will have to be further elaborated and formalised as new tax legislation during the coming weeks and months