Belgium is one of the countries that signed double tax treaties over the years with a vast network of countries. The treaties have as a model the OECD Model Taxation convention in Income and Capital. They provide regulations regarding the taxation of income and capital for Belgian companies that have foreign shareholders.
Advantages of double tax treaties in Belgium
Among other European countries, Belgium has signed double tax treaties with Middle East countries such as Kuwait, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Syria or the United Arab Emirates.
Belgium has also signed double tax treaties with countries from the Far East, such as Hong Kong and Singapore, being the first country that signed a double tax treaty with Hong Kong. This particular treaty stipulates that the dividends are not taxed if the foreign shareholders have at least 25% of the company’s capital for more than one year.
The double tax treaty with Singapore also stipulates the exemption from payments of the dividends of foreign shareholders that have at least 25% of the company’s capital for more than one year. The tax rate is of 5 % for a company where at least 10% of the company’s capital is own by foreign shareholders and 15% for the rest of the companies. The interests are taxed with 5% and the royalties with 3%.
Qatar, Oman and Bahrain also have advantageous double tax treaties with Belgium. They contain provisions regarding the withholding tax on interests and royalties of 5% and the dividends are exempt from taxation in certain cases.
Countries that have double tax treaties with Belgium
More than 80 countries have signed double tax treaties with Belgium, from various parts of the world.
In the EU, Belgium has double tax treaties with the following countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, the United Kingdom, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Spain.
Non – EU countries that have double tax treaties with Belgium: Croatia, Iceland, Macedonia, Moldova, Norway, Serbia, Montenegro and Switzerland.
African countries that have double tax treaties with Belgium: Algeria, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Tunisia.
Belgium has double tax treaties with the following Asian countries: China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan, Thailand, the UAE and Vietnam.
In South America, Belgium has double tax treaties with the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and Mexico.
In North America, Belgium has double tax treaties with Canada and the United States.
Belgium also has signed double tax treaties with Australia, Hong Kong, New Zeeland and Russia.
Other types of economic agreements in Belgium
The Federal Public Service in Belgium is the main institution when it comes to economic agreements, while the Foreign Affairs department is in charge with the conclusion of economic agreements.
Belgium has concluded social security agreements, meant to watch over national as well as foreign employees and bilateral investment agreements meant to draw and protect foreign investments in Belgium.
This is why it’s important to take advantage of the economical opportunities offered by double tax treaties that Belgium has with various countries.