Date: 19th March 2020

There is bad news for Belgian investors as Belgium and France have reformed a new tax treaty which, according to two sources close to the negotiators, would stop the Cour de cassation, one of the four courts of last resort in France, from allowing it to reduce the double imposition of dividends.

The current convention dating back from 1964 links both French and Belgian States and it`s supposed to reduce the imposition over dividends. Since many years both countries have been discussing signing a new contract that can respond to the economical and fiscal evolutions of the market.

However, this might result in the re-establishment of a double withholding tax on dividends from French shares received by Belgians where Belgian residents will pay 40.5% dividend taxes on French stocks, versus 30% on Belgian stocks, while French residents also pay 30% on French stocks' dividends. In short, Belgians will pay double taxes to own French-issued bonds.

In the words of Guillaume Prache, Managing Director of consumer group Better Finance: "To call this a treaty "to avoid double taxation" is an insult to EU citizens as individual Investors.”  He added: In a speech where Member States plead for EU Capital Markets Union to be open, free and joint, they certainly do not  "walk the talk".

Source (in French) here. (L`Echo)