The double tax treaties signed by Belgium over the years have as a model the OECD Model Taxation Convention on Income and on Capital and provide regulations regarding the taxation of income and capital for the Belgian companies with foreign shareholders.
The network of countries to whom Belgium has signed double tax treaty is very vast and includes: Albania, Argentina, Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam.
Belgium is considered a gateway to Middle East markets because of its treaties signed with Kuwait, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, Syria, Libya and United Arab Emirates.
Belgium has also signed double tax treaties in the Far East with Hong Kong and Singapore, this granting its access to the Asian markets.
The advantageous treaties signed with Qatar, Oman and Bahrain contains provisions regarding the withholding tax on interests and royalties (5%) and the dividends (exempt from taxation in certain cases).
Belgium is the first country which has signed a double tax treaty with Hong Kong. This 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 signed with Singapore also stipulates the exemption from payment of the dividends if the foreign shareholders have at least 25% of the company’s capital for more than a year, 5% for the company’s where at least 10% of the capital is own by the foreign shareholders and 15 % for the rest of the companies. The interests are taxed with 5% and the royalties with 3%.
For more information regaring taxation matters in Belgium as well as the double taxation treaties please feel free to contact our Belgian company formation specialists.