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Is Belgium Becoming More Attractive Than Switzerland Tax Wise?

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New developments in Swiss and Belgian laws are changing the tax appeal of these destinations. Recent laws, as well as those to come, seem to be designed to curb interest in the Swiss destination for tax optimization purposes while encouraging interest in Belgium.

Choose Belgium rather than Switzerland? A favorable option for nationals of the European Union

To settle in Belgium rather than in Switzerland offers some tax advantages for the nationals of the European Union, especially since the Exit Tax was published in the Official Journal in April 2012. Under the Exit Tax, in the case of relocation of his activity outside the EU (for example, Switzerland), the taxpayer can immediately be taxed on some of his gains.  On the other hand, if he decides to remain in the European Union and settle in a country with a more attractive tax system, such as Belgium, his taxes will automatically be deferred.

In fact, if the taxpayer conserves listed or non-listed securities for a period of at least eight years after leaving his country of origin, he may claim a tax relief on capital gains. When the securities are transferred, all that needs to be paid are the tax levies.

Swiss tax benefits disappear, Belgium profits

For example, there is a  franco-swiss convention in matters of succession that is extremely favorable. It involves the computation of estate duty for assets held in Switzerland of a deceased person who was a resident of Switzerland, for the benefit of their heirs who are French residents. Presently, estate tax is due in Switzerland, which is much more advantageous than if it were due in France. However, this convention is in the process of being challenged so that estate tax must take into account the tax domiciliation of the heirs and not of the deceased. This should come into effect at the latest by January 2014.

These are only a few illustrations to demonstrate how taxation in Switzerland is perhaps less favorable than before, while at the same time, some countries of the European Union, Belgium in particular, are making efforts to make their tax system more attractive.


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