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Brussels, 6 April 2011

Taxation: Commission requests Belgium to amend property tax legislation

The European Commission has formally requested Belgium to amend its tax legislation which provides for tax exemption of certain types of real estate located in Belgium so as to ensure its compliance with EU rules on the free movement of capital. The Commission considers that the current rules are discriminatory and are liable to discourage Belgian residents from investing in other EU Member States. The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (second step of EU infringement proceedings). In the absence of a satisfactory response within two months, the Commission may refer Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Under Belgian tax law, revenues from real estate used by organisations that are active in the health or educational sectors, or that are leased under special types of contracts, are exempt from tax. On the contrary, Belgian residents are taxed on the revenues they get from comparable real estate located abroad. The Commission is of the opinion that these provisions are discriminatory and constitute an unjustified restriction on the free movement of capital, as provided for in Article 63 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 40 of the European Economic Area Agreement.

For the press releases issued on infringement proceedings in the area of taxation or customs see:

For the most up-to-date general information on the infringement proceedings initiated against Member States, see:

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/11/220

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