Information shared with the Belgian tax department has shown Belgians have €174 billion in foreign bank accounts, according to reports.
This is the first time Belgium has been able to do this, L’Echo and De Tijd revealed on Saturday.
The Belgian tax department automatically exchanged financial data with 87 countries last year, as part of an international agreement signed in 2014. Only 45 countries had signed the agreement in 2017. These included Belgium’s direct neighbours as well as Switzerland, Monaco, Turkey, Israel, China, Brazil, the United Arab Emirates and Russia.
The figures provided by Finance minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) revealed Belgians had more than €173.8 billion in foreign accounts during the 2017 fiscal year (this includes savings accounts as well as shares, insurances and annuities).
This figure may not be completely accurate as it may include duplicates: the entirety of accounts owned by several people are added for each owner separately. This is still a large sum of money.
The most recent poll performed by the Mediafin group showed current and savings accounts in Belgium contain €97 billion and €279 billion respectively.