Belgians held €62 billion worth of undeclared foreign assets in 2016
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    Belgians held €62 billion worth of undeclared foreign assets in 2016

    Belgium comes fifth in this ranking, with an amount equivalent to 16% of the GDP. Credit: The Brussels Times

    A study carried out for the European Commission estimates that Belgians held undeclared foreign assets worth €62 billion in 2016, La Libre reported on Tuesday.

    Belgium comes fifth in this ranking, with an amount equivalent to 16% of the GDP. Cyprus at 38% is first, ahead of Malta (31%), Portugal (26%) and Greece (23%). In addition, according to the study’s authors, the average annual loss of tax revenue for Belgium rose to €2.6 billion between 2004 and 2016.

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    In order to ascertain the nationality of the holder of an undeclared securities portfolio, the study concentrated on statistics from the Bank of International Settlements concerning bank accounts held in the world by non residents.

    “We know very precisely what percentage of the volume of bank deposits made by foreigners belong to Belgians or Frenchmen throughout the world, tax havens included,” one of the study’s authors, Charles Vellutini of the Ecopa bureau, explained. “We have applied the Belgian or French percentage to the global total of undeclared securities accounts, which gave the sum total of assets concealed by the citizens of each country.”

    The Brussels Times