The number of real-estate donations increased by 28% in Wallonia between 1 January and 30 November over the corresponding period of last year, according to the Belgian notary federation, FEDNOT.
In Belgium real-estate donations must be done through a notarised transaction. "Making a donation is an ideal way to plan one’s succession and shield one’s beneficiaries from heavy inheritance taxes,” according to FEDNOT.
It enables people to give their children or grandchildren a house or apartment and avoid them having to pay onerous inheritance taxes.
The increase recorded in Wallonia - the highest among the three regions - was due to a change in tax laws for real-estate donations in the region, FEDNOT explains.
In September 2018, the region reduced taxes on such donations, while also reducing the number of tax brackets.
The actual number of donations in Wallonia in the period under review was 5,858, representing an average of about 20 real-estate donations per day. An upward trend, albeit smaller, was also observed in the other two regions: +11.8% in Flanders and +2.4% in Brussels.
“It is interesting to make a donation from the time you wish to help your loved ones materially and, at the same time, reduce the fiscal pressure they will have to bear when you die,” says Belgian notary Sébastien Dupuis.
The Brussels Times