The European Commission and the European Court of Justice (ECJ) are examining Belgian legislation relating to savings accounts, reports L’Echo on Wednesday. The latter was modified after initial criticism not respecting the two core principles of freedom to supply services and free movement of capital.
The Commission has led an investigation following complaints made by several Belgian tax payers holding accounts abroad. After the informal procedure, in October, the European Executive noted that the new regime still amounted to an obstacle to foreign banks’ competition, which Belgium had not banked upon. No formal proceedings have taken place for the moment.
Simultaneously with these events the Bruges court of first instance asked the ECJ for a preliminary ruling on this issue. The latter must consequently determine if the new legislation infringes European law.
Experts questioned by L’Echo say that Belgium risks in all probability fresh criticism, the consequences of which could be the end of exemption from the so-called “withholding tax”.