A few levies on the financial sector

Besides the “traditional” taxes and charges (corporate tax, social security contributions, non-deductible VAT, etc.), the sector pays a number of specific (high) levies:

  • the financial stability contribution or FSC is a levy by the National Bank of Belgium to help guarantee the stability of the financial system. It is calculated on the total liabilities in the balance sheet, excluding core capital and deposits. The levy is 0.035%
  • the annual levy on financial institutions, the so-called subscription tax, is calculated on “eligible deposits”, in other words on all savings deposits that might be eligible for the deposit guarantee (DGS) up to EUR 100,000 per saver and per bank. In 1996 the subscription tax was 6 basis points, but in 2007 it was increased to 8 basis points. Investment funds (BEVEKs/SICAVs) and branch-23 products are also subject to subscription tax
  • the levy for the deposit guarantee (DGS) is the “insurance premium” paid by financial institutions for the deposit guarantee up to EUR 100,000 provided by the public authorities. The DGS consists of a recurrent part (that is always owed) and a non-recurrent part (that does not recur each year). Banks, but also branch-21 products, are subject to DGS contributions
  • the loan-to-deposit tax was introduced in 2012. It has the same taxable base as the subscription tax, but the charge varies: the charge fluctuates between 3 and 12 basis points according to whether the financial institution has more or less loans in proportion to its deposit base

Besides the taxes paid by the financial institutions there are also taxes or charges that are levied as a result of their intervention. These include charges on financial products, or the taxes relating to employment in the sector.