European Commission requests Belgium to amend property transfer tax in the Brussels Capital Region

If the rules are not brought into compliance within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union

Belgium legislation at stake allows for a tax base reduction of the property transfer tax when buying a primary residence in the Brussels Capital Region on the condition of staying resident in the Region during the next 5 years.

The Commission considers that this legislation is incompatible with the Treaties as it discourages the free movement of persons, workers and self-employed persons which is guaranteed by EU rules (Articles 21, 45, 49 TFEU and 28 and 31 EEA). Taxpayers who settle in newly bought property in the Brussels Capital Region are dissuaded from leaving it for the next 5 years as otherwise they would lose the above mentioned tax advantage and would have to retroactively pay the tax to the Region.