Banking secrecy in Belgium is no more and the black money disclosure scheme also means a fine. Dutch people are withdrawing their money from Belgium en masse and that is completely logical. Moreover, the highest savings interest on a Dutch savings account quickly becomes an attractive solution. This way you achieve a higher return on your savings.
Banking secrecy is under threat all over the world. Anyone who follows developments in banking secrecy around the world will see that there are fewer and fewer safe places for your money. The OECD, the G20, the United States, State Secretary De Jager, have all started their hunt for black money. And countries are sensitive to this, because they do not want to end up on a blacklist. Everyone seems to be catching on: the United States with UBS in Switzerland, and so on and so on. But also close to home: in Belgium.
In 2009, those with dirty money were presented with a sausage through the tax authorities and the voluntary disclosure scheme. It worked as follows: anyone who voluntarily and timely reported to the tax authorities with undeclared money could use the voluntary disclosure scheme without a fine. Timely, that is, before the tax authorities or the FIOD notice you. The advantage of the voluntary disclosure scheme is that you do not have to pay the high fines that will apply from 2010. These fines can amount to 300%, because a significantly higher fine for black money will then apply. The disadvantage is that you do have to pay the overdue taxes, including the levy interest, but you also have to answer many questions.
Bank secrecy Belgium
Banking secrecy in Belgium is being overhauled: on June 24, 2009, a new tax protocol was signed by Belgian Deputy Finance Minister Bernard Clerfayt. With this protocol, the Netherlands and Belgium have arranged that your bank details can be automatically exchanged from 1 January 2010. Even retroactively to January 1, 2008. This makes many savers nervous. Although no one knows the exact amounts, according to the Ministry of Finance, the Dutch have an estimated seven billion euros in black money in accounts abroad. Not only in Belgium of course, but especially in Luxembourg, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. Bank secrecy there too is now at risk.
Bank secrecy Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles
Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles were a tax haven for a long time. But that has now come to an end. Not surprising, because the Netherlands Antilles ceased to exist on October 10, 2010: Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba are now special municipalities of the Netherlands, while Curaçao and Sint Maarten have the status of autonomous countries. It is therefore not surprising that the tax authorities are already monitoring a large number of Dutch people who are suspected of having dirty money at the First Curaçao International Bank, FCIB. FCIB has at least 6,000 Dutch account holders.
European savings directive
In Belgium, the Dutch neatly paid their withholding tax in accordance with the European Savings Directive, and then thought they were done with it. But that will soon change. Anyone who does not disclose their money in the Netherlands will now own black money. And that is why many Dutch people now count their buttons. The best thing you can do, especially when large amounts are involved, is to seek good advice from specialized agencies. Evading taxes is not allowed, but avoiding taxes is and perhaps a similar solution can be found for you too.
Highest savings interest
And of course you can then choose to put your money in a Dutch account at the highest savings interest rate. The savings interest here is often even higher than in Belgium. For a current overview of the banks with the highest savings interest rates in the Netherlands, I refer you to the article:
- the Tax Authorities and the voluntary disclosure scheme.
The pressure on black savers will only increase with the current crisis. Either you find a different tax structure or you opt for the highest savings interest rate. I wish you much success in this.