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Posted Fri, 08 Jan 2021 10:50:15 GMT by Birch
Is this still the case for pensions which started to be paid in 2010 ie before the protocol signed 24/06/2009 and in force as from 24/12/2012, applying to Belgian state pensions paid from 01/01/2013 paid to UK. Exceptions were allowed when a Belgian pension was paid to a UK resident for the first time before 01/01/2013 (my situation), and all pension payments were made in full, being reported and tax paid in the UK. Is a new agreement in place after Brexit to cover the previous exception? "toutefois, lorsque des pensions et autres rémunérations similaires payées en exécution d'un régime de retraite ont été payées ou attribuées pour la première fois avant le 1er janvier de l'année civile qui suit immédiatement celle de l'entrée en vigueur du premier Protocole à la présente Convention, tous les paiements effectués en exécution de ce régime ne sont imposables que dans l'autre Etat."
Posted Sat, 09 Jan 2021 10:14:44 GMT by HMRC Admin 14
There has been no change to the DTA UK/Belgium tax treaty due to Brexit See Tax Treaty in link below Article 18 and 19 relate to pensions
Thank you.
Posted Sun, 10 Jan 2021 13:24:16 GMT by HiFi
My mother is in a similar situation. We lived in Belgium during the 1970s and my father was awarded a state pension from Belgium when he turned 65 in 1992. Following his death, my mother has received his widow's pension from Belgium since 1993. In Nov 2020 (last November) she was sent a non-resident's tax return (never filled in one before to my knowledge). She pays tax in the UK on her Belgian pension and has no other belgian source of income. I have written to the Belgian authorities explaining that she is exempt from paying tax in Belgium because her pension was first paid before 1st Jan 2013, and HMRC have confirmed that this is the case, but the Belgian authorities still maintain that tax is due in Belgium. We have requested a Certificate of Residence from HMRC but are still waiting for this (I realise everything is delayed due to the pandemic / Christmas etc).
Posted Sat, 16 Jan 2021 09:40:52 GMT by Birch
Interestingly forum "Belgian Tax Return", 2 months old, gives a different link in the response. It mentions the protocol of 2009. The link given in response to my earlier question on this forum does not mention the protocol. Which is correct? More of a pressing issue is the fact that Belgium has already started deducting not only AMI and Solidarity (although expected their calculation overestimates my other pensions) but Tax too even though my pension should be covered by the protocol. If they continue to take tax, will I also have to pay tax to UK? Will I have to declare it on my Self Assessment if it has already been taxed?
Posted Thu, 21 Jan 2021 13:53:04 GMT by HiFi
It's all a bit confusing isn't it? I think the first link you were given is to the original 1987 Treaty, which was amended by the first Protocol which came into effect in Belgium on 1 January 2013. I think you need to ask HMRC for a certificate of Residence for the tax period in question. Mum's application using the email form didn't seem to get through so she has applied again via her online tax account (and you can follow its progress there).
Posted Fri, 22 Jan 2021 10:19:57 GMT by HMRC Admin 15
Hi I am not sure from your Question what type of pensions your enquiry related to see link below for latest information  on our website Belgium-tax-treaties Thank you
Posted Fri, 22 Jan 2021 14:17:38 GMT by Paul Campbell
I'm taking an interest in this thread as I'm similarly affected. I lived and worked in Belgium from 1975 to 1988 and retained a non-resident status throughout. I retired in the UK in 2014 and applied for my Belgian pension and after some months this was approved and payments received into my UK bank account. Each year I've completed an HMRC self assessment as the amounts I receive from Belgium each month differ with the exchange rate and I pay a bank transfer fee, so I declare the net annual amount and pay UK tax accordingly. I've recently received a Belgian income tax form for 2019 (their tax year is the calendar year as opposed to the UK April deadline). I have already paid UK tax on my Belgian pension for 2018/19 and 2019/20. The fact that this coincides with Brexit may be a red herring....or not! The Belgian tax form requires details of all world-wide income and of course I only have the details in £sterling. I'm reluctant to complete the Belgian tax form without advice. It seems that everyone receiving a Belgian pension and living in the UK will be affected, perhaps other EU countries are also taking this approach. Any further advice and experiences appreciated.
Posted Tue, 09 Feb 2021 14:09:31 GMT by Brabz
Hi, In a similar vein, my mother worked in Belgium in the 1970s. She left Belgium in 1980 and is tax resident in the UK. She is being charged a sickness and invalidity insurance (MAI, AMI) contribution of 3.55% on her Belgian pension. She is also being charged sickness and invalidity insurance (MAI, AMI) contribution of 3.55% by the Belgian tax authorities on her UK state pension. HMRC please advise if the Belgian taxable income calculation for MAI AMI should include the UK state pension when the taxpayer is tax resident in the UK? Thanks.
Posted Wed, 10 Feb 2021 14:37:23 GMT by HMRC Admin 5
Hello Brabz.

The UK state pension is paid by Department of work and pensions direct to customer, you may need to contact the Belgium Tax Authorities to check their rules regarding MAI and AMI

Thank You.
Posted Mon, 15 Feb 2021 15:51:32 GMT by HiFi
Thank you, Birch. That's useful to know that you receive duplicates of your pension documents by post. I have now asked the pension service (via their website) to send her documents by post, but haven't heard back yet. She has never been able to log in to her online account, even back in 2013 but we didn't worry too much as the 'Certificate of Life' still arrived by post. For the more recent change in 2019, I previously asked about getting an 'activation code' from the UK but was told that this wasn't possible. (Mum could, however, send someone with power of attorney to Belgium as long as she had a medical certificate ..... also not possible). She didn't receive a 'Certificate of Life' to complete last year (2020) and I assumed it was because of the pandemic (she was still receiving her pension). I thought that the brown envelope from Belgium in November was the Certificate of Life, but it turned out to be a Tax Return. We normally ask the local Town Clerk to sign and stamp the certificate, which he does free of charge. I have no idea what deductions have been made from Mum's Belgian pension this year as we haven't seen any documents. I'm not sure how far I would pursue any claims for deductions on her behalf though, as I am already losing the will to live. I have now sent off Mum's Certificate of Residence from HMRC to the Belgian authorities to add to her Tax Return file along with a covering letter explaing why she should be exempt from Belgian Tax on her pension (because she first received it before 1 January 2013). HMRC also say that if the Belgian authorities refuse to grant the relief that you should be entitled to, they will consider contacting them on your behalf under the Mutual Agreement Procedure.
Posted Tue, 23 Feb 2021 10:24:37 GMT by Oldie
I was resident in Belgium from the 1980s until 2017. I returned from Belgium to be resident in the UK in 2017. I have received a Belgian state pension since 2011. While in Belgium I paid Belgian tax on this pension and also on my UK state pension. Since my return I have paid UK tax on both these pensions. This was not questioned by either the Belgian tax authority or HMRC. I have now been informed by the Belgian pension authority (letter of 11/02/2021) that there is a new interpretation of article 18.b of the Protocol of 24th June 2009 modifying the agreement between Belgium and the United Kingdom to avoid double taxation. They say in the letter that, as a consequence, from a start date of 01/01/2021 my Belgian pension will be subject to tax in Belgium and I will thus be required, starting from that date, to declare my Belgian pension to the tax authorities in Belgium. Will I have to declare my Belgian pension on my UK tax return? What is the HMRC position on this situation?
Posted Thu, 25 Feb 2021 12:38:15 GMT by HMRC Admin 11

As your Belgium pension started before 01/01/2013, it is taxable only in the UK and exempt from Belgium tax.

You should request a refund of Belgium tax from the date you became tax resident in the UK. Please see:

Thank you. 
Posted Thu, 25 Feb 2021 15:26:25 GMT by HiFi
Oldie... that's quite shocking that the Belgians say there is a new interpretation of Article 18b of the UK-Belgium Double Taxation Agreement, which doesn't seem to have been agreed with HMRC. Perhaps you could contact the International Pension Centre for clarification? I'm sure that a lot of people will be affected by this.
Posted Thu, 25 Feb 2021 16:02:07 GMT by Birch
I too have had a similar letter from the Belgian Pension Service in response to mine in which I pointed out the Treaty and Protocol indicate that Belgium should not be taxing my pension. Given the Pension Service has no authority over taxation I was advised in their letter to contact the Belgian Tax Authorities for whom they gave precise contact details. I have e-mailed them, asking for documentation regarding the "new interpretation". As yet they have not replied.
Posted Fri, 26 Feb 2021 17:48:25 GMT by Oldie
Thank you all for the above HRMC Admin 11: Since I came back to the UK from Belgium and up to 31/12/2020 both authorities have been applying the double taxation convention and my Belgian pension has been taxed only in the UK. However, as I explained above, I have now been informed by the Belgian Pension Authority (and clearly from the post from Birch above I am not alone in this) that from 01/01/2021, following a new interpretation of the convention, my pension will be taxable in Belgium. Presumably HMRC has not been informed of this fundamental change? If not would HMRC be in a position to seek clarification from the Belgian Authorities? Hifi: I have tried to call the International pensions centre but it was closed. I will call again on Monday. Birch: A reply from the Belgian Tax Authority would be of great interest. It would seem that this is likely to have been a unilateral action on their part.
Posted Thu, 04 Mar 2021 11:20:19 GMT by Birch
Tired of waiting for a response, today I phoned "SPF Finances-Conventions internationales". I was informed a written response with documentation would be sent in the next 2 weeks. However, I was given the following information: The Protocol re 2013 date determining where pensions are taxed applies only to pensions of the "2e pilier". The state pension is considered to be a "legal pension ie 1er pilier" and as such is taxable in Belgium. Only now have the Belgians discovered that they were treating it incorrectly in the past. As yet I have not studied the full Treaty text in detail in both English and French. As the systems are different in so many ways, numerous headaches lie ahead. Please HMRC can you confirm this "new" interpretation of the Treaty and Protocol. Also given tax has been deducted in Belgium since 1st Jan 2021, is it still necessary to declare the gross Belgian pension income for the 3 months of 2021 in our 20-21 on-line tax declaration to HMRC.
Posted Fri, 05 Mar 2021 11:30:17 GMT by HMRC Admin 5
Hello Birch.

Can you send a copy of the correspondence from Belgium please?
If this changes the treatment of the pension we will need to review the paperwork to allow us to provide an accurate answer based on your individual circumstances.  
In general, if an overseas pension is exempt from UK tax under the terms of the Double taxation agreement with that country, you would NOT declare that pension on your Self assessment tax return to HMRC.    
Write to HMRC at this address for all Income Tax queries except complaints.

You do not need to include a street name, city name or PO box when writing to this address.

Pay As You Earn and Self Assessment
HM Revenue and Customs
United Kingdom

Thank You.
Posted Fri, 05 Mar 2021 16:23:47 GMT by Oldie
I telephoned to HMRC before seeing these posts. The person to whom I spoke was not aware of any change. I was advised that I should I write to SPF Finances-Conventions internationales. Also they proposed that I forward any response to them for review, with an explanatory note. I will do so.
Posted Mon, 15 Mar 2021 12:16:49 GMT by HMRC Admin 5
Hello Roy.

The Belgian Tax Authority now require individuals who are not resident in Belgium and in receipt of any source of income form Belgium to complete a 'Non-Residents Declaration tax form' for every year.
This change only effect the 2019 and subsequent tax years.
There is information regarding this form and instructions on how UK residents should complete it  in the link below
NON-RESIDENT INCOME TAX RETURN                                                                            
With the information you have provided your Belgian State Pension will remain taxable in the UK as you advised you were in receipt of this before 1st January 2013, see tax treaty in link below for confrimation.
If you receive information from Belgian Tax authority advsing this is incorrect, please send to HMRC for further investigation
Belgium: tax treaties

Thank You.
Posted Mon, 15 Mar 2021 14:05:36 GMT by HMRC Admin 17


The Belgian Tax Authority now require individuals who are not resident in Belgium and in receipt of any source of income form Belgium to complete a 'Non-Residents Declaration tax form' for every year.

This change only effect the 2019 and subsequent tax years.

The Belgian tax authority has confirmed that more information on this form, along with instructions on how UK residents should complete it, can be found online using the link below:         

   Belgium: tax treaties                

Thank you.      

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