Belgium: Stock options: extension of exercise period with no tax consequences

Posted on 6th January, 2009

Estimated reading time 2 minutes

As a reminder, the Economic Recovery Act of 27 March 2009 (published in the Belgian Official Journal of 7 April 2009) provided for the possibility to extend the exercise period of stock options stemming from plans concluded between 1 January 2003 and 31 August 2008 without any tax.

The employer may thus extend, by common consent with the beneficiaries, the exercise period of the current stock options by a maximum period of 5 years without any complementary benefit for the beneficiaries.

The tax authorities have just published a circular detailing the terms of applicability providing, among others:

  • it must concern stock options already granted but not yet exercised or already expired due to the conditions of the plan;
  • the options must have been granted to the beneficiary between 2 November 2002 and 31 August 2008;
  • each beneficiary may extend all his options for a total fiscal amount of EUR 100,000, the surplus is not taken into account.

Regarding the formalities:

  • the company that granted the options must conclude a written agreement with the beneficiaries before 30 June 2009;
  • said company must then notify the agreement to the tax authorities before Friday 31 July 2009.

For more information please contact:  Jean-Louis Davain  (+32 2 743 43 45) at Loyens & Loeff, Brussels



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