Tax treatment of employee stock options in Belgium

Stock options are the most popular form of equity incentives offered as part of a remuneration package by Belgian listed companies and Belgian subsidiaries of multinationals, although the principle of taxation at the time of grant has reduced the attractiveness of stock options in declining stock markets. This article describes the general tax treatment of stock options in Belgium and discusses some specific aspects, namely, the anti-abuse provisions, leveraged options, cashless exercise, cash settlement, and the impact of corporate actions and M&A events.