Payment service providers can rely on bank secrecy in case of tax audit

Can payment service providers rely on bank secrecy in case of tax audits?

On 31 May 2022, the Court of appeal of Ghent ruled on the possibility for the Belgian tax authorities to request information from payment service providers (PSP) regarding financial transactions.

In its decision, the Court notably confirms the following:

  • PSP should be assimilated to “credit institutions” and can therefore rely on bank secrecy in case of a tax audit.
  • Information relating to PSP’s clients, but also to persons using their payment services, enters the scope of bank secrecy (even if these persons are not direct clients of the PSP).
  • Bank secrecy applies to transactions relating to Belgian and foreign bank accounts.

Joan Carette

Guillaume Delfosse