Belgium reorganises audits of large enterprises

On 1 July 2015, the Ministry of Finance has set up 7 regional offices ‘Large Enterprises’ that will be in charge of the audit and the dispute resolution for some 15,000 large enterprises and non-profit organisations.  As of 1 July 2016, the Ministry will stop auditing these large enterprises based on the type of tax due (company income tax, VAT) and organise audits on the basis of the size of the enterprise.

A central office for Management of Large Enterprises and Specialized Audits will become the single point of contact for large enterprises. That centre will respond to their requests for specific tax information, certificates and authorisations, as well as any questions relating to the filing of tax returns.  The central office will also deal with the audits and disputes in specific areas and in respect of transfer pricing, tax shelter and miscellaneous taxes (these are taxes that are mostly collected from financial institutions and insurance companies).

An enterprise or association is a “large enterprise” if either it employs more than 100 employees per year on average or if it meets two of the following three conditions:

  • It employs on average 50 employees or more per year ;
  • Its annual turnover (its revenue) exceeds €7.3 million (excluding VAT); and
  • Its balance sheet total (its assets) exceed €3.65 million.

Large enterprises would also include

  • enterprises supervised by the Financial Services and Markets Authority or the National Bank of Belgium
  • private PRICAFs registered with the Ministry of Finance. A PRICAF is a financial structure established by the Act of 22 April 2003 to encourage risky investments in small and medium-size enterprises and, more specifically, in non-listed companies that cannot readily appeal to the capital market.
  • An enterprise that is part of a group of enterprises (which requires a 50 percent participating interest under Belgian law) ; or
  • An enterprise that it is part of a fiscal unit for VAT purposes and at least one member meets the above conditions.

See the press release of 3 July 2015

Author: Marc Quaghebeur

Marc Quaghebeur is a Belgian tax lawyer with Cabinet DAVID specialising in international tax issues and cross border estate planning. He is a member of the Brussels Bar and the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. He

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