Wallonia reduces gift tax

In the wake of the tax reform in December 2017, the Walloon government is proposing to reduce the gift tax of houses and apartments and to simplify the calculation of the tax. Wallonia follows Flanders and Brussels. The gift tax is calculated depending on the relationship between the donor and the donee and the value of the gift. In direct …

Flanders reduces inheritance tax

In Belgium, gift tax and inheritance tax are regional taxes. That has not always been the case, some twenty-five years ago, the gift tax and the inheritance tax were a matter for the federal parliament. The Flemish, Brussels and the Walloon parliaments have gradually changed the rules, starting with small changes to the inheritance tax rates to some more fundamental …

New tax rules in Wallonia in 2018

On 13 December 2017, the Walloon Parliament has modified certain tax rules regarding inheritances and donations as well as the purchase of a building. In respect of inheritance tax, the surviving spouse or civil partner will be entitled to total exemption for the family home.  Until 2017, this exemption was limited to € 160,000.  Wallonia is thus on the same …

European Commission proposes harmonised matrimonial property regime

The European Commission has adopted proposals for a common property regime for international couples. These include two regulations, one that governs matrimonial property regimes for married couples and a second one that deals with property consequences of registered partnerships. The European Commission has found that 13 % of 2.4 million new marriages and 19 % of the 211,000 registered partnerships have an international dimension. The European …

Cayman Tax, continued

In two royal decrees dated 23 August 2015, the Minister of Finance announced the legal entities that are deemed to be legal arrangements that must be reported in the tax payer’s tax return if he is the founder, an heir of the founder or a beneficiary and on which he must pay tax. The first royal decree lists three legal …

The “Cayman Tax”, Fiscal transparency for trusts and other legal arrangements

The Program Law adopted by the House of Representatives on 24 July 2015, introduces a transparency tax or “look-through” tax for legal arrangements (trusts, foundations, offshore companies, …) set up by private individuals.   This Act should be published in the Belgian State Gazette in the coming week but it will apply retroactively from 1 January 2015. Background In the Belgian …

Rest in Peace: the Book

If you are living in Belgium because you are working here, you may have discovered that things are different from what you are used to at home. Things can also get a little bit more complex in other circumstances, for example, if you are about to inherit from your parents, if you have a holiday home in Italy and France, …

The future of the (U.S.) Estate Tax

In December 17, 2010 President Obama signed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (TRA 2010) into law. With one swift stroke, he quashed the hopes of some who thought they could inherit mom’s estate without any estate tax.  Or did he? What happened? The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 gradually …