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 …

The Ruling Committee is back on track

Over the last five years, the Ruling Committee has built up a track record for delivering speedy advance rulings on all sorts of tax issues. More importantly, it grants rulings that offer legal certainty to taxpayers and investors. When the appointment of three board members of the Ruling Committee had to be confirmed by the government in October, the socialist …

Ruling Committee and Tax Administration Strengthen Ties

After months of uncertainty regarding the body’s future, Belgium has reappointed the members of its Ruling Committee (the authority for advance rulings) subject to a protocol strengthening cooperation between the committee and the Central Tax Administration Because members of the College of Directors are appointed for five years, they had to be reappointed in 2010. One of the members who …

2010 The Year in Review

2010 was another election year in Belgium. After three years of discussion and stalemates, Prime Minister Yves Leterme was unable to push through the state reform he had promised. His government fell again, and new elections were held June 13. The big winners were the Flemish pro-separatism party N-VA and the Walloon Socialist Party. Negotiations on the next government’s policy …

Guidance Clarifies Tax Treatment of DredgeWorkers

The Belgian tax authorities on October 26 published a practice note (Ci.R9. Div. 607/317) clarifying the tax regime for employees working aboard dredgers. The tax authorities note that in principle, dredging projects fall under articles 5 and 7 of Belgium’s tax treaties. This means their profits are taxable in the country where the enterprise is set up unless it has …

The Regionalization of Income Tax

The elections are already five months behind us and yet there is no sign of a new government before year end. Before a new government can be formed, the winners of the elections – the Flemish nationalist N-VA and the socialist PS in Wallonia – must agree on a solution to the financial/budgetary problems, realize institutional reform and strengthen the …

Belgian Supreme Court Clarifies Tax Year for Nonresidents

In a May 20 decision, the Belgian Supreme Court clarified the grounds of taxation for nonresidents. In Belgian tax law, residence starts when the taxpayer takes up residence and ends when he leaves Belgium to take up residence elsewhere. The tax year starts on the day the taxpayer takes up residence. If he takes up residence in September 2010, he …