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 …

Flanders reduces gift tax rate for real estate

The decree “regulations for the execution of the budgetary adjustment in 2015” of the Flemish Parliament was adopted on 3 July 2015 and published in the Belgian State Gazette of 15 July 2015. One of the salient decisions is a substantial reduction of the gift tax rates for real property. Inheritance Tax and Gift Tax in Belgium Belgian is a …

French Conseil d’Etat confirms decision of the European Court

On 27 July, the French Conseil d’Etat has confirmed the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union (re  De Ruyter, numéro C-623/13) that had ruled that it was illegal for France to charge social charges on the income and capital gains of non-residents from within the European Economic Area. In France, the taxpayer does not only pay income tax, but also social …

Belgian Customs App

The Belgian customs authorities have developed an app to help travelers understand what they can, and more importantly, what they cannot import when they come home. The app can be downloaded from the Apple Store, Google Play and the Windows Store. The app provides answers to questions such as: Do you know how much tobacco, alcohol, alcoholic beverages and other goods you bring into Belgium without …

Pay your taxes or expect a call from the taxman

In the first four months of 2015, the tax authorities have raised some €28 million, just by calling late payers to remind them to pay their taxes. Reportedly, sophisticated software selected 21,055 companies that should be contacted as they are predicted to respond favourable. They received a call from the taxman reminding them to pay their taxes so that they could avoid interest …

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 …

New Gift Tax Rates in Flanders

Flanders is introducing new tax rates for the donation of real property. The old rates are on the left, the new rates are on the right. Real property Gift tax on real property is calculated on the value of the donation 1 Direct line, spouses, registered partners   on the band between Rate on the band between Rate €0 – …

Tax Haven Flanders

La Dernière Heure has discovered a tax haven next door : Flanders. The occasion is that since 1 July, the gift tax on houses and apartments has been cut.  The French-language newspaper La DH made a list of the tax differences between the three regions. Officallly Brussels, Wallonia and Flanders are not supposed to compete with each other by imposing lower taxes, …

European Commission refers Belgian to European Court of Justice

On 18 June 2015 the European Commission announced that it is referring Belgium to the Court of Justice of the European Union because it taxes Belgian residents differently on property abroad and at home. If a Belgian resident earns income from property located abroad, that is taxed at a higher value than that from comparable property in Belgium. The Commission does not …

mypension.be for self employed

mypension.be is the pension portal where Belgian residents can obtain information about their entitlement to a The website has existed since 2010, but to this date only employees could access their pension file on line . From now on self-employed can review their pension career and pension contributions during their working career, apply for retirement and send and receive emails from the …