Belgium publishes draft FATCA Guidelines

On 4 May 2015, the Belgian tax administration released a draft of its FATCA guidelines on its e-services web page (http://financien.belgium.be/nl/E-services/fatca). FATCA or Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act is US legislation that targets global tax evasion by US citizens. FATCA requires financial institutions outside the United States to send certain information about their clients who are US citizens, to the US tax …

Tax Havens : the top 10

Bradley Hackford, a firm specialising in international relocation, has published its 2015 ranking of the 10 top tax havens.  The ranking is based on five criteria: the rate of tax burden on the natural persons residing in that country ; the country’s quality of life ; the country’s physical and legal security ; the quality of the economic investment programme …

Taxman Announces Tax Traps

This year, once again, the tax authorities have listed the taxpayers they will target. They like to compare it to announced speed traps. They hope that if you know you are targeted, you will be more careful when completing your tax return for last year. When do you need to pay attention? If you are a company director Just like …

New form 276 Div.-Aut (for withholding tax)

The tax authorities have released a new version of the form to claim back withholding tax paid by a Belgian company or bank. The form is called 276 Div.- Aut and it comes with an explanatory note. The main change is the statute of limitation as described in the explanatory note.  Tax must be claimed within five years from 1 January of the year in …

French Social Charges and Non-Residents

The Court of Justice of European Union has 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 the French system of taxing income from assets and capital gains, the taxpayer does not only pay income tax, but also social security contributions (“prélèvements sociaux”) …

Tax Authorities Audit Application of Tax Treaties

In recent months, the Belgian Tax Authorities have been sending letters to all taxpayers who claimed treaty relief in their tax returns. You may have received a letter from the tax authorities with two or three pages of strange questions, referring to double tax treaties and asking weird questions. Have you also wondered why they seem to be under the …

EU Council approves new anti-abuse clause for Parent Subsidiary Directive

On 9 December 2014, the European Council approved a second amendment to the Parent-Subsidiary Directive (recast) (2011) with the aim of preventing tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning by corporate groups. The first amendment adopted in July 2014 were aimed at hybrid loan arrangements, these are financial instruments that have characteristics of debt in one country and equity. Corporate groups can use such hybrid loan arrangements …

UK 2014 Autumn Statement

On 3 December 2014, the Chancellor delivered his 2014 Autumn Statement. There are some unpleasant surprises for non residents who will have to pay Capital Gains Tax on residential property. Capital Gains Tax for Non-Residents Owning UK Residential Property Non-residents who own residential property in the UK will be liable to Capital Gains Tax. The charge will apply to disposals …

Corporate Directors must charge VAT

Update : this obligation to charge VAT has been postponed until 1 January 2016. Individuals who have been appointed as a director or a managing director of a company are not liable to VAT. They are not obliged to register for VAT and they do not charge VAT on their director’s fees. This exemption does not extend to companies or other …

47 Countries adopt the Automatic Exchange of Information as of 2017

G20 countries endorsed the new OECD/G20 standard on automatic exchange of tax information at the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in Berlin. During a global signing session of a Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement that will activate automatic exchange of information, 51 jurisdictionsput their commitments into action.  The Agreement is based on the Multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax …