Pension Regime, Thin Capitalisation Rule Amended

The Belgian State Gazette on June 28 published a June 22 program law containing various direct and indirect tax measures. The bill amends Belgium’s new thin capitalisation rule and the tax regime for pension contributions and pension income (read the full article).

Can Belgium Negotiate New Income Tax Treaties?

Because of its position on bank secrecy rules, Belgium found itself on the OECD gray list of tax havens in 2009. Finance Minister Didier Reynders announced that Belgium would raise the level of information exchange and that his department would start negotiations with its foreign counterparts. At the same time, he announced that Belgium would opt for exchange of information under the EU savings directive. …

Budget Tax Bills Enacted

Barely three weeks after Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was sworn in, the Belgian Parliament on December 28 adopted two bills implementing some of the tax measures announced in the 2012 budget. The bills were signed into law by King Albert II and published in the Belgian State Gazette on December 30. On January 26 the government submitted a new bill to Parliament that would …

Belgian Politics and The 2012 Budget

Belgian Socialist Party leader Elio Di Rupo, who is in charge of forming a new government, announced on November 27 that he has clinched the 2012 budget. There is no way back. On November 25 Standard & Poor’s downgraded Belgium’s credit rating from AA+ to a mere AA. This could lead to higher interest rates and a downward financial spiral. Belgium has been without a …

New Developments For Belgium’s Dividends Received Deduction

The Antwerp Court of Appeal recently rejected a Belgian company’s claim that the participation exemption (the Belgian dividends received deduction) conflicts with the EU parent-subsidiary directive. Meanwhile, the Belgian government has introduced a bill in Parliament that would further ease restrictions of the participation exemption (read the full article).

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 party blocked the decision. They …

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 was not reappointed challenged the …

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 keep delaying the major state …

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 a permanent establishment in the …

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 socio-economic environment. If – or …