2020 Tax Return: Nowhere to Hide

For years, many people thought they could safely “forget” the income they had outside Belgium; the taxman would never find out. The EU Savings Directive was a rude wake-up call as the Belgian tax authorities started receiving information about overseas bank accounts and enquiring about overseas bank accounts. And when Belgian banks started reporting to the tax authorities abroad, they …

Tax authorities announce targeted audits

A few days before sending out the tax returns for 2017, the tax authorities announce on their website (FR/NL) which groups of taxpayers they will audit more specifically. For individuals, these are Company directors who deduct their actual business expenses instead of the lump sum deduction. The tax administration suspects that some directors artificially prove more professional expenses in order …

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 …

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 …

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 …

New Penalty System for Tax Offenses

On 22 October, the Belgian State Gazette published the Act of 20 September 2012 introducing the “una via” principle in tax matters and increasing criminal penalties in tax matters. In 2009, the federal parliament decided to investigate why tax evasion cases worth billions of euros in taxes petered out after protracted court proceedings. The parliamentary commission ‘in charge of investigating …