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 Rules on Capital Gains and Bank Secrecy

The Belgian State Gazette on November 10 published the law of November 7, 2011, which updates rules relating to the taxation of capital gains on fixed assets, bank secrecy, and wage withholding tax (read the full article).

Belgium’s Taxation of Capital Gains

One reason for Belgium’s popularity in international tax-planning structures is the absence of capital gains tax for individuals. Belgium does not have a wealth tax, either, so that makes the country attractive for wealthy individuals. The financial newspaper De Tijd reported on June 8 that the Supreme Court of Justice had dealt a serious blow to the tax-exempt regime of capital gains realized by an …

Belgian future PM Puts Reforms on Table

The Belgian State Gazette on November 10 published the law of November 7, 2011, which updates rules relating to the taxation of capital gains on fixed assets, bank secrecy, and wage withholding tax. At a July 4 news conference in the Belgian Parliament, Walloon Socialist Party leader Elio Di Rupo, recently appointed by King Albert II to lead the formation of a coalition government, announced …

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 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 reduced the top tax rates …

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 …