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 appointment of the three Dutch speaking members of the college for lack of reasoned motivation; the Council of State canceled the appointment.

Within the government, the Socialist Party blocked the reappointment. It questioned whether a caretaker government can make that decision, but, more importantly, it objected to some of the rulings that grant tax favors that lean toward organized tax evasion.

At the same time, the Ruling Committee reportedly clashed with the Special Tax Inspection, a unit that combats large organized tax fraud irrespective of the tax involved. Its inspectors believe companies obtain a ruling to stop the Special Tax Inspection from investigating them. In particular, they fear abuses of the “risk capital deduction” (also called the “notional interest deduction”) (read the full article).

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