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?
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 which the tax was withheld. That is a year less than in previous years. For dividends paid in 2011, the deadline to reclaim tax from the Belgian Tax Authorities is 31 December 2015.
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”) called “Contribution Sociale Généralisée” (CSG) and “Contribution au Remboursement de la Dette Sociale” (CRDS) that are currently at a rate of 15.5%, that come on top of the income tax of 19%, bringing the total to 34.5%.
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 impression that you may be an artist or a sportsman or woman, a pilot of a plane or a captain of a ship, a teacher or a scientist, a civil servant or a long distance lorry driver?
Let me reassure you. They have not found any mistakes in your tax return (yet) and they do not mean you any harm. It is just part of a general campaign to check whether taxpayers living in Belgium are entitled to claim the exemption of their income, in particular if the exemption is related to your work in the other state.
On 9 December 2014, the European Council adopted a directive that extends the scope for the automatic exchange of information. The directive revises the Mutual Assistance Directive (Council Directive 2011/1/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation) to include interest, dividends, gross proceeds from the sale of financial assets and other income, as well as account balances, within the scope of the automatic exchange of information.