If you are living in Belgium because you are working here, you may have discovered that things are different from what you are used to at home.
Things can also get a little bit more complex in other circumstances, for example, if you are about to inherit from your parents, if you have a holiday home in Italy and France, and bank accounts to pay for the charges.
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 major tax evasion cases’ came to the conclusion that the way the tax authorities and the public prosecutor’s office were working together to combat tax fraud was outdated. The commission made a number of recommendations to improve the fight against tax fraud (read the full article).
The Belgian program law of March 29, 2012 has replaced the general antiavoidance rule by an antiabuse rule. The GAAR was introduced in the income tax, registration tax, and inheritance tax codes in 1993 but had proven ineffective. The new rule must combat abuses of tax avoidance schemes, but even after Finance Minister Steven Vanackere published a first practice note, there was a demand for some examples of transactions that the tax authorities considered abusive tax avoidance.
On July 19, the tax authorities published a second practice note that gave a list of examples regarding the inheritance tax and registration tax (read the full article).
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 capitalization rule and the tax regime for pension contributions and pension income (read the full article).