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Jun 16th
Home arrow taxbites


Kerckhaert-Morres Revisited: ECJ to Reconsider Belgian Taxation of Inbound Dividends

Written by Marc Quaghebeur Monday, 15 September 2008

The Liège Court of First Instance in Belgium has sought a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice in the case of Jacques Damseaux v. Belgium.  Damseaux concerns the double taxation of inbound dividends from another member state, an issue the ECJ previously addressed in Mark Kerckhaert and Bernadette Morres v. Belgium (C-513/04). The Belgian court seeks to determine if the ECJ would maintain its judgment in Kerckhaert-Morres after an examination of the Belgium-France double tax treaty. To read the article click here

The Irish Revenue names and shames tax dodgers.

Written by Marc Quaghebeur Monday, 15 September 2008
In its edition of 12th September, Iris Oifigiúil, the Irish Official Journal gives the first list of tax defaulters who have settled following an audit by the Revenue in the second quarter of 2008. The list of tax defrauders condemned by the courts will be published on Tuesday, 16th September.   http://www.irisoifigiuil.ie/currentissues/ir1209081.pdf look for p. 1097

Coal and Wine Tax Post

Written by Marc Quaghebeur Monday, 08 September 2008

Coal and Wine Tax Post

This is a Coal and Wine Tax Post.

It marks the point where coal and wine duties became payable on coal and wine transported into the City of London.


These posts were set up under the Local Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act 1861 at points where any canal, inland navigation, railway or public road first entered the Metropolitan Police District. The post shows the coat of arms of the City of London. The inscription "24 & 25 VICT. CAP 42" is the reference to the Act of Parliament under which statute they were erected, the London Coal and Wine Duties Continuance Act 1861.

The posts are 1.8 metres high, of which approximately 1 metre is usually above ground.

There are over 200 of these tax posts located around London, 23 of which are known to have survived within Elmbridge Borough. These are to be found in various locations in Walton on Thames, Molesey, Esher, Claygate and Oxshott.



Senate Approves Income Tax Amendments, but defers VAT on Land

Written by Marc Quaghebeur Wednesday, 18 June 2008
The Belgian Senate on May 29 adopted a general bill containing several amendments to the income tax law. The government’s proposal to levy a VAT on land has been referred to the European Commission. To read the article click here

Government to fight abusive use of risk capital deduction

Written by Administrator Wednesday, 23 April 2008

On April 9, the tax authorities have published on their website a Practice Note on the uses and abuses of the Risk Capital Deduction. The practice is a political document that must reassure the critics as well as well as the multinational groups who have or plan set up a treasury center, or financing company in Belgium.  To read the article click here

Compensation and deferred compensationin the (new) Belgium-US double tax treaty

Written by Administrator Saturday, 15 March 2008

The new Income Tax Treaty and Protocol between the U.S. and Belgium entered into force on 1 January. The main aim of the treaty is to help the business community (nil rate for dividends, favorable tax regime for pension funds, …), it is also worthwhile to examine the articles on compensation and deferred compensation. We have done do this from a Belgian perspective. Click here to read the article.

ECJ Strikes Down Thin Capitalization Rule

Written by Administrator Thursday, 31 January 2008
In a short decision on 17 January in NV Lammers & Van Cleeff (C-105/07), the European Court of Justice has condemned the Belgian tax rules that disallows the deduction of interest paid to a foreign company that is also a director of the company and requalifies it as a taxable dividend payment. Click here to read the article.

Flanders adapts Inheritance Tax Rules following ECJ decision

Written by Administrator Friday, 25 January 2008

Hardly two months after the decision of the Court of Justice of the European Commission in Geurts and Vogten (C-464/05), the Flemish Parliament has moved quickly to adapts its legislation to comply with this decision. Read the article    

Belgium: 2007 Year in Review

Written by Administrator Saturday, 05 January 2008

Because Belgium has been without a federal government since June 10, most tax measures were taken in the first half of the year.  The past government has continued to try and make the country more attractive for foreign investors by reducing the salary cost and the corporate income tax burden. The most significant changes involved the withholding tax on wages, the patent income deduction, VAT grouping and the reduced tax rate for tax-exempt reserves.  Read the article

Government to Fight Abusive Use of Risk Capital Deduction

Written by Administrator Monday, 12 November 2007

On November 5, a record has been broken in Belgian politics, that of the longest government formation negotiations. 148 days after the elections of June 10, the Christian democrat and conservative parties are not much closer to agreeing on the policy for the government they will form. The main stumbling block is the further federalization requested by the alliance of CD&V, the Flemish Christian democrat party, and the much smaller N-VA, and strongly opposed by MR, the Walloon conservative party and its even smaller alliance partner FDF.

In the meantime, the outgoing government of conservatives and socialists continues to handle current affairs.  On Friday October 26, the government decided to give the green light to the tax authorities to investigate alleged abuses of the Risk Capital Deduction by Belgian companies and Belgian banks.

Tax Mediation in Belgium

Written by Administrator Monday, 05 November 2007

In Belgium, appeals against an assessment cannot be filed with the court. First the taxpayer must file an administrative appeal with the regional director of taxes, within six months from the day of receipt of the tax assessment. If is only if the director denies the appeal, or if he has not taken a decision within six months, that the taxpayer can take the case to court.

This administrative appeals procedure is often not more than a formality. The department of the regional director is held by the same instructions as the inspector who charged the disputed tax.  However, in some cases, it may be useful to have someone else look into the case.

This is why the government has set up a tax mediation department .  It is hoped that it will improve the statistics on the number of cases taken to court. As of November 1, taxpayers can submit their file for mediation. This can be done in writing mail, fax or email. Even verbal applications are accepted, during working hours, and in that case, the request will be typed out.

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