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taxation.be

Friday
Mar 22nd
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taxbites

Company cars

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Written by Marc Quaghebeur Saturday, 11 August 2007

"My car, my liberty" was a popular slogan in the sixties. It has become a liberty with a hefty price tag, especially if you think of the rising cost of the fuel. A company car is therefore a perk that no one will refuse, especially since the Belgian tax regime for company cars is one of the most favourable in Europe.

Belgian Parliament ratifies Belgium-US double tax treaty.

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Written by Administrator Wednesday, 23 May 2007

In one of its last sessions before the Parliament will be dissolved by the King in view of the federal elections to be held on June 10, 2007, the Belgian House of Representatives adopted the law ratifying the double tax treaty and protocol to replace the existing bilateral income tax treaty, concluded in 1970, between Belgium and the U.S.

In fact, the treaty may well qualify for the Guinness Book of Records as the fastest negotiation and ratification process of a double tax treaty ever. Negotiations only started after Prime Minister Verhofstadt and Finance Minister Reynders met with President Bush in January 2006, and the treaty was signed on November 27 of last year, together with a Protocol. The bill ratifying the Treaty and the Protocol was adopted by the Senate on March 29, and now by the House of Representatives on April 21, 2007. The bill should be signed in law by King Albert II in the coming weeks.

Finance Minister Reynders has made good on his promises; having this treaty signed and ratified is the crowning moment of his eight years' tenure. And as we have described in a previous contribution, most of the tax measures that make Belgium an attractive location for holding companies and group financing companies, pension funds and R&D facilities. Read the article

ECJ condemns Belgian Minimum Tax Base for Nonresidents

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Written by Administrator Thursday, 26 April 2007

In Raffaele Talotta v. État belge (C-383/05), the European Court of Justice has condemned the rule under Belgian law that allows Belgian tax authorities to assess nonresidents on minimum tax bases in the absence of evidence provided by the interested parties. Applying that rule exclusively to nonresidents is contrary to the freedom of establishment provided for by article 43 of the EC Treaty, the ECJ said.  Read the article

Belgium signs a Tax Treaty Protocol with France

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Written by Administrator Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Belgium has signed a protocol to its tax treaty with France. The treaty deals with the issue of the taxation of cross-border workers. This article was written just before the signing was announced. (More …)

ECJ to examine Belgian Participation Exemption

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Written by Administrator Tuesday, 27 March 2007

The Antwerp Court of Appeal has sought a preliminary ruling from the European Court of Justice on whether Belgium's tax regime for dividends received by a Belgian company is compatible with the EC parent-subsidiary directive. For the article, click here

Belgium and Germany Sign Agreement on Taxation of Workers' Compensation

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Written by Administrator Monday, 19 March 2007

On 15 December the Finance Ministries of Belgium and Germany have signed an agreement in accordance with the mutual agreement procedure of article 25 of the double tax convention of 11 April 1967 between both countries, as modified by a protocol of 5 November 2002.

The purpose of the agreement is to determine the tax regime that applies to compensation paid to workers depending on the economic nature of this compensation. The agreement makes a distinction as to whether the compensation is paid to provide for the worker or to compensate for past employment. (More …)

Belgium uses tax treaties to attract investments

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Written by Administrator Monday, 19 March 2007

During his meeting with President Vladimir Putin last week, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt seems to have pulled off the same coup as Finance Minister in the White House in January last year. Renegotiating the treaty was not even an item on the list agreed between diplomats, but President Bush reacted with a quip ‘If that means we both pay less tax, that’s great.

Not even a year later, on November 27, 2006, Belgium and the United States signed a new income tax treaty. (More …)

Advance Tax Rulings in Belgium

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Written by Administrator Monday, 08 January 2007

Since 1 January 2003, Belgium has a new, broad system of advance tax rulings, to give investors legal certainty. Taxpayers can obtain a binding ruling in respect of all federal taxes (and some regional taxes) relating to a specified project. In the first two years, 473 applications were filed.

In the past, tax rulings were limited to a specific number of tax issues, such as anti-abuse provisions, the tax consequences of certain investments, whether the tax payer are entitled to tax incentives and certain transfer pricing issues.

The ruling committee can now grant unilateral rulings on the tax consequences of a specific situation or transaction which has not had any effect from a tax point of view. The ruling committee cannot grant any tax exemptions or reductions, so that it does not have any authority to give rulings in respect of tax rates and tax increases.

The ruling committee has published some of its positions. To read the article

Buying property in Belgium

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Written by Administrator Saturday, 16 December 2006

Purchasing a house in Belgium is a long process.

You need to take the time to look at properties, to get a feeling for the market and compare. When you calculate your budget, you need to take account of a charge of 15 percent on top of the price asked. And then you have not budgeted for a new kitchen yet.

And then comes the day you make an offer, and hopefully it is accepted. Buying is a two-stage process. First you sign the ‘compromis de vente’. Don’t be misguided; this is a fully valid purchase agreement. Unless you are sure that you can finance it, you should make sure to sign the compromis subject to obtaining a loan. That means that if you don’t get a bank loan, you can walk away from the sale. (More …)

ME SPRL

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Written by Administrator Wednesday, 22 November 2006
In Belgium taxes and social security on employment income are high. Finding ways to reduce the tax is big business. One route that many take is to work via a management company. How does that help to pay less tax? (More …)

Prime Minister Announces New Tax Measures in Budget

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Written by Administrator Tuesday, 07 November 2006

On October 17, Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt delivered his State of the Union address in the Chamber of Deputies (the lower house of Parliament). At that occasion he presented his federal government’s policy statement. The policy document and 2006 budget have been officially endorsed by the Cabinet.

One of the most remarkable measures is the proposal to extend the benefit of EC Parent-Subsidiary Directive 90/435/EEC to parent companies established in a treaty partner country. (Read the article …)

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