On 18 October 2023, the Belgian tax authorities published a set of frequently asked questions (”FAQ”) (Dutch I French) regarding the reporting obligations for digital platform operators that have been effective in Belgium as from 1 January 2023. The requirements were implemented into domestic legislation via the law of 21 December 2022 and are based on Council Directive (EU) 2021/514 of 22 March 2021 amending Directive 2011/16/EU on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation (commonly referred to as “DAC 7”).
The FAQ (54 pages) provide guidance on the application of the rules by digital platform operators, including definitions of technical terms, due diligence obligations, reporting obligations, and sanctions.
This alert highlights some of the key clarifications provided by the Belgian tax authorities in the FAQ:
While the FAQ provide some useful clarification, a number of substantial questions remain unanswered, including how the reporting obligation should be fulfilled in transactions between related parties or in an indirect context. Some additional explanations using specific examples would therefore be welcome.
In addition, the fact that related entities of the platform operator can be considered as sellers raises the question of whether this measure does not go beyond the purpose of DAC 7, i.e., combating tax fraud, tax evasion, and tax avoidance in the context of the digitalisation of the economy.
Furthermore, it is clear from the FAQ that platform operators must be vigilant with respect to their due diligence procedures as the Belgian tax authorities do not seem to accept additional extensions (except for those provided for by the law). Platform operators would be advised to prioritise establishing adequate internal processes for this purpose.
Practicalities regarding the electronic data transfer (interface and data format) are expected to be available shortly on the DPI—DAC 7 e-service page.
Although the first reporting for digital platform operators is not due until 2024, operators should consider taking action now to ensure that the required data is readily available and the reporting process is implemented on time.
Tim is Partner in Deloitte Legal's Tax Advisory team of lawyers. His main focus is on corporate international tax, although he is also keen on handling real estate matters and registration duties as well. The tax advisory team headed by Tim has extensive expertise as a general tax advisor for numerous companies thereby assisting them with their (inbound) investments, reorganisations, holding activities and financing structures. They have also considerable experience in handling ruling requests with the Belgian tax administration. Tim has published numerous articles that span the legal domain of fiscal matters, touching upon subjects that include business restructurings, transfer pricing, permanent establishments, tax planning restraints and registration duties.
Eric is a partner in Deloitte Legal's Tax Advisory team of lawyers. He focuses on international tax and is among others active in the pharmaceutical industry. He also regularly advises large groups based in the United States or France. Eric assists multinational groups through Business Model Optimisations and International Strategic Tax Reviews. He regularly publishes in different areas of tax law (Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base, notional interest deduction, anti-abuse measures, etc.).