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Overview of the latest tax news

Tax authorities launch new wave of foreign account audits. How far can they go back?

18 May 2020

Many taxpayers recently received a questionnaire from the tax authorities concerning their foreign financial accounts and holdings. The tax authorities ask extensive questions about foreign accounts, foreign life insurances and real estate abroad. Furthermore, in many cases, the authorities request information for income years dating back to 2012. Is such a position in line with the statute of limitations on tax audits and investigations?

Optional VAT on immovable letting also subject to registration fee

26 March 2020

Following the amended VAT legislation on the letting of real estate that entered into force on 1 January 2019, the administration competent for real estate transfer tax has confirmed that the registration of a lease agreement that opts for the application of VAT is in principle (also) subjected to the proportional registration fee of 0.20%.

New VAT rules for companies without legal personality

28 January 2020

Following the new company code's recent entry into force, the VAT administration published a (short) commentary relating to partnerships and de facto associations. The new VAT regime can have important consequences in practice.

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Taxation of gains due to amended urban planning requirements updated

22 January 2020

A new Flemish Decree has recently updated the existing rules on the taxation of gains due to amended urban planning requirements. In addition, the rules on the compensation that is due when landlords suffer damages resulting from amended urban planning requirements have been adjusted.

Benefit in kind for housing: Constitutional Court asked to rule on admissibility of ex officio relief request

17 October 2019

On 7 October 2019, the Antwerp Court of Appeal referred a question to the Constitutional Court regarding the application of ex officio relief on the benefit in kind amount for housing. If the Constitutional Court were to rule in favour of the plaintiff, this would effectively confirm that taxpayers can reclaim overpaid taxes on the benefit in kind for housing from the previous five years.

Tax audit wave on foreign investment income (U.S. FATCA - CRS)

22 July 2019

As a result of FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) and CRS (Common Reporting Standard), Belgian tax authorities receive information from other countries, regarding financial accounts held by Belgian residents in other jurisdictions.

Tax authorities paying closer attention to capital increases and decreases

19 July 2019

As mentioned recently in the Belgian press, companies undergoing a capital decrease after an initial capital increase will be a focus point for the tax authorities in the next few year(s). In preparation for these future investigations, several cases were observed where local tax authorities asked questions related to capital increases. This is a centrally managed action.

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