Bill on additional taxes and reforms presented to parliament

Further information has become available on the measures and reforms to close the budgetary gap of around 2.2 billion EUR. On 2 June 2016, the federal government has presented its bill to the parliament.

  • Electronically supplied betting and gaming services subject to VAT

 

As of 1 July 2016, the exemption for electronically supplied betting and gaming services will be abolished. Remote and land based electronically supplied betting and gaming services to Belgian customers will be subject to Belgian VAT (21%).

 

(Online) lotteries, the land-based (non-electronically supplied) betting and gaming services (e.g. in a casino), will still be able to benefit from the VAT exemption. In addition, the regional tax on betting and gaming services will still be due.

 

The Belgian Constitutional Court will most likely have to rule on the constitutionality of the measure.

 

  • Sharing economy (taxi, meals, etc.)

 

As of 1 July 2016, individuals who have a gross income of maximal 5,000 EUR in the so-called shared-economy will not be subject to social security contributions and VAT and ordinary personal income tax in respect of said income, but will have to pay a final tax of 20% after deduction of a lump sum of 50% of the gross income for expenses incurred.

 

Digital platforms will be made available through which the levy of the tax will be organized.

 

  • Enlargement of the reporting obligation for payment to tax havens

 

Belgian companies and Belgian permanent establishments of foreign companies are obliged to report direct or indirect payments to persons established in tax havens or non-cooperative jurisdictions in a specific annex to their income tax return. The scope of this provision will be enlarged substantially.

In addition to persons established in such jurisdictions, also payments to permanent establishments and bank account in such jurisdictions become reportable.

In addition to the currently targeted jurisdictions (jurisdictions considered by the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information and tax havens), also jurisdictions that do not levy an effective corporate income tax of 15% on foreign source income are envisaged.

  • Cloud computing, exchange of information and statutes of limitation

 

In addition to the acknowledgement that bookkeeping records do not necessarily have to be kept electronically or physically in Belgium, the 5 year statutes of limitation to investigate and request additional information from abroad will be extended with another 24 months.

 

  • Tax return – legal construction – penalty

 

Since 2013, Individual taxpayers have to report in their tax return whether they are a founder or -beneficiary of a “legal construction” such as a trust or a tax haven company.

 

As of the entry into force of the law, taxpayers will have to pay a penalty of 6,250 EUR per year and per unreported legal construction.

 

  • Transfer pricing reporting obligations (BEPS)

 

Action 13 (Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country‑by‑Country Reporting) of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting Project will be implemented.

 

As of assessment year 2017, the three-tiered approach to transfer pricing documentation, which requires multinational enterprises to compile a Country-by-Country report, a master file, and a local file will become mandatory.

 

Qualifying groups (with a consolidated gross turnover exceeding 750 million EUR) will have to file a Country-by-Country report with the Belgian tax authorities within 12 months after the closing of the consolidated financial statements of the group.

 

The following thresholds for the filing of master and local files will be implemented:

  • Combined operating and financial income of 50 million EUR;
  • A total balance sheet of 1 billion EUR;
  • Annual average number of 100 FTE.

 

The bill specifies that the reporting requirements would become effective for tax years beginning on or after 1 January 2016.

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