Bill on various tax and other measures presented to parliament

On 5 October 2016, the federal government presented draft bill 2072/001 to the parliament, dealing with the following major tax measures:

  • The regulation of the status of and supervision on alternative financing platforms (crowdfunding) and the rendering of alternative financing services by regulated enterprises and, in particular, the amendments to the tax shelter regime for start-ups, the latter applicable as of tax year 2017;
  • The scope of the catch-all provision for non-residents. As of 1 July 2016, the provision will only target service payments (qualifying as profit or fees) to non-resident service providers which are related to the payer/recipient (not being an individual acting in a non-professional capacity) of those services;
  • A simplification/digitalisation of the income tax procedure through the replacement of the “notification of assessment” (a registered letter) by a simple written (email) notification containing the reasons why the tax administration rejects the facts and arguments invoked by the taxpayer against the “notice of deficiency” served by the tax administration after having examined the income tax return filed by the taxpayer; The simplification will apply as of the 10th day after the date of publication of the law in the Belgian State Gazette;
  • A simplification and cost reduction measure in respect of the recovery procedure. The intervention of a bailiff in order to interrupt the limitation period will not be required anymore. As of the 10th day after the date of publication of the law in the Belgian State Gazette, a notice of default by registered mail will suffice;
  • The reinstatement of the 15% dividend withholding tax rate for dividends distributed by closed-ended real estate investment funds which invest at least 60% in residential units specifically adapted to health care. The 15% rate will apply to dividends distributed as of 1 January 2017.

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