On 3 October 2017 it was announced in the Belgian State Gazette that the Council of Ministers has reached an agreement on a new program law containing, among others, certain measures to close the gaps in the tax treatment of certain legal constructions (trusts and tax haven companies – the so-called “Cayman Tax”).
The main purpose of the announcement is to avoid anticipatory behavior by taxpayers because the contents of the draft bill was discussed in a Dutch newsletter of a major Belgian law firm on 17 September 2017. After all, one of the measures agreed upon by the ministers is to treat distributions by trusts as deemed dividend distributions, subject to a 30% (withholding) tax, whereas such distributions are currently, as a rule, not taxable.
The new measure should apply as of the date the newsletter has been made public on the website of the law firm (17 September 2017)!
Based on the newsletter, the program law apparently also contains measures against layered structures and life insurance structures.