At the end of 2018, the Belgian tax administration (more specifically the Administration Large Enterprises), will start a pilot project, under which the concept of “horizontal supervision” will be implemented for very large enterprises.
The programme is aimed at transforming the traditional Belgian relationship between the tax administration and the taxpayer into a relationship based on trust, transparency and certainty. Recently, the Ministry of Finance published a “Brochure” on the project, called “Brochure on the new Co-operative Tax Compliance Programme” (CTCP).
Participation in the programme is on a voluntary basis, based on a written agreement containing the rules of cooperation. As a rule, all group members of the enterprise must, as a rule, be part of the agreement.
In exchange for faster legal certainty, a participant must be fully and timely transparent and have a Tax Control Framework (TCF) at its disposal. The administration will provide a single point of contact and a follow-up team to discuss in a proactive manner ongoing issues rather than having discussion on past events.
If the Administration adopts a position, a distinction must be made between:
- Binding agreements about factual situation and circumstance;
- Binding decisions on the application of tax legislation and regulations;
- Non-binding views regarding questions of fact or the application of tax legislation and regulations.
The Belgian tax administration will, however, not replace the tax adviser. It will not provide any advice, nor will it state a position on spontaneously-provided information/documents, unless explicitly requested by the taxpayer.
Requests for rulings remain possible and dispute settlements, appeals, mediation and mutual agreement procedures will remain in force. The rights of the taxpayer will not be limited.
In 2019, the project should also become available for small and medium sized enterprises.