Belgium Unveils Details Of Tax Regularization Bill
12 June 2013
Posted by: Author: Ulrika Lomas
Author: Ulrika Lomas
During a second reading, the Belgian Council of Ministers has approved a bill modifying the country's current tax regularization regime. According to the Belgian Government, the draft legislation takes into account the State Council's recommendations.
The Government's bill adapts existing legislation, allowing Belgian taxpayers to regularize hitherto unreported and therefore untaxed capital and income "concealed" either abroad or in Belgium. The new regularization procedure is available to both individuals and corporations, as well as to common law companies and foundations.
The measures contained in the bill provide for a fine of 15 percent to be imposed on taxpayers for minor tax offences, and for a fine of 20 percent to be levied in the case of more major tax offences. Self-employed workers in Belgium will also be able to regularize their professional income and tax situation in future under the plans. For evaded social contributions, a fine of 15 percent will apply. For any evaded capital that falls outside of the statute of limitations, the fine is increased to 35 percent.
The new procedure is to apply from July 15 to December 31, 2013. Until then, the existing system will remain in place. The tax amnesty will not be extended in 2014.
The Belgian Government had been urged to amend the existing regularization procedure, following criticism that the current system is too restrictive. The tax regularization procedure is only currently available for individuals with undeclared professional income, for evaded value-added tax, as well as for other unreported income, including income from interest, dividends, real estate, and assets.
The new bill expands the scope of the provisions to include social contributions evaded by self-employed workers, as well as serious and organized tax fraud. Finally, the text enables taxpayers with evaded capital outside of the limitation period to regularize their situation.
The Belgian Tax Authorities have received a record number of voluntary declarations and requests for tax regularization over the course of the last few months.
Taxpayers wishing to regularize their fiscal situation are requested to contact the Finance Ministry.