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Belgium Clarifies Tax Regularization Procedures

17 July 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Author: Ulrika Lomas
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Author: Ulrika Lomas

A new fiscal amnesty regime entered into force in Belgium on July 15, 2013. The Belgian Finance Ministry has provided clarification regarding application of the old and new tax regimes, and the admissibility of amnesty declarations.

Taxpayers who submitted a declaration before this date will benefit from the more lenient provisions provided for under the old system. Until July 14, taxpayers were required to pay the standard rate of tax plus a fine of 10 percent; for declarations received on or after July 15, until December 31, 2013, the standard rate of tax plus an increased fine of 15 percent will be imposed. The tax amnesty will not be extended in 2014.

In cases where taxpayers elect to correct information on income from bank accounts that have already been clearly identified, the declaration will be considered retroactive rather than a new declaration. In contrast, taxpayers electing to report hitherto undeclared income from one or more undisclosed bank accounts will only be able to regularize their tax situation under the new regime between July 15, 2013, and December 31, 2013.

Adopted by the Belgian Chamber on June 27, 2013, bill number 2874 modifies the existing tax regularization regime, notably Articles 121 and 127 of the program law of December 27, 2005.

The new regularization procedure is available to both individuals and corporations, including the self-employed, as well as to common law companies and foundations. The new bill expands the scope of the provisions to include unpaid social contributions, as well as serious and organized tax fraud.

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. For evaded social contributions, a fine of 15 percent will apply. Finally, the text enables taxpayers with evaded capital outside of the statute of limitations period to regularize their situation, although the fine is increased to 35 percent.


WHY REGISTER WITH SAIT?

Section 240A of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (as amended) requires that all tax practitioners register with a recognized controlling body before 1 July 2013. It is a criminal offense to not register with both a recognized controlling body and SARS.

MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS TO REGISTER

The Act requires that a minimum academic and practical requirments be set to register with a controlling body. Click here for the minimum requirements of SAIT.

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