Belgium: New CbC reporting forms and guidelines

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On 19 May 2017, the Belgian Federal Public Service for Finance issued new country-by-country (CbC), local file and master file forms along with guidelines to file CbC reports under BEPS Action 13. The report submission deadline was 31 December 2016, but the tax authority has allowed a once only delay until 30 September 2017.

Belgium, Moldova amending protocol to DTA signs

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On 30 March 2017, Belgium and Moldova signed an amending protocol to Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income, in Brussels. Once in force, the 2008 treaty and 2017 protocol will replace the existing DTA of 1987 between Belgium and former USSR in relations between Moldova and Belgium.

Belgium approves multilateral competent authority agreement on automatic exchange of information

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According to a press release of 23 March 2017, the government of Belgium announced that the Council of Ministers had approved, on that date, a bill implementing the OECD Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information Agreement and the bill will soon be submitted to the parliament.

Belgium publishes investment allowance rates for 2017

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According to Official Gazette of 14 March 2017, the rates of the investment allowance for the tax year 2017 (assessment year 2018) are following:

Type of investment Rate of allowance (%)
Companies Individuals
Patents; environmentally friendly investments for research and development (R&D); energy saving and smoke suction and fresh air systems in hotels, restaurants and bars 13.5 13.5
Safety measures 20.5 20.5
Other investments 8 8
Seagoing vessels by resident companies earning only profit from ocean shipping 30  –

Specific rules: Individual taxpayers who on 1 January 2017 (assessment year 2018) employed fewer than 20 employees may opt to spread the investment allowance for investments made over the depreciation period of the relevant investments. In this case, the maximum allowance is equal to 10.5% of the depreciation on the investments.

With respect to investments in environmentally friendly investments for R&D and investments in production means for high-tech products for which the European Commission has indicated that the measure does not constitute incompatible State aid, the rate for the spreading of investment allowances for individuals and companies is 20.5%, regardless of the number of employees.

Hong Kong signs agreements on automatic exchange of financial account information in tax matters with 6 jurisdictions

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Hong Kong has signed agreements with six jurisdictions for conducting automatic exchange of financial account information on tax matters. They are Belgium, Canada, Guernsey, Italy, Mexico and the Netherlands.

A Government spokesman said on 17 March 2017 that they have been seeking to expand Hong Kong’s AEOI network with their tax treaty partners. The signing of agreements with six more jurisdictions, bringing up the number of Hong Kong’s AEOI partners to a total of nine (including Japan, Korea and the United Kingdom), signifies the Government’s efforts in this drive

The Government will put the six places on the list of “reportable jurisdictions” under the Inland Revenue Ordinance.

Singapore, Belgium Competent authority agreement on automatic exchange of information signed

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The Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Information (2017) between Singapore and Belgium was signed on 10 March 2017. The agreement provides details of what types information will be exchanged and when, in accordance with OECD Automatic Exchange of Information Agreement (2014).

Belgium: Netherlands UCITS under EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive, Dividend withholding tax exemption

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The EU Court of Justice issued a judgment in a case regarding application of the EU Parent-Subsidiary Directive, and specifically a withholding tax imposed by Belgium on dividends paid by a subsidiary company of Belgium to its Dutch parent companies that were investment funds (Dutch UCITS). The EU Court of Justice found that neither of the Dutch UCITS entities qualified as a “company of a Member State” for purposes of the Parent-Subsidiary Directive as, while subject to corporate income tax (CIT), the UCITS entities were effectively not taxed and, therefore, the Directive did not preclude Belgium from withholding tax on the dividends.