Making it happen: the European Semester for Belgium…

Making it happen: the European Semester All Member states have committed to achieving Europe 2020 targets and have translated them into national targets and growth-enhancing policies. But only if the individual efforts of all the countries are coordinated and focused, can they result in the desired impact on growth. Therefore the European Commission has set up a yearly cycle of economic policy coordination called the European Semester. Each year the European Commission undertakes a detailed analysis of EU Member States' programmes of economic and structural reforms and provides them with recommendations for the next 12-18 months. The European semester starts when the Commission adopts its Annual Growth Survey, usually towards the end of the year, which sets out EU priorities for the coming year to boost growth and job creation. Country specific recommendations for Belgium are available (excerpts) : (12) Prices for electricity and many other goods and services are higher in Belgium than in other Member States, reflecting weak competition and structural barriers. Prices in the retail sector remain above the euro-area average, while restrictions on professional services impede the development of innovative business models and restrain investment. Belgium has made only limited progress on improving competition in the network industries and the establishment of strong and independent regulators remains incomplete. Belgium has the second-lowest rate of mobile broadband penetration in the EU, largely due to regulatory and coordination problems with regards to spectrum availability. While higher consumer switching has diminished the dominance in generation of the traditional energy operator, competition at retail level for electricity and gas and at wholesale level for electricity remains a challenge with high distribution costs disproportionally contributing to net price levels for industrial users when compared with neighbouring [...]

2014-01-26T18:49:57+01:00October 28th, 2013|Entrepreneurs, In Belgium, In Europe, Tax|

Both business and tax authorities acknowledge that the current VAT system is burdensome…

EU VAT forum Both business and tax authorities acknowledge that the current VAT system is burdensome to manage and vulnerable to fraud. With a view to improving the governance of VAT at EU level, the Commission has decided to create an EU VAT  forum. In this dialogue platform representatives of large, medium and small businesses and tax authorities can exchange views on practical cross border aspects  of VAT administration, as well as identify and discuss best practices that could contribute to streamlining the management of the VAT system, aiming at reducing compliance costs, while at the same time securing VAT revenue. The Commission invites Member States to participate as widely as possible, for the EU VAT forum to  attain its objectives.

2014-01-26T18:50:39+01:00October 26th, 2013|Entrepreneurs, In Belgium, In Europe, Tax|

All World will find and give visibility to ALL the growth entrepreneurs of the emerging world by 2015

AllWorld Network_Sarah Dodeen . AllWorld systematically identifies private growth companies and ranks the fastest growing for the Arabia 500, Africa 500, Asia 500, Eurasia 500, and Latin America 500.  Being on an AllWorld ranking puts companies on the world map, drawing the market to them - what we call Visibility EconomicsTM.  Ranked companies “go public,” attracting new investors, customers, joint venture partners and talent so they continue to grow and get to scale.  

2014-01-26T18:52:18+01:00October 25th, 2013|In Belgium, In Europe, Tax|

Perception de droits d’auteur et abus fiscal

Perception de droits d'auteur et  abus fiscal 1. Notion d’abus fiscal En se prévalant de la loi du 16 juillet 2008 instaurant un régime fiscal favorable des droits d'auteurs, les contribuables ne pourraient cependant commettre un « abus fiscal ». L’article 344, § 1er, CIR constitue la nouvelle règle générale anti-abus en la matière et est rédigé comme ceci : « N’est pas opposable à l’administration, l’acte juridique ni l’ensemble d’actes juridiques réalisant une même opération lorsque l’administration démontre par présomptions ou par d’autres moyens de preuve visés à l’article 340 et à la lumière de circonstances objectives, qu’il y a abus fiscal. Il y a abus fiscal lorsque le contribuable réalise, par l’acte juridique ou l’ensemble d’actes juridiques qu’il a posé, l’une des opérations suivantes : 1° une opération par laquelle il se place en violation des objectifs d’une disposition du présent code ou des arrêtés pris en exécution de celui-ci, en dehors du champ d’application de cette disposition ; ou, 2° une opération par laquelle il prétend à un avantage fiscal prévu par une disposition du présent code ou des arrêtés pris en exécution de celui-ci, dont l’octroi serait contraire aux objectifs de cette disposition et dont le but essentiel est l’obtention de cet avantage. Il appartient au contribuable de prouver que le choix de cet acte juridique ou de cet ensemble d’actes juridiques se justifie par d’autres motifs que la volonté d’éviter les impôts sur les revenus. Lorsque le contribuable ne fournit pas la preuve contraire, la base imposable et le calcul de l’impôt sont rétablis en manière telle que l’opération est soumise à un prélèvement conforme à l’objectif de la loi, comme si l’abus n’avait pas eu lieu. » Les actes juridiques posés par les contribuables ne sont pas opposables [...]

2015-02-16T09:01:36+01:00October 23rd, 2013|Breaking news, In Belgium, Law Right, Tax|

The Personal Approach : We mostly assist our clients with tax and social security optimizations…

Legal Cultures As well as the day-to-day practicalities there are a number of legalities to keep in mind when expatriating, either as an individual or as an organisation. We asked ABRA’s newest members Christophe Boeraeve of Louise Lawyers and Stefan Nerinckx of Field Fisher Waterhouse what their advice would be to organisations with a Belgian link. RL: Christophe, your team is “devoted to assisting Expats to Belgium” – you have our attention… CB: “We mostly assist our clients with tax and social security optimizations, setting up companies or private practices and, only when necessary, litigations. We advise on most commercial, company and not-for-profit issues with a particular attention to a multi-disciplinary approach, mediation and counselling as opposed to litigations. We like to take a pragmatic and human approach and always prefer finding the most suitable strategy to meet our client’s requirements instead of being merged in long, formal and expensive procedures. We feel that common sense should prevail, things such as just picking up the phone to call the opposing party or lawyer instead of drafting long letters or e-mails and most importantly: prevention of litigations by regular meetings that audit the processes of the client’s firm and suggest alternatives and improvements. We’re a smaller but highly experienced firm that comprises 8 lawyers and several correspondents in Belgium (multidisciplinary approach) and other jurisdictions who are all dedicated to offer a full-range service to our clients with efficiency and client friendliness.” RL: Entrepreneurs and employers in Belgium are under considerable pressure under the current economic climate, what are your views on what the (near) future holds? CB: “One has to remember the simple and obvious facts: Belgium is not an island, does not come anything close to the area of the U.S. and is part of a much larger political and economic region: the European Union. Hence, its residents can easily move around and are legally entitled to [...]

2014-03-05T11:55:31+01:00October 20th, 2013|Breaking news, Entrepreneurs, In Belgium, In Europe, Tax|

Rouler en Belgique avec des plaques jaunes… quelles sont les règles applicables ?

1. Obligation d'immatriculation en Belgique L’obligation d’immatriculer un véhicule en Belgique est fixée par l’Arrêté royal du 20 juillet 2001 relatif à l’immatriculation de véhicules  (ci-après l’AR). L’article 2 de l’AR  prévoit expressément que : « Un véhicule ne peut être mis en circulation que s’il est immatriculé et s’il porte la plaque d’immatriculation accordée lors de l’immatriculation ». La notion de véhicule telle que définie par l’AR fait référence à l’article 1er § 2 de l’Arrêté royal du 15 mars 1968 portant règlement général sur les conditions techniques auxquelles doivent répondre les véhicules automobiles, leurs remorques, leurs éléments ainsi que les accessoires de sécurité. Ainsi,  le terme véhicule automobile désigne : « Tout véhicule à moteur dont la tare est supérieure à 400 kg autre que les cyclomoteurs et les motocyclettes, tels que  ceux-ci sont définis à l'article 1er de l'arrêté royal du 10 octobre 1974 portant règlement général sur les conditions techniques auxquelles doivent répondre les cyclomoteurs et les motocyclettes ainsi que leurs remorques ». » 2. Mise en circulation et critère de résidence Le régime applicable à l’obligation d’immatriculer varie en fonction du lieu de la résidence de la personne qui met en circulation le véhicule. L’AR utilise le critère de résidence pour distinguer les obligations de mise en circulation. La mise en circulation du véhicule signifie « circuler, être à l’arrêt ou stationner sur la voie publique en Belgique » Etre résident en Belgique au sens de l’AR implique être inscrit « dans les registres de la population d’une commune belge ». En outre, l’article 1er de l’AR définit la résidence principale comme le lieu où vivent habituellement les membres d'un ménage composé de plusieurs personnes, unies ou non par des liens de parenté, soit le lieu où vit habituellement une [...]

2015-02-16T09:01:42+01:00October 16th, 2013|In Belgium, In Europe, Law Right, Tax|

List of double tax treaties between Malta and the rest of the world

Malta has one of the lowest tax rates within the European Union area. It is fully compliant with OECD standards, having implemented internationally agreed tax standards ensuring it is a white listed jurisdiction as well as one of high repute.  Here is the list of the DTT the country has entered into.      

2014-01-26T18:59:52+01:00October 9th, 2013|In Europe, Tax|

50 Double Tax Treaties entered into by Israel and the rest of the world

Conventions for the avoidance of double taxation are bilateral agreements in which the contracting countries establish the tax rules that will apply to income and assets associated with both countries. The convention solves the problem of double taxation in both countries, in one of two ways: either by granting exclusive taxation rights to one or the other country, or by providing that one country – generally the source country in which the income was derived – will have the "primary taxation right," while the other country – the country of domicile of the person deriving the income – will have a "residual taxation right," i.e. it will have the right to tax the income alongside the duty to prevent double taxation by allowing a credit on the tax that was paid in the country with the primary taxation right.

2014-01-26T19:00:08+01:00October 9th, 2013|In Middle-East, Tax|

47 Double Tax Treaties between the United Arab Emirates and the rest of the world

The UAE have entered into no less than 47 International agreements for the avoidance of double taxation. Belgium is number 35 and dates back to 1996 :  35 Belgium   30/9/1996 (527/9) for the year 1996 (83) for the year 1997 26/ 6/1997 Five years renewable

2014-01-26T19:00:21+01:00October 9th, 2013|In Middle-East, Tax|