Belgium: Draft legislation to combat tax fraud and tax avoidance
On 29 November 2018, the Belgian Government submitted to the Parliament a new draft bill aimed at combatting tax fraud and tax avoidance on Belgian withholding tax on income from movable property.
This draft bill includes the following main measures:
- The introduction of an anti-avoidance rule on dividends received by Belgian and foreign pension funds. Those would no longer have the possibility to benefit from withholding tax exemption on dividends received when holding the securities from which the dividends arise for less than 60 days, unless they demonstrate that the short term arrangement is genuine.
- The full ownership of underlying securities on dividend record date is a condition to apply a withholding tax credit. More generally, market claims would no longer be considered as dividends for Belgian tax credit purposes.
- The Belgian tax authorities will be able to recuperate Belgian withholding tax from the Belgian withholding agent or from the beneficiary of the movable income if an illegitimate exemption was applied or when the reimbursement of withholding tax was unjustified.
This draft bill still needs to be approved by the Belgian parliament.
We will continue to monitor the situation and will provide further information as it becomes available.
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