Belgian tax authorities announce tax audits

Philippe Vanclooster 29 April 2015


The Belgian tax authorities prefer to communicate in an open way on how they make the selection of taxpayers that can be subject to a tax audit. Just like in previous years, the Belgian tax authorities have in this framework announced their focus when making selecting taxpayers for 2015 that will be subject to a tax audit. They have given a separate overview for individual taxpayers and companies.

The following situations could lead to a tax audit for individuals:

  • the individual wrongfully applies the frontier workers regime;
  • a company director deducts real business expenses instead of applying deduction on a lump-sum basis;
  • it can be presumed that the real earnings are higher than the ones reported in the tax return;
  • the automatic handling of your personal income tax return shows that:
    • children are reported as dependent in the tax return whereas they are not;
    • not all business income has been reported;
    • not all real estate income has been declared;
    • a total exemption from repayment of transport expenses is claimed, but the individual has never made use of public transport.

The following situations could lead to a tax audit for companies:

  • the profit margin of the company is lower than the usual profit margin of similar companies, or the margin decreases in an a priori abnormal proportion;
  • it is presumed that the company has wrongfully requested or accounted for a VAT refund;
  • a structure is set up with the purpose of tax optimisation for the benefit of the director of the company, its direct surroundings or the group;
  • the activities that are subject to VAT have ceased, or the company no longer applies a VAT regime that requires the company to file periodic VAT returns and starts applying a VAT regime without requirement to periodically file VAT returns.

Besides these specific areas of focus, the Belgian tax authorities do not rule out the possibility that other tax audits will be launched.

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