On 9 April 2016, the federal government reached an agreement on additional budgetary and recovery measures following the 2016 budgetary control exercise. To keep the budget on track, among others the following tax measures have been agreed:
- Reform of the Belgian corporate income tax regime. The corporate income tax regime will be reformed in order to (i) strengthen the competitive position of the Belgian market and (ii) become increasingly fair for small and medium sized companies.
- Fight against fiscal fraud. Following among other developments the “Panama papers”, extra measures will be taken to combat fiscal fraud, and greater efforts will be made with regard to the so-called “Cayman tax” or “transparency tax”. The Minister of Finance announced that a package of anti-fraud rules has already been drafted but still has to be refined and made watertight by a taskforce of experts shortly.
- Real estate. Measures will be introduced to make the Belgian real estate market more attractive for foreign investors. For example it has been announced that new real estate investments funds (“fonds d’investissement immobilier spécialisé”/“gespecialiseerd vastgoedbeleggingsfonds”) dedicated to institutional investors would be introduced.
- Excise duties. Excise duties on tobacco and diesel would further increase.
Important to note is that the government reconfirmed the previously announced reduction of social security contributions on labour.
At this time, only the basic principles of the new measures have been agreed whilst the details are not yet clear and are still subject to change. The measures will now have to be translated into legislative texts.
If you have any questions, please contact your regular PwC tax consultant.