Current practice of different filing deadlines is unconstitutional

Philippe Vanclooster 13 February 2014


In a recent court case (Court of Appeal of Ghent, 26 January 2014), the Belgian courts have ruled that the current practice of the tax authorities of providing different filing deadlines, depending by whom (the taxpayer or representative) or the manner of filing (on paper or electronically) is unconstitutional, as this violates the general principles of good administration and principle of equality.

As such, the possibility exists that the tax authorities will be moving to a more uniform filing deadline for all Belgian income tax returns as of assessment year 2014, which can be shorter as compared to the existing ones.

Note that the Minister of Finance has communicated in a Parliamentary Question that the filing deadline for representatives to file personal tax returns for their clients (assessment year 2014) will be 31 October 2014.

Observations

It is currently not certain how the Belgian tax authorities are going to react, but it is possible that one general filing deadline (paper / electronically) would be introduced (for corporate tax returns in principal at the earliest on 30 June).