Mandatory e-filing of income tax returns

Philippe Vanclooster 28 February 2014


Mandatory e-filing of income tax returns for (non-)resident companies and legal entities

Electronic or paper filing of income tax returns?

Since assessment year 2005, Belgian corporate entities have the possibility to file their corporate income tax return electronically. In the Belgian income tax on legal entities and the Belgian non-residents corporate income tax, electronic filing is also possible since assessment year 2012. However, up to now, companies and legal entities that are taxable in Belgium had the possibility to choose to file their tax return on paper or electronically. For the purposes of encouraging electronic filing, the Belgian tax authorities have already postponed the filing deadline for electronic tax returns several times.

On June 17, 2013, a new Belgian tax law was introduced making it mandatory for tax payers subject to the Belgian (non-residents) corporate income tax or the Belgian income tax on legal entities to file their tax return electronically. According to the law, this obligation applies as of assessment year 2015, be it that the possibility was admitted to advance the date of commencement by Royal Decree.

Mandatory e-filing of the Belgian corporate income tax return

The Belgian Government has recently used the possibility to advance the mandatory electronic filing for tax returns in the Belgian corporate income tax. By virtue of a Royal Decree dated February 7, 2014, the obligation to file the Belgian corporate income tax return electronically has been advanced so as to apply as of assessment year 2014 (financial years ending 31 December 2013 up to and including 30 December 2014).

Thus, companies taxable in the Belgian corporate income tax are obliged to file their tax return via the ‘Biztax’ application as of assessment year 2014. An exception is made for tax payers that do not have the required information technology to file their tax return electronically.

Note that the obligation of electronic filing remains applicable only as of assessment year 2015 for tax returns in the Belgian non-residents corporate income tax and the Belgian income tax on legal entities.