The European Commission has announced yesterday its intention to refer Belgium to the EU Court of Justice in relation to the discriminatory taxation of foreign Collective Investment Undertakings (“CIU”) located in another member state of the EU/EEA.
The Belgian Inheritance Tax Code – which provides for the Net Asset Tax rules – indeed foresees a specific rate of 0,01 % applicable to CIU of which one or more compartments and/or share classes are offered exclusively to institutional or professional investors acting on their own behalf. In the current state of legislation, this rate is however only applicable to Belgian CIUs. Foreign CIUs, although they would also have only institutional and/or professional investors cannot benefit from this rate on the amounts collected in Belgium, which are then submitted to the classical rate of 0,0925 %.
The European Commission had sent a reasoned opinion in September 2013 to Belgium in this respect, asking a modification of legislation which has not come. The process is now one step ahead and will surely be of interest for EU/EEA institutional CIUs.
We will keep you informed of any developments on this matter.