Update on list of non-compliant countries – circular letter published


On 26 January 2017, a circular letter has been published with respect to the updated list of non-compliant countries in light of the international standards regarding transparency and exchange of information.

More in particular, five new jurisdictions (Guatemala, Marshall Islands, (the Federal States of) Micronesia, Panama and Trinidad & Tobago) have been added to the list of non-compliant countries after the Global Forum meeting on 4 November 2016 in Georgia. Hence, the above-mentioned jurisdictions are considered as not (or not sufficiently) compliant to the international standard as regards the exchange of information. This outcome has a direct consequence on the reporting obligation for payments as from 4 November 2016 as included in article 307, §1 of the Belgian Income Tax Code (‘BITC’), which obliges companies that make direct or indirect payments to recipients established in tax havens, to declare payments exceeding EUR 100.000 during the taxable period.

Note that the Marshall Islands and Micronesia were already included on the list of zero- and low-tax jurisdictions included in article 179 of the Royal Decree implementing the BITC, i.e. jurisdictions with a nominal corporate tax rate below 10% and were already subject to the reporting obligation before (we can refer to our previous news post in this respect).