After various and often tense discussions, the Belgian federal government has reached an agreement on the 2017 budget at the end of last week.
Some politically sensitive topics were not included in the 2017 budget and will be dealt with during the coming months. These topics are the corporate income tax reform, the taxation of private capital gains on shares and various other measures to boost investments. Taxand Belgium examines the tax implications.
However, several important tax measures have been included in the 2017 budget. In this article we will give a summary of these measures.
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance have confirmed the following tax measures:
- The standard withholding tax rate – which has already been increased to 27% earlier this year – will again be increased, this time to 30%, as of 1 January 2017
- The frequently used tax planning technique of realizing exempted “internal capital gains” (instead of distributing a taxable dividend) will be countered by a new ant-abuse measure
- The recently introduced speculation tax for individuals will be abolished as of 1 January 2017
- The tax deductibility of fuel cards issued by companies will be limited based on the CO2 emissions. Furthermore, employees will be able to opt for a tax friendly “mobility remuneration” instead of a company car
- The stock exchange tax will also become applicable on transactions via foreign platforms and the limits of the stock exchange tax will be doubled for shares, bonds and funds
- Tax and social benefits will be linked to a minimum period of employment and/or residence in Belgium. This will, for example, mean that asylum seekers will no longer be able to get tax refunds
- The anti-avoidance measures against tax and social fraud will be increased