Skip to the content

Articles

Unfair trade practices in a B2B environment

Earlier this year, on 21 March 2019 a new Act was adopted bringing a revolution of new rules towards the business community, in particular with regard to contract terms and dispute resolution. The Code Economic Law now contains new rules regarding (i) unfair contract terms, (ii) unfair market practices between companies and (iii) abuse of economic dependence.

VAT quick fixes 2020 part 4: valid VAT identification number to apply the exemption for intra-community supplies

On 4 December 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted the so-called “VAT quick fixes”. The “VAT quick fixes” aim at simplifying international trade and are to be implemented by the EU Member States by 1 January 2020.

New tax rules on the Digital Economy will also impact the Brick-and-Mortar Economy

The digitalization of the economy exposed shortcomings of today’s tax rules. In an environment where businesses can remotely interact with their consumers and create value without physical presence in the market, the current tax rules are perceived to be no longer effective. The two main shortcomings identified are the question of fair allocation of taxing rights among jurisdictions and the remaining risks of profit shifting.

The tax challenges arising from the digitalization of the economy are one of the main areas of focus of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) project for several years. In May 2019 the OECD/G20 Inclusive Framework on BEPS adopted a Programme of Work to develop a consensus solution to these tax challenges based on two pillars. In the autumn 2019, the proposals for the two pillars were released for public consultation and are planned to be agreed upon by mid-2020 already.  The European Commission welcomed the proposals and expressed its support for the international work on the two pillar approach.

Immigration : looking back and forward

With Christmas Carrols in the air, it’s time to reflect on some hot immigrations topics which kept us busy in 2019, also preparing for what 2020 will bring.

VAT quick fixes 2020 part 3: Uniform rules to simplify chain transactions

On 4 December 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted the so-called “VAT quick fixes”. The “VAT quick fixes” aim at simplifying international trade and are to be implemented by the EU Member States by 1 January 2020.

Earnings stripping rules: draft law clarifying legal framework withdrawn

The recently introduced draft legislation to finalize the implementation of the earnings stripping rules in Belgium (see also our earlier newsflash) has been withdrawn. It is hence unlikely that the Federal Parliament will adopt legislative changes to the base law before year-end.

Consequently, the earnings stripping rules will basically apply as of FY 2019 without the add-ons provided for by the draft legislation.

German Finance Minister issues amended Financial Transaction Tax proposal

On December 9, 2019, the German Finance Minister, Olaf Scholz, issued a revised proposal for a Council Directive regarding the introduction of a common financial transaction tax (FTT) to the participating Member States in the so-called enhanced cooperation procedure (Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain). The revised proposal includes an optional exemption for pension schemes and a new system for mutualization of the FTT revenues. 

Car taxation and compliance: an uphill ride

Tax is becoming ever more complex. The compliance burden continues to increase. Car taxation is no exception to this trend.

For some years now, the benefit in kind related to a company car must be calculated using a formula which incorporates the catalogue value, CO2-emission, fuel type and age of each individual car separately.

A part of this benefit in kind (17 or 40%, depending on whether the company bears private fuel expenses or not), must be added to the company’s disallowed expenses.

VAT quick fixes 2020 part 2 - Simplified treatment for call-off stock

On 4 December 2018, the Council of the European Union adopted the so-called “VAT quick fixes”. The “VAT quick fixes” aim at simplifying international trade and are to be implemented by the EU Member States by 1 January 2020.

Social security : update

As 2019 comes to an end it is time to look back which relevant changes came across in 2019 in the field of (international) social security. At the same time, we look forward to the opportunities and challenges which will continue in 2020.