The federal government has approved a draft program law implementing the Budget 2017. The text has been sent to the Council of State for advice (subject to change).
The draft contains the following tax measures:
- Withholding tax: increase from 27 to 30% for movable income paid or attributed as from 1 January 2017 (and from 17 to 20% in case of early distribution of liquidation reserves constituted as from assessment year 2018)
- “Internal” capital gains: in case of capital gains on shares realized at their contribution into a company, which are not taxable as miscellaneous income, the paid-up capital (for tax purposes) of the receiving company equals the acquisition value of the contributed shares for the contributor (adjustment of the definition of paid-up capital in art. 184, section 3 BITC). So any repayment of excess capital will be considered a dividend, subject to a withholding tax of (in principle) 30%. Applicable to contributions as from 1 January 2017.
- Speculation tax: to be abolished for capital gains realized as from 1 January 2017.
- Excess profit rulings: introduction of a regime for the recovery of the alleged state aid received by companies in the framework of the excess profit rulings.
- Benefit in kind: currently, 17% of the benefit in kind of a company car must be added to the disallowed expenses. As from 1 January 2017, the benefit in kind must for that purpose be added to the taxable base of the company regardless of any employee contribution for the personal use of the company car. In addition, the percentage will increase from 17 to 40% if the fuel cost related to the personal use of the company car is (wholly or partly) borne by the company.
- VAT: introduction of a reduced rate of 12% for private initiatives for housing within the framework of social policy, as from 1 January 2017
- Tax on stock exchange transactions: doubling of the ceilings and extension of its application to transactions for which a Belgian resident gives the order to an intermediary abroad. In that case, the person who gives the order becomes the debtor of the tax, unless he can prove that the tax has been paid. The foreign intermediary can appoint a responsible representative in Belgium to fulfill the necessary formalities. Entry into force: 1 January 2017.
- Fight against tax fraud: removal of obstacles to the exchange of information for income tax purposes and improvement of the procedure of precautionary seizure (“bewarend beslag/saisie conservatoire”) for VAT purposes.