New Procedural Tax Rules As From 2023!

Published date08 March 2023
Subject MatterTax, Sales Taxes: VAT, GST, Tax Authorities
Law FirmField Fisher Waterhouse LLP
AuthorMr Geoffroy Galea, Lionel Wellekens and Alain Thilmany

A law adopted on the 20th of November 2022 contains major changes to the Belgian tax procedure. The law notably provides the extension of tax investigation, assessment and retention periods. It also changes the approach of the duty to collaborate with the Belgian Tax Authorities ("BTA").
Changes apply to both direct taxes and VAT and will enter into force as from tax year 2023 and for VAT as from 1st of January 2023.

I. Direct taxes

A. Investigation and assessment periods
The BTA may only investigate and assess taxes due by taxpayers within certain periods.

The standard investigation and the standard assessment periods are currently 3 years. These periods can be extended in particular situations such as circumstances implying a (suspicion of) tax fraud (extended to 7 years).

While not completely changing the approach, new rules do bring some important changes.

1. Absence of tax fraud:

The investigation and the assessment periods will change as follows:

  • for tax returns that are not (timely) filed standard investigation and assessment periods will both be extended to 4 years;
  • for the following specific international cases, the investigation and the assessment periods will be extended to 6 years:
    • Taxpayers having to file a Local File (form 275 LF) or a Country-by-Country report (form 275 CbC);
    • Taxpayers having to declare payments to "tax havens" (form 275 F);
    • Taxpayers applying for an exemption, a waiver or a reduction of withholding taxes based on a Double Tax Treaty or an EU directive;
    • Taxpayers claiming Foreign Tax Credits;
    • Taxpayers for whom reportable information (relating to their tax return) has been obtained by the BTA from foreign authorities under DAC6 or DAC7 reporting requirements (provided that the amount concerned for a taxpayer exceeds '25,000).

  • for "complex tax returns", the investigation and the assessment periods will be extended to 10 years, i.e. this concerns tax returns where the following has to be reported:
    • hybrid mismatch arrangements;
    • application of Controlled Foreign Country ("CFC") rules; or
    • legal constructions.

Above extensions do not apply to following "ordinary" disallowed expenses:

  • regional taxes, charges or retributions;
  • fines, penalties or confiscations of any kind;
  • non-deductible car expenses;
  • non-deductible reception and business gift expenses;
  • non-deductible restaurant expenses;
  • non-specific business clothing expenses; or
  • social benefits (including luncheon vouchers, sports/cultural vouchers, and...

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