Belgium Boosts International Tax Agreement Tally
Tuesday, July 9, 2013
The Belgian Council of Ministers has approved for ratification the protocol amending
the bilateral double taxation agreement (DTA) between Belgium and Japan in the
area of taxes on income. The Council of Ministers has also waved through for ratification
multiple tax information exchange agreements (TIEAs).
Signed in Brussels on January 26, 2010, the protocol updates the initial DTA with Japan
signed on March 28, 1968, ensuring that the accord conforms to the internationally
accepted standard. The modification facilitates the exchange of banking information
between the two countries, thereby strengthening bilateral cooperation.
The protocol is due to be submitted to the Federal parliament shortly, before
being presented to the regional and community parliaments for approval. The
text of the protocol has been published on the Tax Administration's website.
During the same meeting, The Council of Ministers also gave its seal of approval
to TIEAs with Grenada, Montserrat, Anguilla, and Gibraltar. According to the
Belgian Government, the TIEAs provide for the exchange of fiscal information
upon request, including banking information. This is a key aspect of international
cooperation in the area of taxation and an efficient manner in which to protect
the national tax base and to combat harmful tax practices, the Government stresses.
The treaties are largely based on the Organization for Economic Cooperation
and Development's (OECD) Model TIEA. The conclusion of the accords is to be
seen within the context of Belgian Government efforts to conclude, with as many
states and jurisdictions as possible, tax information exchange agreements covering
banking information, complying with the OECD standard.
The agreements with Grenada, Montserrat, and Gibraltar cover four types of taxes
on income in Belgium, including individual income tax, corporation tax, the
tax on legal entities, and non-resident income tax. Furthermore, the texts cover
value-added tax (VAT). They provide for the exchange (on request) of information
likely to be pertinent for the application of domestic legislation relating
to the taxes covered by the accord.
Furthermore, the treaties provides for the exchange of information held notably
by banks and other financial establishments. In the case of the accord with
Gibraltar, the TIEA also covers taxes collected on behalf of the federal entities
and provides for the exchange of information held by trusts, foundations, partnerships,
and other collective investment organizations.
The texts define the terms and conditions for a valid request, and set out
the conditions and specific directives for the carrying out of cross-border
tax audits on the territory of the treaty partner state.
Finally, the TIEAs contain strict confidentiality rules, and provide for
a procedure to amicably resolve disputes or doubts surrounding the interpretation
or application of the agreement.
The TIEA between Belgium and Anguilla covers individual income tax, corporate
tax, the tax on legal entities and on non-residents, VAT, inheritance and death transfer taxes, as well as registration duties on inter vivo gifts.