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Belgian Cabinet Approves Brexit Tax Law

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Belgium's Council of Ministers has approved a draft law that would temporarily treat the United Kingdom as a member of the European Union for Belgian tax purposes should the UK leave the EU having failed to agree any withdrawal arrangements.

"In order to ensure that taxpayers do not suffer the immediate consequences of the failure of negotiations on a Brexit agreement, a transitional period will be introduced allowing the United Kingdom to be considered as still part of the European Union for the purpose of application of tax provisions," said a statement published by the Council of Minister on March 1, 2019.

Tax legislation falling under the scope of the Brexit transition law includes: the 1992 Income Tax Code; the Code of inheritance tax; the Registration, Mortgage and Registry Fees Code; and the Miscellaneous Fees and Taxes Code.

The transitional period would conclude on December 31, 2019, but could be extended for an indefinite period by royal decree following a review by the Council of Ministers.

However, the statement said that the transitional regime will apply only to the extent that reciprocity exists on the part of the United Kingdom.

The UK parliament is due to hold a "meaningful vote" on the terms of the UK's withdrawal from the EU by March 12, 2019. Prime Minister Theresa May announced last week that, if that package is rejected, parliament will then be asked whether the UK should leave the EU without an exit deal on March 29, 2019, or seek a short extension to Article 50.