Banking secrecy in Belgium, the latest situation

Miscellaneous CobaltWarrior1000 August 8, 2016 0 4
Under pressure from the G20 and as a result of the weakened position of the Belgian banking sector, the Belgian Government in 2009 decided to change bank secrecy. There is still uncertainty about the exact content of the protocol that Belgium has signed with several other countries. Fact is that the black money saver is no longer safe in Belgium.

Belgian banking

Besides several smaller banks as Argenta Bank and the Groof Belgium has three major banking groups: Fortis, KBC and Dexia. After the escalation of the credit crisis have to knock these three major banks to the government for aid. Fortis group is even dismantled, making the Belgian bank partly owned by the French BNP Paribas has come. Another big player in Belgium, the Dutch ING, due to the acquisition of Bank Brussels Lambert in 1997. The old CEO of BBL, Michel Tilmant, who made it in 2004 even as CEO of ING. But he had on January 26, 2009 to step down after a new capital injection from the Dutch state. The Belgian banks are indeed very present in another bastion of bank secrecy: Luxembourg.

The tax authorities in Belgium and the Netherlands

The Dutch government is one of the staunchest advocates of the abolition of banking secrecy, particularly in Europe. Since the Belgian banking system is on a drip, the lobby for the preservation of bank secrecy in Belgium has become a toothless tiger. What individuals for the Dutch tax authorities have no difficulty to exchange information with foreign counterparts. For business is a different story, for example by shutting down rulings, the favorable regime for royalties and the use of foreign companies and foundations want Netherlands in the wake keep jobs here and get it.
Belgium also is working in this segment of the road with the notional interest deduction ??, ?? intended as a successor to the coordination centers. In 2005 this tax regime was abolished after a long legal battle with the European Commission, which it regarded as illegal state aid. The "notional interest deduction," those companies with much equity offers significant tax benefit, has been approved by the European Commission.

Belgium agreed with the Netherlands and other countries

On June 24, 2009 the Belgian Minister of Finance, Bernard Clerfayt signed in the presence of his Dutch colleague Jan Kees de Jager, a protocol to the tax treaty of both countries. The ceremony took place at the Dutch embassy in Berlin. As thanks for his role in the Belgian Minister was given a set of old VOC coins. Both leaders were in the German capital to attend an international conference against tax evasion.
The step from Belgium is a response to the placement of the country on the gray list of the OECD leading up to the G20 meeting on 2 April 2009. Until then, the Belgian tax authorities did not exchange financial information with tax authorities in other countries it came to funds in Belgium. For example, in the KB-Lux case, the Belgian tax authorities did play data to the Netherlands, but then it went to accounts in Luxembourg. As a result of that statement on the gray list undertook the Belgian Minister of Finance Didier Reynders unilateral action. He sent letters to more than 80 countries that Belgium was prepared to add a protocol to existing tax treaties with announcing that the country was now prepared to play tax information. The Netherlands is the first country with which this Protocol is signed.

The interpretation of the tax protocol

Prompt after signing the protocol to the Dutch Tax Administration's website stated: "The protocol with Belgium arranges agreements on the exchange of information in tax matters The protocol states that the automatic exchange of bank information is possible as of 1 January 2010. And that exchange. bank information on request, with retroactive effect to 1 January 2008. The agreement was signed in Berlin, following the ministerial meeting of OECD on transparency and information exchange. De Jager signed earlier treaties with Luxembourg, Bermuda, Guernsey and Jersey and expects to sign more agreements. Negotiations are including Switzerland, Austria, the British Virgin Islands and the Cayman Islands. "
But in the Belgian newspaper De Standaard stresses Minister Clerfayt true that there is no automatic exchange of information, "But if the Belgian tax authorities suspicions of fraud about specific taxpayers they can ask the foreign colleagues information the tax administration would have two years to put on. Based on that information to recover the evaded tax and any supplements. Our tax may turn information from Belgian banks and pass on to foreign tax authorities if he or she receives a precise request. "

Data exchange

In the framework of the EU Savings Tax Directive were Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria negotiated an opt directive as regards the extent of information exchange. No later than December 31, 2010 would be the data from power. Belgium, Luxembourg and Austria have since 2011 by only information automatically on the interest paid to send the other EU Member States, not the detailed account information. The protocols signed arrange among themselves which information is exchanged. The publication soon of the royal decrees governing this need for clarity.

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