• Service: Tax & Legal
  • Type: Business and industry issue
  • Date: 28/06/2013

New law containing tax measures published 

e-Tax flash
Today, the law containing tax and financial measures and measures regarding sustainable development has been published in the Belgian Official Gazette. Please find hereafter an overview of the main measures.

Corporate tax
Patent income deduction
The condition of development or improvement of patents in research centers constituting a branch of activity is dropped for SMEs (in the meaning of article 15 of the Companies Code).


Entry into force: assessment year 2014.
R&D: exemption from payment of wage withholding tax
The percentage of the exemption is increased from 75 to 80%.


Entry into force: applicable to the wage withholding tax due as from  1 July 2013.


The exemption exists inter alia for businesses paying wages to researchers employed in research and development projects or programs and holding a specific degree. Such research and development projects or programs are defined as those projects or programs having as objective fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development. The concepts of fundamental research, industrial research or experimental development are defined based on EU Regulation 800/2008. The above-mentioned projects or programs only qualify when they are reported to the Federal Public Service of Science Policy (list of required information is included in the law) which can be asked to give a binding ruling on whether the projects or programs meet the above-mentioned objectives.


Entry into force: 1 January 2014. However, existing projects and programs must not be reported until 31 December 2014.


Secret commissions tax


The law explicitly states that expenses for which no summary statements have been filed, but which are mentioned in the beneficiary’s tax return are tax deductible. The secret commissions tax does not apply.


In case expenses for which summary statements must be filed and benefits in kind are not mentioned in the beneficiary’s tax return, the secret commissions tax will not apply if the amounts can still be taxed with the beneficiary’s agreement. However, costs will in that case not be deductible for corporate tax purposes to the extent of those benefits.


Entry into force: assessment year 2014.


Notional interest deduction


As from assessment year 2014, the NID rate will be calculated on the basis of the average return of the 10-year OLO in the months July, August and September. The rate for assessment year 2014 will be 2,742%. Please note that the absolute limit of 3% remains in place.


Individual income tax


Central contact point of the National Bank re bank accounts


As the central contact point of the National Bank to which financial institutions have to report the identity and the accounts of their customers is not yet operational, the obligation for the taxpayer to confirm in his income tax return that his foreign accounts have been communicated to this central point is postponed until assessment year 2014.


Withholding tax on movable income


Individual taxpayers receiving business income exempted according to an international agreement which is not taken into account in the calculation of the individual income tax due (exemption without progression), will no more be able to set off, through their tax return, the withholding tax paid on movable and miscellaneous income.

Entry into force: income paid or attributed as from 1 January 2013






The VAT exemption for education services will only apply if the services are provided by public law bodies and other organizations insofar they do not systematically aim to make a profit.


Entry into force: 1 January 2014.




The ECJ judgment in the Vlaamse Oliemaatschappij case regarding warehousing is implemented: persons of good faith or who prove that they have made no mistakes or have not been negligent are released from their joint liability.


Entry into force: 8 July 2013.


Tax procedure


Paperless assessment procedure


Taxpayers will be given the possibility to receive their assessment notice electronically as from assessment year 2013.


Tax returns


BIZTAX will become mandatory for taxpayers subject to corporate income tax, legal entities income tax and non-resident (corporate) income tax as from assessment year 2015 (date of introduction can be advanced by Royal Decree).




The new law also changes the tax shelter regime for audiovisual works, modifies several levies on the financial sector and increases the penalties for serious tax fraud (whether or not organized).


We would also like to draw your attention to the fact that the draft law implementing the tax measures decided by the government during its Easter budget control is now being discussed in Parliament.


For more information on this subject, we refer to our earlier edition.


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