• Service: Tax, International Executive Services, Global Compliance Management Services
  • Type: Regulatory update
  • Date: 9/27/2013

Belgium - Share valuation for inheritance tax referred to CJEU 

September 27: The European Commission (EC) announced that it will refer a Belgian tax issue to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU)—i.e., the Belgian inheritance tax rules that allow a choice between several share value quotations for purposes of determining the taxable base of the shares for inheritance tax purposes.

According to the EC release (IP/13/871), shares listed on stock exchanges of other EU Member States or EEA countries can only be valued at the stock market price as of the date of death, and there is no possible choice between stock price quotations. The Belgian provision―that allows heirs to choose the most favorable share value quotation, usually the lowest―only offers this option for shares listed on a Belgian stock exchange.

The EC found that not allowing a choice for purposes of valuating shares listed on stock markets outside Belgium to be “discriminatory” and to restrict the free movement of capital under EU law. It could discourage Belgian residents from investing in foreign shares as their succession might be more heavily taxed.

In April 2012, the EC issued a "reasoned opinion" formally requesting that Belgium comply with EU rules (the reasoned opinion was the second step in the infringement procedure). This referral to the CJEU is the final step in the infringement procedure.

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