Belgium: new ‘fairness tax’

By Ortwin Carron

As from assessment year 2014, dividend distributions made by Belgian companies that do not qualify as small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may trigger a new tax, dubbed the ‘fairness tax’.

This new fiscal measure is a separate tax (5.15 per cent) aimed at sanctioning Belgian companies that issue dividend amounts that are larger than their net corporate income tax base.

The fairness tax applies in the year of a dividend distribution with regard to the profits of the same year; the net corporate income tax base of the distributing entity is reduced by the deduction of carried-forward tax losses or notional interests (a fictitious interest computed on the equity base of the company, which may be deducted under Belgian tax law)…

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