Belgium: tax statute revisions affect certain international tax structures

Over the past year, Belgium has been revising a number of tax statutes in order to combat tax abuses and increase tax revenues. A few changes relevant to international tax structures are commented on below. The government is also improving some tax incentives.

One of the most important changes deals with capital gains on shares realized by resident companies subject to corporation tax and branches of foreign companies subject to non-resident income tax.

Two major changes were introduced regarding the general exemption of capital from corporation tax. Originally, this exemption was merely dependent on a “subject to tax” test, meaning that the subsidiary in which the shares were held would be subject to a normal corporate tax regime, similar in nature to the Belgian corporate tax regime, without benefiting from a common tax regime that would be considerably more favorable than the Belgian tax regime. No other conditions (such as a minimum participation or holding period requirement) were applicable…

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