News from Panis

Cancellation banking secrecy

From the 1st of July 2011 onwards, tax authorities may request information about bank accounts from financial institutions, in case they have indications that a tax payer is evading taxes or if they suspect that a person's standard of living is not in accordance with the declared income. Before taking this action, the authorities must request the tax paper by registered mail to provide the required information spontaneously.

If the tax authorities receive an information request from a foreign State, they can request bank account details directly from financial institutions.

Bank facilities will become more expensive

To prevent a new financial crisis, the Basel III agreement stipulates that financial institutions have to raise their proper capital resources when granting a credit facility. The capital adequacy standard will increase during a first stage from 8 per cent till 10,50 per cent and will increase to maximum 13 per cent.

Transfers of money to tax havens, such as Dubai, need to be reported

Companies that execute payments to tax havens for an amount greater or equal than 100.000 EUR yearly, should report this to the tax administration. In case the payments have not been reported, the business expense will not be accepted and this will result in additional taxes. More information can be obtained form PANIS Accountancy.

Public Prosecution Service of Antwerp are in the final stage of their investigation in the Monstrey Worldwide Services (MWS) fraud case

PANIS Consultancy received information that the Public Prosecution Service of Antwerp has prepared a final charge against 107 suspects. In addition, the case of 184 diamond dealers will be investigated by the Belgian Special Tax Authorities (BBI), letters have been sent as of yesterday. If a settlement can be made with the Belgian Special Tax Authorities, there is a great chance they will not be prosecuted.

Tax authorities verify real estate transactions of individuals closely

Due to a better information exchange between tax departments, real estate transactions are being verified more often. Profit on the sale of second residences and/or real estate investments are in principle taxable at a rate of 16,50%. More information can be obtained from PANIS Consultancy.

New amendments to law on criminal prosecution of fraudsters and money launderers in the making

Suspected fraudsters and money launderers might soon be able to avoid a criminal conviction if they pay all claimed taxes, penalties and interests. This situation would only apply as long as there is no final conviction in their case.

The Chamber of Representatives will normally approve the amendments on the 3rd of March 2011. The new measures may come into force as of July 2011. To be continued...

Kimberley audit obliged for all rough diamond dealers

All dealers in rough diamonds must file this year with the Ministry of Economic Affairs a Kimberley Process declaration with regard to the year 2010, approved by an independent auditor such as Panis, even if turnover did not exceed 6,25 M EUR.

HM Revenue & Customs Department of the United Kingdom is examining consignment based sales of diamonds

Belgian diamond dealers who send diamonds on consigments to the United Kingdom will have to apply for a VAT registration in that country, once they exceed the threshold of GBP 68.000,00 (+/- USD 110,000) per year.

On the final sales of diamonds - resulting from previously shipped consignments - in the United Kingdom is VAT due, at a rate of 20 per cent.

VAT administration penalizes incorrect invoice references

Mentioning an incorrect reference on your invoices with respect to VAT exemptions for the sales of diamonds may lead to penalization by tax office. We therefore insist to review your sales invoices an put following, correct reference on the invoice, if applicable:

Sales to Belgian diamond dealers: Free of VAT art. 42, § 4 VAT tax code

New house style and website

As your trusted finance and administration partner – and still one of the very few to dedicate exclusive attention to the diamond industry – we intend to help you make your business shine even more brilliantly than ever. As an emphasis on our dedication, we have recently given our company a brand new cut and polish. A newly designed house style and website reflect the kind of partner we aim to be for you: a professional, contemporary and service-minded one.