News from Panis

New round for regularisation of undeclared income

A new draft law foresees to request again to the tax authorities for a regularisation of undeclared income. Regularisation allows one to obtain fiscal -, criminal - and social security law immunity.

The new regularisation round deals with a regularisation of income taxes, VAT, other federal taxes and social contributions. Inheritance  and registration duties, which belong exclusively to the legal competences of the Regions, are excluded at this stage until a separate law will foresee regularisation.

Panis and Shah Associates awarded as #1 Top Performing Consultant 2015

DMCC recently held a ceremony during which consultants in various categories were recognized for their hard work and commitment to DMCC.

Our partner Mr. Hitesh Shah was delighted to receive from Mr. Gautam Sashittal, DMMC Chief Executive Officer, the award for best performing consultant in 2015.

Invitation - AWDC Café: Automatic Exchange of Financial information

We kindly invite you on a seminar given by Panis and with the support of AWDC about two important actual fiscal obligations: the Common Reporting Standard and the Cayman Tax.

The seminar will be held on Tuesday 8 March at noon in the AWDC building, Hoveniersstraat 22, 2018 Antwerp.

De Beers extends full compliance with Financial Compliance Criteria by 1 year

Sightholders (and accredited buyers) of De Beers must meet every year all of the following Financial Compliance Criteria:

1/ An annual consolidated financial statement expressed in IFRS or US GAAP.
2/ An unqualified audit opinion from an approved auditor.
3/ A debt-to-equity ratio no greater than 70/30.

Anyhow external factors such as recession and changing tax regimes made diamond companies focus last year more on commercial activities in order to face the challenging economies, rather than on implementation of the aforesaid Criteria.

De Beers accepts collaborating auditor of Panis & Shah Associates DMCC Dubai

We are pleased to announce that De Beers has accepted the collaborating auditor of Panis & Shah Associates DMCC as consolidating auditor with regards to the audit opinion on Sightholders' consolidated financial statements.

In case you require more information, please contact our office in Dubai.

Update carat tax

 The Belgian government recently had a meeting with the European Commission with respect to the carat tax.

At this moment, the European Commission does not form a final opinion.

The government informed that by consequence the carat tax system will not be applicable to tax assessment year 2016/income year 2015.

Panis will update with more details as soon as they are available.


Recuperation of foreign withholding taxes

Tax payers who receive interests and/or dividends on foreign bank accounts, may (partly) recuperate the withholding taxes paid abroad in order to avoid double taxation, as they are taxed in Belgium at a tax rate of 25 per cent.

If you receive financial income abroad, and would like to find out if recuperation of withholding taxes would be suitable in your situation, please contact Panis.

Carat tax waiting for approval by European Commission

The law on the carat tax system, by which diamond companies will be taxed on 0,55 per cent of their turnover, was published in the Belgian State Gazette on the 18th of August 2015.

Last paragraph of the law mentions that it will be applied from tax assessment year 2016 onwards - income year 2015 for most companies-under the condition that is approved by the European Commission.

Most probably we will receive some feedback before the end of this year.

Prohibition on cash payments of salary

As from 1st of October 2016 cash payments of salary to your employee(s) will be prohibited. You will have to pay by bank transfer.

Anyhow, implicit agreements, sector agreements and - habits might foresee in an execption to this rule. At this moment it is uncertain if such would also apply to the diamond sector. A royal decree will set out the new rules and procedures.

Panis will keep you informed as soon as more details are available.

Bank accounts for sole traders

It is no longer problematic for diamond traders who act as a sole trader to open bank accounts for diamond business.

According to our findings, a bank in the Antwerp diamond market is willing to open them soon.

Please contact Panis for more information.