News from Panis

Update declaration Diamond Office

After the publication of our topic about the Diamond Office declaration that diamond dealers sign in case of a discrepancy between the declared value and the determined value by the ex-pert, Panis had a meeting with AWDC and FPS Economy, SME’s, Self-employed and Energy.

Our previous article needs to be clarified and rectified to a certain extent.

Valuation of diamonds at the moment of import and export is carried out by the diamond experts of the FPS Economy, SME’s, Self-employed and Energy.

AWDC press release on carat tax

AWDC released on 30th of March following communication with respect to the carat tax:

“Antwerp Diamond industry prepared to pay more taxes in exchange for stable and legally certain fiscal environment

Antwerp, 30 March 2015 – The AWDC has taken note of the government decision to introduce a tax system calculated on a lump-sum basis. “Diamantaires are willing to pay higher taxes in exchange for financial predictability and legal certainty”, says Ari Epstein, CEO of the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

Important notice on bank transfers and cyber crime

Criminals have been approaching several diamond companies by means of phone calls and/or e-mails to obtain bank account information and give instructions to execute money transfers to false bank accounts.

Once the transfer is executed, it becomes nearly impossible and sometimes costly for the owner to retrieve his funds.

In case you receive from your supplier an invoice mentioning new bank account details or instructions to pay to a new bank account, Panis strongly recommends to contact your supplier for verification.

Assessment of secret commissions eased

Remunerations, commissions, benefits in kind or other allowances granted to a recipient without establishing a tax sheet were previously taxed at a special rate of 309%.

Shortly, this rate will be lowered to 103% if the allowance or the benefit is granted to a natural person and to 51.50% if the recipient is a legal entity.

Introduction of a liquidation reserve with lower withholding tax for SME's

The Government will elaborate a new scheme allowing SME's to allocate their total or partial annual profits to a liquidation reserve by paying withholding tax of 10% of the amount reserved upon constitution of such reserve. Later distribution of the reserve upon the company's liquidation will no longer be taxed.

Abolition of banking secrecy - update

As of September 2017, bank accounts data will be automatically exchanged with other countries.

Cash payment limits to be increased from 3,000 Euro to 7,500 Euro

During the previous Government the limit for cash payments was lowered from 15,000 Euro to 3,000 Euro. This measure hurt a lot of sectors as in other countries the limits for cash payments were higher.

The current Government's Secretary of State in charge of fraud prevention has communicated that the threshold will be raised shortly to 7,500 Euro. As of which date the new threshold will be applicable is still unknown. To date no law has been passed in this respect.

Panis will keep you informed of new developments regarding cash payments.
 

Meet Panis Dubai in Antwerp

Our partner from Panis Dubai, Mr. Shah Hitesh will be in Antwerp the 13th, 14th and 15th of January 2015.
If you wish to meet Mr. Shah concerning the start-up of a company in Dubai or other relevant information, please contact Panis to arrange a meeting.

The international exchange of financial information has grown significantly

United States of America

In the context of the FATCA agreement (agreement on the application of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) between Belgium and the United States of America, the Belgian financial institutions will soon share information with the Belgian tax authorities on accounts held by “US Persons” and “Non-US Entities” controlled by “US Persons”.

The Belgian tax administration will also pass on this financial information to the “Internal Revenue Service”.

€ 119 million on dormant accounts

Money in bank accounts that have shown no activity for five years will be transferred by the banks to the Deposit and Consignment Office (Deposito- en Consignatiekas).

For a balance of more than € 20.00, the bank is obliged to notify the owner in writing.  If the bank  is not able to inform the owner, the balance in the account is transferred to the State Treasury.  The owner, however, may reclaim the money during a period of 30 years.

Balances of less than € 20, which were transferred to the State Treasury, cannot be reclaimed by the owner.

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