News from Panis

Foreign constructions must be mentioned on the personal income tax statement

Taxpayers with an interest in a legal construction must declare this in their personal income tax statement from now on.

Legal constructions are private equity structures such as trusts or foundations and foreign constructions in tax havens.

The taxpayer must indicate whether s/he, the partner or children are founder-member or beneficiary of such private equity structure. The name of the founder-member or beneficiary must also be mentioned on the tax statement.

Belgian government seeks to introduce a carat tax for diamond traders

The following article was published in the financial newspaper De Tijd, dated 3 April, on the possible introduction of the so-called ‘carat tax’, on the basis of which companies would no longer be taxed on the basis of their profit but on a percentage of their turnover.

The intended tax regime must still be submitted to the European Commission for approval. No fixed date has been given for its introduction. Panis will keep you informed of the further developments regarding this subject.

Meet Panis Dubai in Antwerp

Our partner from Panis Dubai, Mr. Shah Hitesh will be in Antwerp the 23rd, 24th and 25th of January 2014. 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.

Important: new threshold for cash payments (at most 3,000 EUR)

As of 1 January 2014, cash payments of more than 3,000 Euro, reduced from maximally 5,000 Euro up to then, are forbidden in Belgium.

Since 1 January 2014 it is also forbidden to pay cash for real estate.
 

AML controls & training

Dear customers,

Last year different anti-money laundering controls were carried out in the diamond industry.

This week and the next few weeks a number of thorough controls will follow to check whether the anti-money laundering legislation is correctly applied by diamond dealers. In case of a possible control you will be notified in time by the competent authorities.

Last year Panis informed you already about the planned controls and organised group training on anti-money laundering legislation.

Withholding tax on liquidation payments increases from 10% to 25%

The retained profits distributed among the shareholders upon the liquidation of a company are now subject to 10% withholding tax.

From 1 October 2014 onwards, the tax rate will be 25%.

There are two ways to avoid this increase of the withholding tax:

1/ By liquidating your company before 1 October 2014.

2/ By converting the reserves of the company approved by the general meeting at the latest on 31 March 2013 by notarial deed into capital during the most recent full taxable period befor 1 October 2014.

Invoice details with respect to synthetic diamonds

From now on, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses obliges its members to mention on all invoices and consignment documents that the invoiced diamonds have a natural origin and are not synthetic diamonds.

In case of synthetic diamonds, it should be mentioned explicitly.

The following text should be mentioned on all invoices and consignments documents:

1/ With respect to invoices:

Income from foreign trusts and foundations is liable to tax from 2014 onwards

The income from foreign trusts, foundations and other structures is liable to tax from 2014 onwards. The Royal Decree with respect hereto will be published in the near future.

Belgian residents who obtain income from certain tax vehicles with or without legal personality from countries where they are not subject to income tax or where they enjoy a very favourable tax regime shall pay taxes on this income.

The reserves built up in the past will also be liable to tax upon payment.

Administrative penalties for non-filing anti-money laundering report

Diamond dealers are obliged to file a yearly anti-money laundering law report.

Companies that have not yet filed the report with respect to the year 2012, are encouraged to do this immediately.

Panis has been informed that from next month onwards, the authorities will fine companies that have neglected to file their report.

Deadline to file your personal income tax return expires on the 16th of October

The ultimate date to file your personal income tax return with the tax authorities expires on the 16th of October.

Panis requests you to provide all necessary documents to your accounting professional in order to file a correct tax return.

Special attention should be paid to the income on capital, such as interests and dividends.

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