News from Panis

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.

New IFRS requirements for sightholder of mining companies

In the near future, the most important mining companies will demand more transparant and comparable financial reports. As a result, sightholders or future applicants are requested to provide financial information in IFRS standards (International Financial Reporting Standards).

Panis will be happy to assist sightholders or applicants in the preparation of IFRS statements and assistance with the audit. We are confident that we have an added value through our expertise in the diamond industry and excellent connections with the mining companies.


Obligation to declare new liquid assets: new sanction

Any person entering or leaving the European Union via Belgium and who is carrying 10,000 EUR or more must declare this to the Customs Authorities on his own initiative. The Customs will draw up a written and electronic statement which is made available to the Financial Intelligence Processing Unit (the so-called “Money-Laundering Unit”).

For the movement of liquid assets of 10,000 € or more within the European Union a declaration is only required if the authorities demand to do so.

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.