Belgium

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TAXES - ACCOUNTING

 

 

Corporate tax

Tax rate for resident companies

Since the law of December 24th 2002, companies are taxed at a rate of 33.99% (33% basic corporate tax rate plus a 3% surcharge).
Under certain conditions, there are progressive reduced rates when the taxable income does not exceed 322,500 EUR:
- from 0 to 25,000 euros: 24.25%
- from 25,000 to 90,000 euros: 31%
- from 90,000 to 322,500 euros: 34.5%
In addition to the above rates, a 3% surtax is imposed. It increases the rates to respectively 24.98%, 31.93%, and 35.54% respectively.

   
Tax rate on long-term capital gains The tax rate on long-term capital gains is 33.99%. Certain capital gains are exempt from tax or benefit from a tax deferral.
   
System governing groups of companies and dividends paid by subsidiaries to their parent companies A withholding tax of 25% or 15% apply to resident and non-resident companies.
Exemptions exist within the context of international conventions.
   
Tax rate on branches Branches are taxed on the base of the non residents tax rate. It's calculated owing to the rules and the rate of the corporate tax.




Income tax

Fiscal year The financial year begins on 1st January and ends on 31st December of each year.
   
Income tax rate Income tax is withheld at source. The tax scale is:
- 0 to 7,100 EUR: 25%
- from 7,101 to 10,100 EUR: 30%
- from 10,100.01 to 16,830 EUR: 40%
- from 16,830.01 to 30,840 EUR: 45%
- over 30,840 EUR: 50%
   
Tax deductions or other allowances Some exemptions and tax cuts are possible.



VAT rates

Standard rates 21%
   
Reduced rates A 12% tax rate applies to social housing and agricultural products.
A 6% tax rate applies to basic foodstuffs, water, hotel services, property restoration, newspapers and certain other supplies.
Exemptions are available for certain services.



Other important taxes


Name of tax
Rate
Real estate tax  
various  


 

Accounting


General accounting principles
Belgian accounting principles are promulgated by:

- The law of July 17, 1975

- Royal decrees

- The recommendations of the Accounting principles Committee.

Law reminds that rules and accounting principles have to give a fair view about the financial situation of the company.
The royal decrees determinate the form and the content of the annual publications.

Obligations and publications
All Belgian companies have to present to shareholders an annual account according to a standard form ; a complete plan for big companies and an abbreviated one for Small and Medium-Sized Companies.
This annual account must include: the balance sheet, the profit and loss account and the appendix.
The Brussels stock market allows companies to publish their accounts by referring to the IASC (International Accounting Standards Committee) norms.
The Belgian companies whose capital is foreign may also follow the IASC norms.

Certification and auditing
Annual accounts must be subjected by the administrators of Limited Companies (the managers for the SPRL) to the general assembly of the company for approval within the 6 months following the end of the previous accounting year. In the month following their approval, these accounts must be deposited in the National Bank of Belgium (Belgian law exempts the Small and Medium-Sized companies of this publication).
A Small and Medium-Sized company is defined by these 3 criteria:
- The workforce cannot exceed more than 250 persons,
- The turnover does not exceed 40 million euros,
- The total of assets does not exceed 27 million euros.
All big companies of capital have to control their annual accounts by a chattered accountant. Besides, in Small and Medium-Sized companies, each partner has the investigation and control powers of a chattered accountant.

Professionals and representative organizations
The Committee of accounting standards was established according to the law with members appointed by the executive power; the role is to develop the accounting doctrine and formulate the principles of regular accounting. The "Centrale des Bilans" is the organism which is in charge of publishing annual accounts of companies. Its address is : 14 , Bd de Berlaimont - B 1000 Brussels

The experts must belong to the Institut des Experts Comptables et des Conseils Fiscaux / Het Instituut van de Accountants en de Belastingconsulenten

Institut des Experts Comptables et des conseils fiscaux
41, rue de Livourne B 1050 Brussels
Tel: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90 Fax: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90
E-mail: info@iec-iac.be

Het Instituut van de Accountants en de Belastingconsulenten
Livornostraat 41 B 1050 Brussels
Tel: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90 Fax: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90
E-mail: info@iec-iac.be


The corporate auditors are in charge of the audit of the enterprises:
Institut des Reviseurs d'Entreprises / Instituut der Bedrijfsrevisoren

Institut des Reviseurs d'Entreprises
22, avenue Marnix B 1 000 Brussels
Tel: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90 Fax: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90
Email: info@ibr-ire.be

Instituut der Bedrijfsrevisoren
Marnixlaan 22, B 1000 Brussel
Tel: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90 Fax: (+32) (0) 2 543 74 90
Email: info@ibr-ire.be



Useful links
Belgian Ministry of finances
Tax Administration

Last modified in January 2007
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