Belgian companies have a good relationship with the Tax Authorities but new trends emerge

"Tax Certainty in Belgium – A Survey about the Relationship with the Tax Authorities"
12 July 2011

Diegem, 12 July 2011 – Today, Deloitte Belgium announces the results of its second edition of "Tax Certainty in Belgium – A Survey about the Relationship with the Tax Authorities". The relationship with the tax authorities is perceived as good by an overwhelming majority of Belgian companies.

However, the tax certainty in Belgium still remains a concern. The main reasons for this uncertainty amongst Belgian enterprises are the constant changes in legislation and the changes to the doctrine or publicly available information provided by the tax authorities. The study also shows that electronic filing of corporate tax returns is increasing, that about 70% of the tax payers is prepared to litigate in court in case the administrative recourse fails, and that Belgian companies want the tax inspector to produce an audit report at the end of a tax audit. Moreover, the strength of the Ruling Commission seems to erode somewhat compared to last year.

Similar to last year's study (June 2010), today's survey aimed at understanding 4 aspects of the relation between companies and tax authorities: the relationship with tax authorities in general, the perception on tax certainty, agreements with Authorities in tax audits and the evaluation of the Ruling Practice. The respondents to the survey were tax directors or heads of tax, tax managers or members of in-house tax teams of Belgian companies. After a turbulent year without a government, key conclusions of this year's edition were:

Relationship with tax authorities is still perceived as (very) good

Tax certainty still is a concern in Belgium – instability of tax rules remains an issue

Agreements with the tax authorities in audits: administrative recourse not always satisfactory solution

Ruling Commission: steady reputation but eroding a little