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Real Estate Academy 2020 Real Estate Academy 2020

On Friday, 14th February 2020, KPMG and K law once again welcomed professionals from the real estate sector to our annual Real Estate Academy, which offers insight into the most recent developments in the sector.

Read on to learn more about the five key topics covered in this latest event and what you need to be aware of to ensure that you’re up-to-date.

1. Legal update

There were a high number of legislative innovations during the past year. At the end of January 2020, a new Belgian property law was approved by the federal parliament. The most important innovations for the real estate sector include: new stipulations on the usufruct (the right to enjoy the use and advantages of another's property short of the destruction or waste of its substance), long term leasing, and building rights.

Besides this new Belgian property law, there has also been a regulatory and environmental update on soil, energy performance and asbestos for the Flemish Region, as well as an important new Flemish decree on municipal roads for integrated permit procedures.

It’s also very important to note the latest jurisprudence of the Council of the State on the specific difference between a real estate transaction and a public procurement contract. Clients should be aware that the difference is key and has a huge procedural impact.

Lastly, K law shared its 2020 vision for B2B contracts and raised awareness on new regulations coming into force in the coming months and outlined the impact this will have on B2B commercials contracts, specifically the introduction of a greylist and a blacklist of clauses in B2B contracts in the Belgian code of economic law.

For more information on the latest legal developments in the real estate sector, please contact the K-law real estate team:

Gerald Van Walle
Partner K law
T: +32 2 708 49 19
E: gvanwalle@klaw.be
Jim Bauwens
Partner K law
T: +32 56 26 81 11
E: jbauwens@klaw.be

2. Corporate Tax update

A new regime of interest deduction limitation (earning stripping rules) is in force since January 2019. These new earning stripping rules require a shift in mind-set for Belgian corporate groups, as it is no longer possible to calculate one’s interest deduction capacity on a stand-alone basis, but a consolidated approach is necessary.

Clarification was given (i) on when a taxpayer is considered to be part of a group, (ii) to fine-tune the calculation of a taxpayer’s EBITDA and (iii) to determine how the threshold of 3 million EUR should be divided among Belgian group members. 

For more information on the new interest deduction limitation regime, please contact our KPMG Corporate Tax team:

Veerle Coussée
Partner KPMG
T: +32 2 708 37 15
E: vcoussee@kpmg.com
Karolien Mertens
Director KPMG
T: +32 2 708 43 56
E: kmertens@kpmg.com

3. VAT Update

The latest fiscal circulars on the optional VAT regime for immovable rent agreements allow owners-landlords to deduct input VAT paid on the construction or acquisition costs. In turn, the tenant will also be able to deduct the VAT charged on the periodic rental payments if they are a VAT taxable person with a (full or partial) right to deduct VAT. VAT will thus no longer have a cost-increasing effect. The advantage of the introduction of this optional regime is that it is a far-reaching simplification of the current VAT practices applied in the real estate sector.

For more information on the optional VAT regime, and other recent case law on VAT in the real estate sector, please contact our KPMG VAT team:

Veerle Coussée
Partner KPMG
T: +32 2 708 37 15
E: vcoussee@kpmg.com
Karolien Mertens
Director KPMG
T: +32 2 708 43 56
E: kmertens@kpmg.com

4. Accounting update

The new leases standard – IFRS 16-  requires companies to bring most leases on-balance from now on. Companies should be prepared to adopt the new standard, understand the new requirements, and assess the impact on their organization (KPIs, systems and processes).

For practical advice on how best to apply the new standards, please contact our KPMG Accounting team:

Filip De Bock
Partner KPMG
T: +32 3 821 18 28
E: filipszbock@kpmg.com
Frederic Poesen
Partner KPMG
T: +32 3 821 17 83
E: fpoesen@kpmg.com

5. PropTech : the future of our industry

The tech trend has clearly found its way into the real estate business and is expected to grow to $20 billion by the end of 2020. Welcome to the brave new world of PropTech!

The construction industry is stuck in the analog era for many reasons, including because of the fragmentation, decentralization and the lack of replication. Real estate transactions of the future will differ from those of the past.

To ensure your company is future-proofed and prepared for the new reality of PropTech, please contact our KPMG Advisory team: 

Laurens Vanryckeghem
Real Estate Consultant KPMG
T: +32 3 821 17 00
E: lvanryckeghem@kpmg.com
Arno Vanheuverswyn
Real Estate Consultant KPMG
T: +32 3 821 18 81
E: avanheuverswyn@kpmg.com

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