The Belgian tax administration at the end of June 2020 released a circular as guidance reflecting the tax administration’s commentaries on selected topics or questions with regard to required transfer pricing reports.
The circular is known in Dutch as: Circulaire 2020/C/88 FAQ betreffende BEPS13 and in French as: Circulaire 2020/C/88 FAQ relative à BEPS13.
The circular concerns Belgian taxpayers’ obligation to prepare and file:
Consistency with general practice and interpretations of applicable legislation and recent practices
The circular provides for an updated list of commentaries previously published by the tax administration (that is, “frequently asked questions” (FAQs) in May 2018) and generally appears to be aligned with the common approaches followed by professionals in tax practice and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guidance.
The new circular (2020/C/88 FAQ) also provides insight and clarity on certain topics and addresses specific questions on when to prepare, how to interpret, and how to complete the BEPS 13 forms in particular cases.
Major topics addressed by the circular include:
While the circular confirms general approaches and includes some elements already commented upon by the tax administration before, some additional items are also interesting and worth highlighting.
The circular states that non-profit organizations, although not subject to corporate tax, are obliged to prepare and file Belgian BEPS 13 forms (if the relevant thresholds are exceeded).
The section on permanent establishments confirms that both the activities and the transactions of the head office and the permanent establishment(s) are to be reported in the Local file form (if relevant thresholds are exceeded), as these “dealings” are also cross-border transactions. Some questions related to business restructurings are separately addressed by the circular. The tax administration confirmed that only restructurings involving the Belgian entity are subject to the reporting, while the reorganizations of the organizational or shareholding structure beyond the Belgian entity are not to be mentioned in the reporting. At the same time, reference is made to the fact that not only legal restructurings are to be reflected in the reporting, but also operational and functional changes (i.e., changes in functional profile) if these are “business restructurings” as defined in the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines.
The circular further provides detailed guidance on the completion of particular sections of the forms and addresses specific questions that might arise in the process of compiling and filling the information subject to the disclosure in the reporting.
Although the Belgian transfer pricing reporting requirements have been in place since 2016, a number of questions remained open and subject to interpretation. The new circular provides the tax administration’s positions and interpretations on certain specific areas and topics on a case-by-case basis. The circular is viewed as being the next step of the tax administration in providing more clarity and transparency over the compliance process and assisting the taxpayers in meeting their BEPS 13 compliance obligations.
Read a July 2020 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Belgium
For more information, contact a tax professional in Belgium with KPMG’s Global Transfer Pricing Services group:
Dirk Van Stappen | +32 3 821 19 18 | email@example.com
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