Guy Vanhengel, the Brussels Minister of Finances, announced on Tuesday, in De Standaard, his plan to take the federal government’s bill for tax adjustment to the Constitutional Court. This is thus creating a judicial insecurity which could torpedo the system in the eyes of taxpayers breaking the law.
“We will make an application to the Constitutional Court if the federal parliament pushes through the new tax adjustment,” Mr Vanhengel (of the VLD) pledged, regarding the bill proposed by the Finance Minister, Johan Van Overtveldt (of the New Flemish Alliance). The bill will go through plenary in the House of Representatives on Thursday. Vanhengel will thus oppose the bill actually championed by members of his own party within the Michel government. “It is my duty to stand up for my own territory,” he comments vociferously, considering that the mechanism contemplated will handicap the Brussels region.
The main issue, in the eyes of the Brussels Minister of Finance, is specifically the free rein granted to the taxpayer to indicate what type of tax he has avoided. “He is never likely to put down Inheritance Tax (which has a regional jurisdiction, editors note) as it is a higher rate than other taxes,” Vanhengel considers. By announcing his plan to attack the future DFA (declaration of financial assets), from which the federal government hopes to gain 250 million euros this year, the Brussels Minister realizes that now is the hour to act. The potential resulting judicial insecurity, by its nature, will discourage the majority of submissions to the tax authorities.
It is worth remembering that meetings have already taken place at the Office of the Federal Minister of Finances. “The hour is now at hand to vote on this,” the Office states. The subject has already been covered a critical opinion of the Council of State, which due to the regional taxes affected, had held that the adjustment regime would “need to be presented to citizens as the result of a dialogue between all relevant competent authorities.”