No fine has yet been imposed for the non-declaration of offshore legal schemes. The point is reported in Le Soir on Tuesday, on the basis of a response given by the Finance Minister, Johan Van Overtveldt (N-VA), to a question raised by deputy, Peter Van Velthoven (sp.a).
The introduction of the so-called Cayman tax targeting offshore legal schemes, at the beginning of Charles Michel’s government had aroused controversy around the expected revenue generation. The tax receipt targets from the source were no less than €510 million.
However no such tax has, as yet, been imposed and the minister says that it is too early to mention statistics in this regard. “The ISI (Special Tax Inspectorate, editor’s note) has many cases to investigate. The key point is to establish those for which a fine should be issued. These files originate from data mining projects (cross-referencing tax data, editor’s note) and information received from abroad, in particular as part of the CRS (Common Reporting Standard, editor’s note), or leaks such as those which occurred in the Panama Papers scandal.”
Sabrina Scarna, a tax lawyer with Tetra Law, also believes that the lack of fines is logical at this stage. Her view is, “The initial fiscal data coming from Luxembourg, as part of the information exchange relating to such legal tax schemes reached Belgium in September 2017. Before comprehensive analysis of the cases has taken place, it actually appears slightly difficult to me to assess the number of fines.”
Eric Van Rompuy (CD&V), President of the Committee for Budgetary and Finance Matters, on Tuesday announced his intention to question Jan Smets, the Governor of the National Bank of Belgium, on this issue.