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Olivier Van Baelen

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Olivier Van Baelen is a counsel in the Tax Practice Group in the Brussels office. Before joining Baker McKenzie in 2017, Olivier started his career in a leading multinational professional services firm as an indirect taxes consultant. He then joined a leading Belgian taxation law firm, where he gained a decade of experience in indirect taxes, real estate taxation, and tax litigation.

Last year, Belgium introduced DAC 7 “light” reporting obligations for digital platform operators in the sharing and gig economy in anticipation of the implementation of the EU DAC 7. The legal provision that implemented the DAC 7 “light” reporting obligations remained vague however and left open quite some questions in practice with further implementation measures that needed to be taken. The Belgian tax authorities published a FAQ on Monday 14 January 2022. the FAQ clarifies the legislation and provides for the necessary implementation measures in view of the first reporting deadline, which is 31 March 2022.

In March 2021, the EU approved new reporting rules in a directive known as DAC7. The directive will require the operators of online platforms for the sale of goods and certain services, to collect, verify and share data on their sellers and their transactions concluded on the online platform. EU member states have until 31 December 2022 to implement DAC7 into national law. Certain platform operators will become a reporting platform and will need to start collecting and verifying data points in compliance with the DAC7 reporting requirements. The collected data points must be reported to the tax authorities of the relevant EU member state annually.

In anticipation of the EU DAC 7 initiative, Belgium has recently introduced “DAC 7 light” reporting obligations for digital platform operators in the sharing and gig economy. The goal is to render the income realized by service providers through these platforms more transparent and to prevent avoidance or fraud from a tax and social security perspective.