The Belgian act implementing EU Directive 2019/1937 (“Whistleblower Act”) requires legal entities in the private sector to establish channels and procedures for internal reporting and follow-up of reports in specific areas. In this context, the Whistleblower Act established a particular method to calculate the employee headcount within the legal entity with reference to the Belgian legislation on the social elections. However, there has been some uncertainty about how this reference should be applied in the context of the Whistleblower Act.
Various new corporate income tax measures entered into force in Belgium as of 1 January 2023, the most impactful being a temporary increase of the minimum corporate tax base under the so-called “basket rule”. This measure will be in force until the European Minimum Tax Directive (Pillar Two) is implemented into Belgian legislation and takes effect (in principle as of 1 January 2024).
Belgium has finalized the basic banking service framework for companies, among others, by creating the long-awaited basic banking service chamber, as a result of which the new rules can now finally take effect.
A wide range of trending employment topics have been covered during this webinar, recent changes to the HR landscape, such as the proposed implementation of the EU Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions, the labor deal, the recent changes regarding the reintegration process of long-term sick employees etc.
The EU legislators aim to promote more transparent and predictable employment, while ensuring labor market adaptability. To reach this goal, the EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions and its implementation law impose certain information obligations on employers, and also lay down new minimum standards regarding working conditions that have to be guaranteed. In the case of noncompliance, sanctions (up to level 3) can be imposed.
Baker McKenzie was invited to serve as the global editor of the Chambers Advertising & Marketing 2022 Practice Guide which features 8 high-profile jurisdictions and provides the latest legal information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advertising claims and clinical studies, comparative advertising, social/digital media, influencer campaigns, consumer promotions, sports betting/gambling, and cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens.
The secret is out, this will most likely not be news to you but there is a strong interplay between Transfer Pricing, Customs and VAT. Even though income tax authorities may have different views in how they consider valuation from a TP perspective and the valuation structure recognized by customs authorities, we can no longer ignore that a company’s TP policy/adjustments will affect their cross-border transactions of tangible goods and ultimately impact their dutiable/VAT position.
As a follow-up on the second Action Plan for the fight against social and tax fraud, a bill was recently submitted to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, which contains a number of relevant tax controversy measures. Amongst the main measures is a significant extension of the tax investigation and assessment periods for income taxes and VAT. Overall, the bill significantly extends the powers of the Belgian tax authorities and limits to a certain extent the taxpayer’s procedural rights.
In recent months, discussions have been ongoing regarding the so-called “labor deal” in Belgium, which will entail various changes to Belgian employment law. Can employees insist on a four-day working week? Are employees entitled to a “right to disconnect” after working hours? On Thursday 29 September 2022, the federal parliament officially approved the draft law implementing the labor deal (thereby addressing such questions).
In June 2022, the governments of Belgium’s nine federated entities agreed on the text of a cooperation agreement implementing a screening mechanism of general application for foreign direct investments into Belgium. The screening mechanism is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2023. The Cooperation Agreement is inspired by EU Regulation 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 establishing a general framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union. Belgium is now set to become the 19th EU Member State with a screening mechanism for foreign direct investments.