Belgium: Country-by-country reporting, transfer pricing documentation; new law is published

Belgium: CbC reporting, transfer pricing documentation

A law introducing country-by-country reporting and formal transfer pricing documentation requirements was published on 4 July 2016 in the Belgian official gazette.

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Country-by-country reporting

Under the new legislation, Belgium introduces country-by-country (CbC) reporting requirements that are compliant with the OECD and EU provisions. Qualifying multinational groups (with a consolidated gross turnover exceeding €750 million) will be required to file the CbC report with the Belgian tax authorities within 12 months after the close of the consolidated financial statements of the group.

Master file, Local file

Belgium has introduced requirements for filing a "Master file" and a "Local file" for each Belgian company or permanent establishment (of a multinational group) that satisfies one of the following thresholds (to be determined on the basis of the stand-alone financial statements of the Belgian entity—company or permanent establishment—concerned for the preceding financial year):

  • A sum of operational and financial income of €50 million
  • A balance sheet total of €1 billion
  • An annual average of employees of 100 full-time employees

Master file: The contents of the Master file follow closely the format put forward by the OECD. The Master file will have to be filed with the Belgian tax authorities within a period of 12 months after the close of the reporting period of the group. The filing format practicalities will be described in a to-be-issued Royal Decree.

Local file: The Local file will have to be provided in a specific format consisting of two parts. 

  • One part of the Local file form will contain some general information that will have to be completed and filed by all companies or permanent establishments satisfying one of the three thresholds (listed above).
  • The second part (a more detailed one, providing mainly qualitative and quantitative information on the various sorts of intercompany transactions) of the form will only be completed and filed by companies or permanent establishments that have cross-border intragroup transactions exceeding in total a value of €1 million. In instances when the company or permanent establishment includes more than one business unit, the second part of the form will have to be completed and filed per business unit exceeding the €1 million threshold.

The law foresees that the Local file will be filed electronically together with the Belgian income tax return. 

Penalties, effective date

Companies and permanent establishments required to satisfy the new rules and that fail to satisfy the reporting and filing requirements will be subject to penalties ranging from €1,250 to €25,000, as from the second infringement.

The transfer pricing documentation requirements are being introduced as from assessment year 2017 (i.e., financial years ending on 31 December 2016 or later).

KPMG observation

Despite the concerns and queries of the Belgian business community expressed about the practicalities and feasibility of the filing requirements (especially concerning the fact that, in practice, the Local file will need to be filed before the filing due date of the Master file), the law has been processed, approved, and published at a rapid pace without any major changes being made to the draft text. Read TaxNewsFlash-Transfer Pricing

As such, Belgium has now joined the ranks of other countries that have introduced country-specific transfer pricing documentation requirements. Belgian taxpayers need to consider these provisions and start taking necessary steps and actions to prepare for these new requirements in due time. 

 

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 | dvanstappen@kpmg.com

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