TAX

You can also count on us for all your tax questions. Tax law is closely related to other branches of law, such as corporate law, commercial law and employment law, and the tax consequences of business decision often play a determinant role in making those decisions.

Tax considerations in your company

Already at the start of your company, you have to make decisions that have important tax consequences: are you going to develop your business in person or are you going to establish a company for this purpose? If you choose the first option, your income will be taxed under the personal income tax regime. If, on the other hand, you opt to work via a company, the income of the company will be taxed under the corporate income tax regime.

Furthermore, we can help you to find the most tax-friendly solution for carrying out transactions or restructurings. In this regard, corporate law and tax law are closely intertwined. A transfer of shares (share deal)), for example, is subject to a very different tax regime compared to a transfer of the underlying assets (asset deal).

If you wish to merge your company or transfer your business activity to another company, we can assist you in this process and ensure that you will not be faced with any tax surprises. Here too, corporate law and tax law go hand in hand, since a merger or acquisition can only take place in a tax-neutral way if the rules of corporate law are complied with.

Taxation of intellectual property rights

We have a preference for innovative companies. Not only can we help you to protect your inventions, we can also ensure that the income from your inventions receives the best possible tax treatment. Income from intellectual property rights enjoys a very advantageous tax regime in Belgium. Although these favourable tax measures exist, many entrepreneurs overlook them and pay too much taxes.

If, for example, you work as a freelancer, you can benefit from a reduced rate of 15% on the income from the transfer or license of copyrights. On top of that, the term ‘copyright’ is interpreted very broadly. As a result, not only traditional copyrights (novels, paintings, etc.), but also scientific contributions, interviews, computer software, designs by architects, etc. fall within the scope of this tax regime.

As an employer, it is also worthwhile to take a closer look at this favourable regime. After all, you can choose to pay your creative employee partly in royalties, as a result of which the employee benefits from a tax advantage and the labour costs for the company are reduced. For more information see our article Een verborgen parel: het fiscaal gunstregime voor auteursrechten.

If your company owns an intellectual property right (e.g. copyright or patent), the income derived from the intellectual property right can, under certain conditions, benefit from the “innovation deduction”, so that you can deduct up to 85% of the income obtained from innovation. As a result, only the remaining 15% is subject to corporate income tax.

As a creative entrepreneur, it is therefore useful to consider the qualification of your income. We can make sure that the agreement with your company, your employment contract and sales contracts are up to date so that you and your company can take full advantage of these tax advantages. In addition, we can also submit a request for a ruling so that you are sure of the qualification of the income from your intellectual property rights.

Euregional or international entrepreneurship? We advise you on international taxation

Also, with respect to international mergers, acquisitions, etc. we can advise you. In addition, we also have experience with cross-border seat transfers, where you must take into account, among other things, the exit tax (see our article Maatschappelijke zetel verplaatsen naar het buitenland? Eerst (gespreid) betalen!).

If your company is active in several countries, there is a risk that different countries will want to levy taxes on the same income. An important issue is the presence of a permanent establishment abroad or in Belgium. For example: If your Belgian company employs employees in Germany, starts a construction project in the Netherlands or buys a warehouse in France, there is a chance that these countries will decide that there is a permanent establishment. This means that the foreign tax authorities will tax the income of this permanent establishment, while the Belgian tax authorities will try to do the same. This would mean that you would be subject to double taxation and this should of course be avoided. We can advise you about the tax jurisdiction of the different countries and make sure that double taxation is avoided.

VAT can also sometimes lead to discussions in cross-border situations. Cross-border transactions are subject to specific rules on VAT. For example, most transactions from the sale of goods and services to businesses are subject to a reverse charge mechanism, so that you do not have to charge VAT on your invoice. However, there are exceptions to this rule. In the case of a delivery to a consumer, you will have to check which rate applies in which country, etc. (see our article Doorbraak inzake btw bij B2C e-commerce). If you are planning to do business across borders, it is best to inform yourself in advance about the applicable VAT regime.

Our tax specialist

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Tax | Peeters Euregio Law