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Loyens & Loeff is proud to announce that its Employment & Benefits Law practice has won the award for the “Best Employment Law Firm” at the Trends Legal Awards ceremony held on 18 October. Rewarding outstanding law firms for their distinctive features and their major achievements in 2016, the Trends Legal Awards represent the ultimate recognition of excellence in the Belgian legal community. Our Employment & Benefits Law practice was elected by…...

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Loyens & Loeff and the “Institut des Juristes d'Entreprise Belge (IJE)/Instituut voor bedrijfsjuristen (IBJ)” are joining forces to initiate substantive cooperation. Share knowledge and experience regularly on current topics is the will of both parties. Brussels, 16 October 2017 Loyens & Loeff and the “Institut des Juristes d'Entreprise Belge (IJE)” are pleased to announce that they have signed a cooperation agreement. Loyens & Loeff will bring its expertise on a…...

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Click here to read the articles in 'De Tijd' Click here to read the articles in 'L'Echo'...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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With the act of 31 July 2017, Belgium has introduced the first whistleblowing scheme in the private sector, in execution of the Market Abuse Regulation of 2014. The provisions of the Act have entered into force on 1 September 2017. A Royal Decree of 24 September 2017 approves the procedural rules designed by the FSMA to receive whistleblowing reports. These rules will be applied as from 28 September 2017. Which…...

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Dear Reader, We produce a quarterly newsletter to keep you updated on legal developments and important trends in the real estate sector. In this issue, you will read about what expected changes in international tax arena and Belgian tax law shall mean to your business: Belgian corporate tax reform Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive Option to subject leases to VAT Infrastructure Transfer taxes in the Walloon Region Click here to download the…...

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Loyens & Loeff will be hosting the AmCham event ‘Future Trends’ on Thursday 5 October 2017 and Filip Saelens, Partner and Head of the Employment & Benefits Team, will be moderating the panel discussion. The idea of a Universal Basic Income, granting an unconditional or minimum income to every citizen, has been around for centuries, but is becoming ever more relevant. Is it the way forward for our society? Can…...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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Today, a Royal Decree was published confirming the entry into force of the new Belgian Pledge Act . The Belgian Pledge Act introduces a major reform of the Belgian regime of security interests on movable property. The main innovation of the Pledge Act is the introduction of a central register, enabling a pledgor to grant a register pledge on its movable assets without having to hand over its goods to…...

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This article is only available in French and in Dutch.  ...

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Busy weeks ahead for the International Trade Team which will be acting as speaker and expert in a number of exciting events in trade controls, customs and VAT ! Meet us at: 18-20 September 2017: IVEA Düsseldorf 25 September 2017: VBO-FEB CETA seminar Brussels  10 October 2017: Loyens & Loeff Automotive Seminar Amsterdam 17 October 2017: Loyens & Loeff Compliance seminar Brussels 7 November 2017: Annual Global Trade Controls 2017…...

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Crusade against dormant companies: make sure you file your annual accounts on time! Introduction By Act of 17 May 2017, the Belgian legislator amended article 182 Companies Code. Under the old regime, the public prosecutor could sue a company in dissolution, if it did not submit its annual accounts for three subsequent years. Today, this term has been brought back to 1 year. In addition, the powers of the Companies…...

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Belgium and the Netherlands. Two friendly neighbours who greet each other daily and share the best they have to offer: chocolate, beer, cheese and waffles. What is more, Belgium is one of the most important export markets for the Netherlands and Belgium is one of the largest investors in the Netherlands. Despite all of this, cross-border employment remains a complex issue. The differences between both countries are substantial, especially in the areas of labour…...

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We are delighted to announce the first edition of the International Customs Conference in Düsseldorf. Bert Gevers (Partner, International Trade) is the co-founder and scientific coordinator of this conference which aims to provide a platform for those who are dealing with customs and trade at a high professional level. Internationally renowned speakers from the European Commission, judiciary, the customs administration, industry, academic and research institutions and legal consultancy will share…...

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Our colleague Bert Gevers (Partner, International Trade & Indirect Tax Brussels) has been invited to lead a workshop on VAT for the financial sector hosted by the Febelfin Academy. Febelfin Academy is a professional development institute that offers tailormade education for the financial service industry. Information on the full programme can be found via this link (in Dutch). Feel free to contact Bert if you have any questions with respect to…...

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We are proud to announce our keynote speaker  Mr Dominique Dussard. Mr Dussard has over 25 years of international experience with governance, compliance and behavioural and risk management, serving as Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer of global chemical company Solvay. Mr Dussard is the founder and Managing Partner of GLC Consulting, where he supports organisations and their leaders in implementing their strategy. He focuses on behavioural…...

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On Tuesday 5 September 2017, the Grand Chamber of European Court of Human Rights has announced a judgment in the Bãrbulescu case. Mr Bãrbulescu was terminated after his employer had discovered through monitoring that he had been using Yahoo Messenger during working hours for personal purposes, which was prohibited by a company policy. The termination was confirmed by the Romanian employment tribunal. The ECHR has now ruled that the national…...

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Brussels, 7 September 2017 – Loyens & Loeff, a full service law firm offering integrated legal and tax advice, has appointed Wim Vande Velde local partner on 1 July 2017. Wim Vande Velde, attorney at law, is a member of Loyens & Loeff’s Corporate and M&A Practice Group as well as of the Real Estate Team. He has extensive experience in national and international M&A transactions and private equity investments…...

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We are very pleased to announce our involvement in the VBO/ICC Belgium seminar on CETA to be held in Brussels on 25 September 2017. The seminar will kick off with a high-level introduction by the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, the Canadian Ambassador to Belgium H.E. Olivier Nicoloff and the Deputy Director-General of the European Commission's DG Trade, Mauro Petriccione. After the introdution three…...

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On 5, 11 & 25 October the Family Owned Business & Private Wealth team organises 3 seminars for intermediaries on the latest developments in Family Owned Business & Private Wealth. The seminars will focus on the current developments in Belgium, the Netherlands & Switzerland. Each seminar will cover a different content, with focus on local and relevant international developments. Thursday 5 October - Amsterdam - Loyens & Loeff - in Dutch Topics: Beleggingsvermogen in (personen)vennootschappen Wednesday 11…...

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Saskia Lust will be speaking at the STEP Benelux Conference “A new era for private wealth” in Luxembourg on 26 September 2017. She will talk about the Belgian “Cayman tax” and its impact on off- /onshore holdings, foundations and trusts for wealth and estate planning in Belgium. For further information about this conference, please refer to the STEP website....

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Brussels, 1 September 2017 – Loyens & Loeff, a full service law firm offering integrated legal and tax advice, announces the election of senior and trusted partner Peter Callens as Vice-President of the Brussels Bar (Dutch language section), effective as of today. In the normal course of events Peter will become President of the Bar on 1 September 2018. Peter Callens, who has been in the legal profession for 35…...

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Congratulations to Christian Chéruy, Caroline Docclo and Thierry Charon on being included in the 7th edition of the Tax Controversy Leaders guide, a publication of the International Tax Review. Tax Controversy Leaders is a guide to the leading tax dispute resolution lawyers and advisers in the world. Inclusion in the guide is based on a minimum number of nominations received. Besides, entrants must also possess evidence of outstanding success in the…...

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Alternatief einde voor Lieve Lieve nadert de pensioenleeftijd en voelt dat ze het binnenkort wat rustiger aan wil doen. Ze is net grootmoeder geworden en wil er graag zijn voor haar uitbreidend gezinnetje. Wat zijn haar mogelijkheden in dit opzicht? Zij kan eventueel in het kader van tijdskrediet eindeloopbaan haar prestaties met 1/5 of 1/2 verminderen tot op het moment dat ze met pensioen gaat indien ze aan de gestelde voorwaarden…...

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Lieve gaat naar Nederland: eenvoudig implementeren van salary split Lieve moet regelmatig voor haar bedrijf naar Nederland. Waar moet ze op letten? Is Lieve minder dan 183 dagen in een periode van 12 maanden fysiek actief in Nederland, dan blijft België (als woonstaat) heffingsbevoegd over het totale inkomen. Dat loopt anders van zodra die 183 dagen grens is overschreden. In dat geval is Lieve in Nederland belastbaar op het deel…...

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Zoals bericht in onze nieuwsbrief van 23 mei jl., heeft het Hof van Cassatie in het arrest van 5 mei jl. bevestigd dat een A.O.W.-uitkering slechts kwalificeert als een in België belastbaar pensioen indien en in de mate dat er een band is met een beroepswerkzaamheid. Hieruit volgt dat wie in België woont en een A.O.W.-uitkering geniet, in België enkel verzocht kan worden om belasting te betalen over de uitkering…...

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Belgian Corporate Income Tax rate to decrease from 33.99% to 25%. Other measures to guarantee budget neutrality. On 26 July 2017, the Belgian government agreed on a far-reaching Belgian tax reform aimed at stimulating economic growth & attractiveness for foreign investment, job creation and overall fairness in taxation policy. The most important measures include a reduction of the corporate income tax rate, a minimum effective tax rate, a tax consolidation…...

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Trein, tram, bus, fiets of voet: mobiliteit vanuit vennootschapsbelasting en compensation & benefits Recent heeft Lieve beslist om haar woon-werkverkeertraject af te leggen gebruik makend van het openbaar vervoer. Helaas is er geen bushalte dichtbij het werk en moet zij nog een eindje fietsen of gaat ze te voet. Hoe ziet haar terugbetaling in de verplaatsingskosten voor haar woon-werkverkeer er nu uit? Het volledige bedrag van de werkgeverstussenkomst in de…...

In our newsletter of July 12, 2017, we informed you that a draft bill, introducing the Belgian UBO-register, was submitted to Belgian parliament. On July 20, 2017, the draft bill has been adopted in its entirety by the Belgian parliament. No adjustments have been made to the draft bill. The law will enter into force on the 10th day after the publication in the Belgian Official Gazette. One or more…...

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The digitalization of healthcare services is generally applauded, as it leads to increased efficiency, better quality of care, lower administrative costs, and patient empowerment. However, the digitalization of such services is not without risk from a data protection perspective, in particular given the ‘sensitive’ nature and strict legal protection of personal health information. Belgian doctors and hospitals have recently learned the hard way that they are indeed a hacker target.…...

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Lieve scoort: een goed bonusplan motiveert en beschermt Lieve trok een jaar geleden op eigen houtje de social media-kaart en dat werpt zijn vruchten af: 20% meer sessies in één jaar tijd. De CEO, Patrick, wil Lieve voor haar social media-plan belonen, maar wenst ook dat Lieve haar creativiteit blijft aanspreken en geen andere oorden opzoekt. En het mag ook geweten zijn, zowel binnen als buiten het bedrijf, dat enthousiasme…...

In the near future, companies and other legal entities incorporated in Belgium will have to collect and hold information on their Ultimate Beneficial Owners (hereafter “UBO’s”). Directors will be responsible to report the aforesaid information to the Belgian UBO register in a timely manner. Administrative sanctions may apply to Directors failing to comply with this obligation. 1. Recent legislative developments On 20 May 2015, the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive was…...

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Caroline Docclo will be speaking about the fairness tax case at the EU Anti-BEPS measures and other EU developments conference organized by the EU Tax Law Group in Rio on 29 August. Click here to see the invitation....

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Lieve pleit voor harmonisatie: over harmonisatie van arbeidsvoorwaarden In de voorbereiding van de fusie tussen Cynalco Medics en Vandam Pharma blijkt dat de werknemers van Vandam Pharma recht hebben op maar liefst 10 extralegale vakantiedagen en dat zij daarenboven geen eigen bijdrage hoeven te betalen voor hun aanvullend pensioen. Voor zover de extralegale vakantiedagen individueel werden toegekend aan de werknemers van Vandam Pharma is er in principe geen wettelijke verplichting…...

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Een aanvullend pensioen voor Lieve: met of zonder persoonlijke bijdrage? Wanneer Lieve’s werkgever beslist om een aanvullend pensioen toe te kennen aan het personeel, zullen er enkele belangrijke beslissingen genomen moeten worden, o.m. of er al dan niet een persoonlijke bijdrage gevraagd zal worden van de werknemers. De persoonlijke bijdrage wordt afgehouden van het nettoloon en geeft recht op een belastingvermindering van 30% van de betaalde bijdrage. Deze vermindering wordt…...

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The European Commission is willing to introduce Mandatory Disclosure Rules (MDR) for intermediaries designing and promoting potentially aggressive cross-border tax planning arrangements. Who will have to notify these arrangements? What about tax intermediaries whose advice are legally privileged? Which arrangements fall within the scope of this proposal? Will this new set of rules have an impact in Belgium? Context On 21 June 2017, the European Commission submitted a proposal for…...

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Congratulations to Thierry Charon and Bert Gevers on being included in the 6th edition of the Indirect Tax Leaders guide, a publication of the International Tax Review. Indirect Tax Leaders is a list of the leading indirect tax advisers in the world. Inclusion in the guide is based on a minimum number of nominations received. Besides, entrants must also receive consistently positive feedback from peers and clients. Consult the complete…...

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On 30 June 2017 Northwind secured approximately EUR 525,000,000 in funding for the refinancing of its 216 megawatt offshore wind farm located on the Lodewijkbank, 37km off the Belgian coast consisting of 72 wind turbines. The refinancing is financed by senior facilities provided by a syndicate of lenders, including ASN Bank, Belfius, BNP Paribas, Rabobank, ING, KBC, Natixis, Société Générale, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and…...

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On 14 June 2017, the European Court of Justice gave a very strict interpretation of the rules laying down the conditions for the use of designations reserved to milk and milk products (‘milk’, ‘yoghurt’, ‘cream’, ‘cheese’, …). The Court indeed decided that it is in all circumstances prohibited to use dairy names in association with plant-based products, unless those names are included - in the same language - in a…...

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We produce a quarterly newsletter to keep you updated on legal developments and important trends in the real estate sector. In this issue, we address the following topics: Real Estate Investment and Taxation -   Planned major reform of Belgian company law -   Capital gain due to a review of the sector plan – Walloon Region -   VAT regime of real estate (asset/property) management services Real Estate Management -    Repurchase right under economic…...

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On 12 June 2017, the Belgian VAT authorities published circular letter n° 2017/C/36 which provides guidance on the application of the VAT exemption for insurance and reinsurance transactions as described in article 44, §3, 4° of the Belgian VAT Code. As of 1 January 2018, the VAT exemption for insurance transactions will no longer be applicable to claims settlement services provided by a third party in the name and on…...

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On 18 May 2017, the Belgian Federal Parliament adopted a new Act on actions for damages for competition law infringements (the “Competition Law Damages Act”).[1] The Competition Law Damages Act transposes  Directive 2014/104/EU (the “EU Damages Directive”) into Belgian law, which aims to make it easier for victims of competition law infringements to claim damages for the harm they suffered.[2] The Competition Law Damages Act was published in the Belgian…...

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Congratulations to Christian Chéruy on being recognized by Best Lawyers™ as the 2018 Tax Law “Lawyer of the Year” in Brussels. This represents an outstanding achievement as only a single lawyer in each practice area in each community is honoured as “Lawyer of the Year”. We are also particularly happy to inform you that 10 partners from Loyens & Loeff were included in the 8th Edition of The Best Lawyers™…...

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Koen Panis was a speaker on the study day of the University Leuven regarding the introduction of the new act on movable security. Interesting speakers and good crowd! The written contribution by Koen Panis and Robbert Jacobs on the interaction between the Financial Collateral Act and the new regime on pledges can be found in the book published in relation to the study day....

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Als ondernemer binnen een KMO staat u elke dag voor de meest uiteenlopende kansen en uitdagingen: optimalisatie arbeidsverloning, complexe contractbepalingen, veranderende vennootschapsbelasting, mogelijke overnames… De dagelijkse realiteit van de bedrijfsvoering zit vol vragen waar u niet altijd een antwoord op weet. Loyens & Loeff ondersteunt u en uw onderneming op fiscaal en juridisch vlak, met een geïntegreerde aanpak; alles onder één dak. Om u wegwijs te maken, hebben wij een…...

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Trap net als vele andere werkgevers, je werknemers naar een gezondere, snellere en handiger vervoersmiddel. Laat de (elektrische) fiets een prominente plaats krijgen in uw bedrijf! Om het fietsgebruik te stimuleren heeft de wetgever voorzien in tal van (para)fiscale incentives. Hieronder lijsten wij kort de parafiscale en fiscale behandeling op van de elektrische fiets. Vooreerst is het zo dat de (para)fiscale incentives die gelden voor de gewone fiets gelden ook…...

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The European Commission’s Regulatory Committee on Medical Devices has adopted a Commission Decision on the qualification of cranberry products. According to the Decision, cranberry products do not fall within the definition of medical devices set out in the Medical Devices Directive.   The European Commission’s Regulatory Committee on Medical Devices has adopted a Commission Implementing Decision on the qualification of cranberry products. The Decision states that products “whose principal intended action,…...

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On 29 May 2017 the Belgian VAT authorities published circular letter n° 2017/C/32 to clarify the VAT treatment of: business gifts; samples; promotional items; occasional gifts for staff or their children; goods that are donated by a taxable person to victims of a disaster; and food surpluses that are donated by a taxable person to food banks (merely a reference to existing administrative rules). The circular letter provides a definition…...