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This article is only available in Dutch....

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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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On 21 September three rulings have been issued by the ECJ which will have a significant impact on the costs structure of businesses in the financial sector. The ECJ explicitly ruled that the CSGs scheme cannot be applied in the banking and insurance sector, in which businesses often rely on the CSGs scheme to mitigate VAT leakage. The CSGs scheme now seems to be blocked for such businesses, which will…...

Kernpunten Bij het betekenen van een opzegtermijn moet u een aantal formaliteiten vervullen. Bij het betekenen van ontslag met onmiddellijke ingang en betaling van een opzegvergoeding, bent u als werkgever vrij over het "hoe" en het "wanneer". Vergeet geen afstand te doen van het niet-concurrentiebeding. ______________________________________________________ Sofie heeft aan een klant een interne nota bezorgd met alle prijzen van uw producten. U besluit om afscheid van haar te nemen, maar…...

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Kernpunten Uiteindelijke begunstigden van vennootschappen moeten worden geïdentificeerd. Informatie over uiteindelijke begunstigden wordt geregistreerd in het UBO-register. Koninklijk besluit moet de voorwaarden nog vastleggen. ______________________________________________________ U heeft de aandelen van uw familiebedrijf met voorbehoud van vruchtgebruik geschonken aan uw kinderen, Liese en Roeland. De delen van de burgerlijke maatschap, waarin u uw spaarpot heeft ondergebracht, heeft u reeds voor 50% geschonken aan uw 2 kleinkinderen. U heeft vernomen dat de…...

Kernpunten Het begrip "dagelijks bestuur" is in de praktijk vaak het onderwerp van discussie. Met een duidelijke bevoegdheidsmatrix kunnen interpretatieproblemen vermeden worden. De nakende modernisering van het Wetboek van vennootschappen zou voor meer duidelijkheid moeten zorgen. ______________________________________________________ Autoparts NV kent een steile groei. Peter (gedelegeerd bestuurder) heeft nu zijn zinnen gezet op een pand om daarin een bijkomende vestiging te openen. Peter heeft een princiepsakkoord met de eigenaar, die aandringt…...

Kernpunten Voorzie duidelijke modaliteiten inzake de uitoefening van opties. De gerealiseerde meerwaarde is in de regel onbelast. Voorzie een call optie om te voorkomen dat aandelen bij derden terechtkomen. ______________________________________________________ Na aanvaarding van de aangeboden aandelenopties is de volgende stap te weten hoe en wanneer de opties uitgeoefend kunnen worden. Het is daarbij raadzaam om bepaalde modaliteiten te voorzien. Zo kan u de uitoefenperiodes vastleggen in het plan. Dat verkleint…...

Kernpunten Innovatieaftrek van toepassing sinds 1 juli 2016. Ruimer toepassingsgebied dan de vroegere aftrek voor octrooi-inkomsten. Daarom zeker te bekijken door iedere onderneming die intellectuele eigendomsrechten bezit. ______________________________________________________ Uw bedrijf heeft nooit toepassing gemaakt van de aftrek voor octrooi-inkomsten bij gebrek aan kwalificerende patenten. Uw bedrijf is echter wel eigenaar van andere intellectuele eigendomsrechten, zoals merkenrechten en software. Biedt de nieuwe innovatieaftrek mogelijkheden tot fiscale optimalisatie? Onder druk van de…...

Kernpunten Hou reeds bij het design van uw website/app rekening met uw informatieverplichtingen. Informeer de consument voldoende over o.m. het herroepingsrecht. Vermijd zo een niet-afdwingbare overeenkomst of een verlengde herroepingstermijn. ______________________________________________________ NV Trapmasjien wil haar verkoop van fietsen extra stimuleren via e-commerce. Wanneer Trapmasjien via haar website of app haar fietsen verkoopt aan een consument dient zij de consument, vooraleer deze gebonden is, voldoende te informeren. De informatie die de…...

The introduction of an annual tax of 0,15% on securities accounts, the taxation of reimbursements of share capital and the extension of the Cayman tax are some of the compensatory measures for the announced decrease of the corporate income tax to 25%, likely with effect as from 1 January 2018. On 26 July 2017, the Belgian government agreed on a far-reaching Belgian tax reform aimed at stimulating economic growth &…...

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.…...

Kernpunten Een doorslaggevende stem binnen het bestuur van uw Stak is in de toekomst wellicht niet meer mogelijk. Een alternatief is een stakende stem. ______________________________________________________ U heeft aandelen in uw familiebedrijf of ander vermogen ondergebracht in een Nederlandse stichting administratiekantoor ("Stak"). Alle zeggenschapsrechten over deze aandelen of dit vermogen worden uitgeoefend door het bestuur van de Stak. Omdat u bij de certificering de zeggenschap wilde behouden bent u zelf bestuurder…...

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Natalie Reypens and Aldo Engels contributed the Belgium Chapter to Transfer Pricing Global Guide. For the online version of the chapter, click here....

Kernpunten Met een maatschap kan u controle voorbehouden. Delen van een maatschap kan u zonder schenkbelasting schenken. Als u vruchtgebruik voorbehoudt bij een onbelaste schenking, claimt de Vlaamse Belastingdienst ook na 3 jaar erfbelasting. ______________________________________________________ U hebt uw onderneming verkocht, met de opbrengst een effectenportefeuille gekocht en de effectenportefeuille ingebracht in een maatschap. Met de maatschap wil u controle voorbehouden. U wil de delen van de maatschap schenken met voorbehoud…...

Kernpunten Een individuele pensioentoezegging beloont uw bedrijfsleiders door hun levensstandaard na pensionering op peil te houden. De opbouw en uitbetaling zijn fiscaal zeer gunstig. De pensioenopbouw kan ook betrekking hebben op jaren die reeds gepresteerd warden. ______________________________________________________ In de vorige editie van onze KMO-brochure lichtten wij de voordelen toe van een individuele pensioentoezegging ("IPT") voor werknemers. Maar ook uw zaakvoerster Patricia kan op deze manier verloond worden. Een IPT kan…...

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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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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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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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Last weekend’s cyber-attack has caused significant technical and operational problems worldwide. And while the main issue in these cases is of course IT-security, such attack also gives rise to important legal / data protection issues that should not be neglected. What is everyone talking about? Over the past weekend, IT-systems around the world were hit by a highly-effective ransomware-attack labelled “WannaCry”, disabling entire computer systems and databases and in some…...

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1  History of the tax shelter for equity investments in starting companies Since mid-2015, Belgian legislation provides for a very interesting tax incentive for Belgian-resident private individuals who invest in the capital of a Belgian or EEA startup that is less than four years old. The first move was the tax shelter law of 10 August 2015, providing the framework and the many conditions for the personal income tax reduction of…...

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Click here to read the Real Estate Quarterly - Q1 2017  or view the document below....

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On May 20, 2015, the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. In execution of this European measure, the Belgian government has adopted a preliminary bill on March 31, 2017. This preliminary bill introduces a UBO register in which the ultimate beneficiaries of companies and other legal entities need to be identified. 1.           Principles of the Directive 1.1.       UBO register Pursuant to the fourth…...

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Loyens & Loeff’s Real Estate Team is glad to provide you with this first edition of the booklet “Leases in Belgium”. Leases represent the future return on an investment. A good knowledge of the multiple nuances of Belgian tenancy law and of the impact that other disciplines, ranging from administrative to tax law, might have on leases, will allow investors to avoid unexpected costs and therefore will lead to optimisation…...

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On 15 March 2017, the European Parliament adopted a codified legislation on official controls, which tightens rules on financial penalties, establishes more and better inspections, and creates a legal framework for the data processed during controls. The new Regulation comes as a response to the horsemeat scandal which hit several EU Member States in 2013 when food labelled as containing beef turned out to contain horsemeat instead. It does not…...

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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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In our newsletter of January 24, 2017, we informed you of the extension of the Belgian tax on stock exchange transactions (hereafter “TSET”). As from January 1, 2017, certain stock exchange transactions, entered into or carried out by intermediaries established outside Belgium, are also targeted by the Belgian TSET. Meanwhile, the tax return of the TSET has been published and the term for the submission of the tax return and…...

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

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At the occasion of this special day, the members of the Loyens & Loeff Privacy & Data Protection Team would like to highlight the importance of data security and encourage data controllers, data processors and data subjects alike to give some special attention to their personal data / the personal data they collect and process. While the collection and use of personal data is in fact key to their business,…...

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January 28 is international “Data Privacy Day” or “Data Protection Day”. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. At the occasion of Data Protection Day 2017, the Loyens & Loeff Benelux Privacy and Data Protection Team has compiled an overview highlighting the ever-increasing importance of this topic in everyday life, and the impact hereof on various industry sectors (automotive, healthcare,…...

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The Program Law of December 25, 2016, published in the Belgian Official Gazette on December 29, 2016, has extended the existing Belgian tax on stock exchange transactions (hereafter “TSET”). From now on, certain stock exchange transactions, entered into or carried out by intermediaries established outside Belgium, are also targeted by the Belgian TSET. In addition, the limit of the TSET has been doubled. 1. Old legislation applicable up to and including December…...

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On 10 January 2017, the European Commission presented its proposal for a Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications. The current EU e-Privacy Directive is thus to be replaced by a Regulation, directly applicable in all EU Member States. The goal is to have the e-Privacy Regulation adopted by 25 May 2018, the date on which the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (“GDPR”) will become applicable. The proposal for the…...

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Thomas Chellingsworth, Dominique Vanherck, Isis De Moortel and Bram Devlies contributed the Belgian Chapter to the Oil & Gas Lexology Navigator. This online tool provides clear, concise, comparative guidance on law and regulation worldwide, relevant to the oil and gas industry. Need more information? Please contact Thomas Chellingsworth, Dominique Vanherck, or your Loyens & Loeff advisor.  Thomas.Chellingsworth@loyensloeff.com / +32 2 743 43 77  Dominique.Vanherck@loyensloeff.com / +32 2 743 43 86 Follow our Showcase…...

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Dear Reader, This quarterly newsletter aims to keep you informed about the main legal and tax items of the past and coming year in relation to your business and to provide you with the detail of our coming seminars. We hope this will be useful to you. Best wishes for 2017 and we will be happy to welcome you at our annual Real Estate seminars or to meet you at…...

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Background – data exports outside EEA EU data protection legislation provides that personal data can only be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) when the country of final destination ensures an adequate level of protection of the privacy and fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals (article 25 of EU Directive 95/46, to be replaced by article 44 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation as from 25…...

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

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On 10 November 2016, Brussels Court of Appeal (the “Court”) annulled the decision of the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) to impose a fine of more than € 37 million on bpost for abuse of dominance. The Court held that BCA’s decision breached the fundamental human rights principle of ne bis in idem, according to which no one may be punished twice for the same illegal behaviour. Bpost is Belgium’s historical…...

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The full set of regulations relating to the Specialised Real Estate Investment Fund (fonds d’investissement immobilier spécialisé / gespecialiseerde vastgoedbeleggingsfonds) has now been approved and published. Click here to read more in this respect....

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This publication is only available in French....

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Privacy advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland is challenging the EU-US “Privacy Shield” (allowing for EU-US data transfers based on self-certification by US companies) before the EU’s General Court, accusing it of failing to provide sufficient guarantees to ensure adequate data protection. 1                 Background – invalidation of the EU-US “Safe Harbour” On 6 October 2015, in the “Schrems” case (C-362/14), the EU Court of Justice (the “CJEU”) ruled that the EU…...

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Click here to read the Real Estate Quarterly Q3 or view the document below....

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Christian Chéruy in the article "Les investisseurs n'ont pas oublié les 540 jours sans gouvernement" in l'Echo, 26 October 2016...

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The notary public has the monopoly to organize a public sale of real estate. If real estate is sold through a public auction website, such sale can be annulled. In its judgment dated 9 June 2016, the Belgian Supreme Court  confirmed the legal monopoly of a notary public to organize and sell real estate through a public sale (“vente publique/openbare verkoop”). A public sale implies that the notary awards the…...

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As already mentioned in our Quarterly dated 1 July 2016, the Flemish Parliament adopted a new Decree on short-term retail leasing on 8 June 2016. By doing so, Flanders is the first Belgian Region to use its legislative competences in relation to lease legislation after such competence was attributed to it pursuant to the 6th State Reform. The new Decree on short-term retail leasing proposes an alternative to commercial leases…...

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As you may recall, in January 2016, on the occasion of the international “Data Protection Day”, we sent a news update reflecting on the highlights in the field of privacy and data protection in 2015 and briefly looked ahead at what to expect for 2016. Now that the summer holidays are over and as work, school, court cases, and legislative discussions resume, we would like to take a moment to…...