Expatica news

Few takers for Belgian ‘foreign tax dodge’ law

9 July 2004

BRUSSELS – Seven months after the Belgian government unveiled a new tax amnesty law, designed to encourage people to repatriate millions of euros stashed illegally in foreign bank accounts, just 500 people have declared their clandestine overseas nest eggs, it has emerged.

Several Belgian newspapers on reported on Friday that the take up for the so-called Declaration Liberatoire Unique (DLU) has from the government’s point of view been disappointing. 

Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt had hoped the new amnesty, which offers relatively low tax rates and no fines to anyone who repatriates illegal savings before the end of the year, would inject EUR 850 million into the flagging Belgian economy.

But up until now, the actual amount of money that has returned to Belgian soil is way below that amount.

According to Flemish newspaper De Standaard only 500 people have filled in DLUs in the whole of Belgium, and many of them concern relatively modest sums.

“Is the DLU a flop?” La Libre Belgique newspaper asked on Friday.

According to banking experts questioned by the paper the short answer to that question is that it is simply too early to tell.

“What is clear is that the DLU has frankly not been a success up until now,” Jacques Zeegers, spokesman for the Belgian banking association (ABB) told La Libre Belgique.

“But to say that it was a flop now would, in our opinion, be premature,” he added.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news