The tax man makes fewerbut more lucrative visits
16 February 2005
BRUSSELS – The number of Belgian tax inspections is falling, but the taxman is cracking down harder on those singled out for investigation, it emerged on Wednesday.
In 2003, the latest figures available, the authorities checked some 480,600 tax returns made by self-employed workers – 36,000 fewer than in 2002 and 58,000 fewer than in 2001, La Derniere Heure reported.
However, the fines for incorrect tax returns amounted to EUR 2.65 billion, EUR 394.5 million higher than in 2002 and EUR 403 million more than in 2001.
The Special Tax Inspection team (ISI) also made fewer investigations in 2003 but secured more money for the state.
Some 943 tax returns were checked in 2003, down from the 1022 checked in 2002 and the 1010 in 2001.
The result, though, was a bounty for the taxman of EUR 683 million, some 60 percent more than the EUR 430 million, although less than the EUR 936 reaped in 2001.
Fewer and fewer individuals agree to pay more taxes after an inspection.
Only 11 percent agreed to pay more in 2003 compared to 44 percent in 2002.
Yet, the number of people complaining about the infamous tax inspector remains modest.
Some 140,000 official complaints were made in 2003, 6,000 more than in 2002 but 1,000 fewer than in 2001.
By the end of 2003, 109,000 complaints were still being reviewed, 52,000 over property taxes, 23,000 for self-employed taxes and 28,000 over VAT.
[Copyright Expatica 2005]
Subject: Belgian news