Expatica news

‘Foreign Tax Dodge’ law takes off

8 October 2004

BRUSSELS – An increasing number of Belgian residents are taking advantage of a tax amnesty that allows them to repatriate savings stashed in illicit foreign bank accounts, it has emerged.

The amnesty was unveiled in January and was designed to encourage Belgians and expats liable for tax here to stop ferreting undeclared earnings away in bank accounts outside of the country.

Under the scheme, anyone who declares illicit foreign nest eggs and returns the money to Belgium will only have to pay a relatively modest amount of tax on the cash.

But the amnesty only lasts until the end of this year.

After that time anyone caught trying to dodge taxes by using foreign bank accounts will face very hefty fines.

Up until recently, take up for the amnesty had been sluggish, with very few people declaring illicit savings.

But according to a number of media reports on Friday, the situation has changed in the last three months.

Between July and September, the number of declarations of foreign savings accounts has almost doubled, compared to the first half of this year.

Belgium’s banks, who process the declarations, also say people coming to them today are often declaring very large amounts of money.

Most declarations made in the first six months of this year concerned relatively small sums.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Belgian news