Belgium Paraíso Fiscal

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Mapping Financial Secrecy Belgium Report on Belgium Belgium is ranked at 15th position on the 2011 Financial Secrecy Index. This ranking is based on a combination of its secrecy score and a scale weighting based on its share of the global market for offshore financial services. Belgium has been assessed with 59 secrecy points out of a potential 100, which places it in the lower mid range of the secrecy scale (see chart 1 below). Belgium accounts for slightly over 1 per cent of the global marke

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  Mapping Financial SecrecyBelgium   1   Published on October 4, 2011 © Tax Justice Network Report on Belgium Belgium is ranked at 15th position on the 2011 Financial Secrecy Index. This ranking is basedon a combination of its secrecy score and a scale weighting based on its share of the globalmarket for offshore financial services.Belgium has been assessed with 59 secrecy points out of a potential 100, which places it inthe lower mid range of the secrecy scale (see chart 1 below).Belgium accounts for slightly over 1 per cent of the global market for offshore financialservices, making it a small player compared with other secrecy jurisdictions (see chart 2below) Part 1: Telling the story Bank secrecy was formally introduced in tax legislation in 1980. Until recently, Belgium didnot participate in the international exchange of bank account data. The domestic provisionsgoverning bank secrecy (article 318 of the Income Tax Code) prevented the taxadministration from investigating the accounts non-residents at the request of foreignadministration. The tax administration could only force the bank to release clientinformation when evidence indicates that the bank is an accessory to serious tax fraud.Fearing sanctions by the G20 Belgian Finance Minister Didier Reynders announced, on 12March 2009 in parliament, that Belgium would switch over to the automatic informationexchange system created under the EU savings directive. He also announced that Belgium iscommitted to apply OECD standards on transparency and exchange of information - upon ModeratelysecretiveExceptionally secretive 31-4041-5051-6061-7071-8081-9091-100 Chart 1 - How Secretive?Chart 2 - How Big? tinylarge huge small  Mapping Financial SecrecyBelgium   2   Published on October 4, 2011 © Tax Justice Networkrequest  – and will (re)negotiate bilateral tax agreements in this context. A couple of dayslater , however, Belgium found itself on the ‘grey list’ prepared by the OECD for the G20. The Belgian government reacted that it is willing to do away with the domestic bank secrecyrules in an international context. Since then, Belgium has started accelerated negotiations tosign new income tax treaties or protocols that contain a provision for the exchange of information on request. By July 2009 Belgium had concluded the needed 12 tax informationexchange agreements required to be removed from the grey list.In March 2011 legislation was passed that removed internal law obstacles for internationalexchange of (bank) account information. Bank secrecy vis-à-vis the Belgian Taxadministration remained, although indications to tax fraud are now considered enough toforce a bank to release client information. Quotations and Links On diamond trade: Antwerp accounts for 80% of the world's trade in rough diamonds, 50% of trade in polishedstones and represents 5% of all Belgian exports. The industry is responsible for theemployment, directly and indirectly, of about 34,000 people in the city. http://www.flanderstoday.eu/content/diamond-fraud-case-targets-220-suspects http://af.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idAFTRE7820UG20110903 http://www.israelidiamond.co.il/english/News.aspx?boneId=918&objid=9813 On banking secrecy: http://economicsnewspaper.com/economics/belgium-will-lift-bank-secrecy-in-foreign-accounts-250-000-34102.html  Next steps for Belgium Belgium ’s 59 per cent secrecy score shows that it must still make major progress in offeringsatisfactory financial transparency 1 . If it wishes to play a full part in the modern financialcommunity and to impede and deter illicit financial flows, including flows srcinating fromtax evasion, aggressive tax avoidance practices, corrupt practices and criminal activities, itshould take action on the points noted where it falls short of acceptable internationalstandards. See part 2 below for details of Belgium ’s shortcoming s on transparency. See thislink http://www.secrecyjurisdictions.com/kfsi for an overview of how each of these shortcomings can be fixed. Part 2: Secrecy Scores The secrecy score of 59 per cent for Belgium has been computed by assessing the  jurisdiction’s performance on the 15 Key Financial Secrecy Indicators, listed below.    Mapping Financial SecrecyBelgium   3   Published on October 4, 2011 © Tax Justice NetworkThe numbers on the horizontal axis of the bar chart on the left refer to the Key FinancialSecrecy Indicators (KFSI). The presence of abluebar indicates a positive answer, as doesbluetext in the KFSI list below. The presence of aredbar indicates a negative answer as doesred  text in the KFSI list. Where the jurisdiction’s performance partly, but not fully complies with a Key Financial Secrecy Indicator, the text is colouredvioletin the list below(combination of red and blue).This paper draws on key data collected on Belgium. Our data sources include regulatoryreports, legislation, regulation and news available at 31.12.2010 2 . The full data set isavailable here 3 . Our assessment is based on the 15 Key Financial Secrecy Indicators (KFSIs,below), reflecting the legal and financial arrangements of Belgium. Details of theseindicators are noted in the following table and all background data can be found on theMapping Financial Secrecy web site 4 . This data is the basis on which the Financial SecrecyIndex 5 is compiled. The Key Financial Secrecy Indicators and the performance of Belgium are:TRANSPARENCY OF BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP  –  Belgium  1. Banking secrecy: Does the jurisdiction have banking secrecy? Belgium does not adequately curtail banking secrecy 2. Trust and Foundations Register: Is there a public register of Trusts and Foundations? Belgium does not put details of trusts on public record  3.Recorded Company Ownership: Does the relevant authority obtain and keep updateddetails of the beneficial ownership of companies? Belgium does not maintain company ownership details in official records     123456789101112131415 KFSI Belgium - KFSI Assessment 41%59% Belgium - Secrecy Score Transparency ScoreSecrecy Score  Mapping Financial SecrecyBelgium   4   Published on October 4, 2011 © Tax Justice Network KEY ASPECTS OF CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY REGULATION  –  Belgium  4.Public Company Ownership: Does the relevant authority make details of ownership of companies available on public record online for less than US$10? Belgium does not require that ownership of companies is put on public record  5.Public Company Accounts: Does the relevant authority require that company accountsare made available for inspection by anyone for a fee of less than US$10? Belgium requires that company accounts be available on public record  6.Country-by-Country Reporting: Are companies listed on a national stock exchangerequired to comply with country-by-country financial reporting? Belgium does not require country-by-country financial reporting by companies   EFFICIENCY OF TAX AND FINANCIAL REGULATION  –  Belgium  7.Fit for Information Exchange: Are resident paying agents required to report to thedomestic tax administration information on payments to non-residents? Belgium does not require resident paying agents to tell the domestic tax authoritiesabout payments to non-residents  8.Efficiency of Tax Administration: Does the tax administration use taxpayer identifiersfor analysing information effectively, and is there a large taxpayer unit? Belgium partly uses appropriate tools for effectively analysing tax relatedinformation  9.Avoids Promoting Tax Evasion: Does the jurisdiction grant unilateral tax credits forforeign tax payments? Belgium partly avoids promoting tax evasion via a tax credit system  10.Harmful Legal Vehicles: Does the jurisdiction allow cell companies and trusts with fleeclauses? Belgium partly allows harmful legal vehicles   INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS AND COOPERATION  –  Belgium  11.Anti-Money Laundering: Does the jurisdiction comply with the FATFrecommendations? Belgium partly complies with international anti-money laundering standards  12.Automatic Information Exchange: Does the jurisdiction participate fully in Automatic
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