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Bill amending some provisions on the annual tax on insurance operations

A new draft law on various fiscal provisions, tabled by the Federal Government on 29 February, contains various amending provisions on income tax, to the Code of inheritance tax, the Code on registration, mortgage and court registry duties and excise duties. The bill mainly sets out measures decided in connection with the government’s budget discussions, that were not incorporated into the Programme law.

The amendments relate, among others, to the Belgian Income Tax Code of 1992 (WIB 92), more specifically the provisions on investment deduction, e.g. for investments in energy efficiency, renewable energy, emissions-free transport or environmentally friendly technologies (the impact assessment being based on the Taxonomy Regulation (EU) 2020/852), to the income tax deposit exemption for employers affected by a natural disaster, and various other changes, the main purpose being to modernise and streamline some outdated parts of the Code. Other amendments relate to the Programme law of 27 December 2004.

Amendments are also made to the Code of miscellaneous taxes and duties, notably relating to the annual tax on insurance operations (insurance premium tax or IPT). It is specified that, if the policyholder is a legal person, in the instances referenced in Article 179/2, § 2 of the Code, the Belgian establishment to which the contract relates, aside from the policyholder itself, may also be held liable for payment of the tax due. In case a foreign parent company takes out a civil liability policy for the representatives of its Belgian branch and invoices the related costs to the latter, for example, the covered risk is located in Belgium and the insured is a Belgian company, but the effective policyholder is not explicitly covered by the current Code and, consequently, Article 179/2 is not applicable. The Belgian branch could maintain that, in its capacity as insured, it is not liable for payment of the tax. The current amendment would thus allow the taxation of the Belgian intermediary and a more efficient collection. 
Article 179/2 is also amended so as to integrate the purport of article 224/2ter of the royal decree of 3 March 1927 implementing the Code of miscellaneous taxes and duties into its new first paragraph, laying down the responsibilities of the fiscal representative. A new second paragraph establishes the responsibilities in the absence of a fiscal representative or in case of failure to pay the tax on behalf of the policyholder or, if the policyholder is a legal person, of the Belgian establishment to which the contract relates. 

These new provisions are set out under Chapter 1 of Title 6 of the bill (Articles 54 and 55), available for consultation on the website of the Chamber of Representatives, here (NL).

Questions? Contact our Insurance expert Sandra Lodewijckx.