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Greenille by Laga Newsflashes

Overview of the latest Private Client news

The fourth tool of estate planning between spouses: attribution clauses of undivided property between spouses married with a marital contract of property separation

21 November 2019

To obtain maximum protection and comfort for the surviving spouse, with acceptable tax consequences, several techniques are available. Between spouses married under a ‘separation of property regime’, an attribution clause regarding undivided property is a useful alternative to an attribution clause in a community property regime, or to the final participation clause or accrual clause for spouses married with a contract of property separation.

Deprivation of the surviving spouse’s legally granted usufruct

18 November 2019

Under the new Belgian inheritance law, the surviving spouse inherits a right of usufruct on property donated by the deceased, with reservation of usufruct during marriage, provided that this usufruct was maintained by the latter until death. The unilateral deprivation thereof is only possible in a last will. Eliminating this legally granted usufruct in the initial donation (or any other contract) always requires the surviving spouse’s consent.

The new mandatory book-keeping rules for civil law partnerships

14 November 2019

In a 16 October 2019 advice, the Belgian Accounting Standards Board provides clarification on the nature and scale of mandatory book-keeping rules for civil law partnerships.

The settlement of extraordinary costs

4 November 2019

The settlement of extraordinary costs between parents who are not (or no longer) partners often gives rise to discussions, which may lead to conflicts. With the aim of reducing conflicts, new rules have been introduced since spring 2019.

Constitutional Court rules on the annulment of the tax on securities accounts

18 October 2019

In its judgment of 17 October 2019, the Constitutional Court cancels the tax on securities accounts.

However, in order to take into account the budgetary and administrative consequences, as well as the litigation that could arise from this cancellation judgment, the Constitutional Court decided to maintain the effects of the tax for this year (i.e. annulment without retroactive effect).

Family wealth: More than just a business

15 October 2019

When it comes to wealthy families, emphasis is often placed on the family business as a vehicle for growth, succession and prosperity. In this article, we propose that the family business can be an overly narrow interpretation of family wealth. In that sense, family members may only see a few pathways for how they can contribute to sustainable shareholdership. We extrapolate the meaning of “wealth”, and offer a broader scope for families so they can seize the opportunity for an inclusive, sustainable vision on shareholdership.

Inheritance taxes and split sales

11 October 2019

The federal Tax Administration reviews its position regarding the inheritance tax consequences of a split sale following the 12 June 2018 decision of the Council of State annulling the Flemish Tax Authorities' position on split sales.

The new Flemish Government Agreement (2019-2024)

4 October 2019

In the Government Agreement of 1 October 2019, changes were announced regarding registration duties and inheritance taxes. What will the impact be on private clients?

Dutch foundation administration office (StAK) captured by the Cayman Tax?

27 September 2019

Although several arguments exist to counter the qualification of a Dutch foundation administration office (StAK) as a legal arrangement, certificate holders should consider to report the StAK as a legal arrangement in their personal income tax return.

Belgium’s UBO-register: tolerance policy until 31 December 2019

25 September 2019

The deadline for completing the UBO register (30 September 2019) is in sight. On 23 September 2019 the Treasury announced that there will be no additional postponement, but that it will carry out a tolerance policy until 31 December 2019 and will not impose sanctions during that period.

Belgian UBO-register and listed companies: FAQ amended once more!

17 September 2019

On 16 September 2019 the Treasury published a new addendum to the UBO FAQ on listed companies. The addendum explains how 100% subsidiaries of listed companies should claim the exemption from UBO registration.

Enterprising families rightfully doubt the value of values

12 September 2019

A different approach on family values can unlock insights for families to successfully navigate their private, business and investment spheres. In this article, Greenille by Laga’s Family Dynamics experts outline common pitfalls, and describe concrete solutions to harness family values as a sustainable competitive advantage.

Belgian UBO-register and listed companies

29 August 2019

The deadline for the first submission to the UBO-register is fast approaching (30 September 2019). In an addendum of 26 August 2019 to the UBO FAQ of 22 July 2019, the Treasury clarifies the interpretation of the UBO-registration exemption for listed companies (Dutch | French; under 2.1.4).

Disinheritance of spouse according to new inheritance law

22 August 2019

The new inheritance law has softened the conditions under which the deceased can disinherit the surviving spouse through a will.

Current accounts in divorce matters

12 August 2019

How should a current account be qualified in matrimonial property law in the event of a divorce?

Exit participation clause in the Flanders region (bis)

8 August 2019

In the Flanders Region, a participation clause (in a marital contract of assets separation) has been subject to inheritance since 24 December 2017. In its decision of 10 July 2019, the Constitutional Court upholds the constitutional validity of the inheritance tax consequences of a final participation clause in the Flemish Region.

Belgian UBO register: ‘Foundation administration office’ FAQ published

24 July 2019

The treasury recently published a brand new FAQ (NLFR) regarding UBO register procedures when a Foundation administration office (‘Stichting Administratiekantoor’ | ‘Fondation bureau d'administration’) is involved. The FAQ offers answers to practical questions, details how to determine the ultimate beneficiary owners (UBOs), and addresses privacy concerns. With this FAQ, the treasury finds a balance between the international call for transparency on the one hand and the requests from families to respect certain private aspects of their planning on the other hand. At the same time, the Treasury applies the current Anti Money Laundering Directive, its Belgian legal implementation and respects the (sometimes difficult) differences in the application of these rules to companies, other entities, and companies held through other entities.

The family council

17 July 2019

Enterprising families struggle to keep every member aligned regarding day-to-day affairs, as well as major strategic decisions concerning the private, business and wealth spheres. A family council could be the platform to keep everyone on the same page. However, how do you design, implement and maintain a family council that meets the specific needs of every family member? In this article, Greenille by Laga provides a blueprint for enterprising families and their advisors to make the family council work for them.

The key issues and pitfalls in a family business

8 July 2019

In an interview with VKW Limburg, Alain Laurent Verbeke sheds some light on the key issues and pitfalls encountered in a family business.

Three wills left by the ‘Queen of Soul’

25 June 2019

The legendary gospel, soul and R&B singer Aretha Franklin died on 16 August 2018. Aside from leaving behind a phenomenal musical repertoire, she surprised her heirs by leaving three wills that have caused a stir.

EU Succession Regulation and habitual residence

20 June 2019

The Regulation employs the notion of “habitual residence” of the deceased at time of death as a general connecting factor to determine both jurisdiction and applicable law. On 29 May 2019, the French “Cour de Cassation” ruled on the notion of “habitual residence” in a succession with cross-border implications.

The time has come for enterprising families to embrace the notion of ‘sustainable shareholdership’, especially in times of succession

24 May 2019

Enterprising families too often end up conflicted in times of succession. This can often be explained by the fact that succession is defined too narrowly, focusing solely on ‘who gets to be the new CEO of the family business’. In order to deal with succession in a smooth way, Greenille by Laga offers enterprising families a unique matrix to plot family roles to open up the scope of succession and embrace diversity in talent and ambition.

Belgian Cayman Tax: non-EEA Royal Decree finally published

17 May 2019

The long awaited Royal Decree amending the Royal Decree of 23 August 2015 regarding entities with legal personality outside the EEA has been published in the Belgian Official Journal of 16 May 2019 (Dutch | French).

Tax implications of succession agreements

15 May 2019

The Flemish Tax Authority recently published a position statement on the tax consequences of debts established in inheritance agreements.

Positive case-law for bank transfers mentioning “gift” in the reference

30 April 2019

The mentioning of “gift” in the reference of a donation via bank transfer does not render the gift invalid

Do family firms outperform non-family firms?

25 April 2019

Data collected from more than 1.5 million companies allows us to answer this hotly debated question. The research findings however are more nuanced than one might expect.

What can sushi teach us about family business succession?

8 April 2019

‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’—a documentary that aired in 2011—portrays the life of the 85-year old sushi master Jiro Ono and his two sons. 

Below the surface of the only sushi restaurant in the world awarded with three Michelin stars, one finds more universal challenges that every family business faces. 

In this article we use valuable insights from ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’ to formulate questions for family business owners and advisors towards a more unified perspective on ‘sustainable shareholdership’

Belgium’s UBO register: updated FAQ published

5 April 2019

The long awaited update to the UBO FAQ is available on the Treasury’s website since 2 April 2019 (Dutch | French). In addition to the FAQ, the user manual for legal representatives of non-profit associations and foundations has also been updated.

This update also provides some details on more complex issues, which remained unaddressed in earlier versions of the FAQ. What follows is a selection of the most important clarifications from a private client’s perspective.

New legislation in the Flanders Region for inheritance tax proceedings

28 March 2019

A decree of 21 December 2018 provides that the Flemish Tax Authority will be obliged to give notice within two years after expiration of the delay to file an inheritance tax declaration if it challenges the value of the declared assets. A similar rule was introduced for gifts, or transfers of real estate. The new rule should contribute to more legal certainty. 

UBO-registration deadline postponed until 30 September 2019

14 February 2019

It has been confirmed that the deadline for the registration of UBOs in the Registry has been postponed again, this time until 30 September 2019.  The UBO-registration was initially foreseen for 30 November 2018 but was immediately postponed until 30 March 2019.

Application of the European Regulations on Matrimonial Property Regimes and the Property consequences of Registered Partnerships

12 February 2019

On 29 January 2019, the European Regulations on Matrimonial Property Regimes and the Property consequences of Registered Partnerships became applicable. The Regulations harmonise in the area of jurisdiction, applicable law and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in matters of matrimonial property regime and in matters of the property consequences of registered partnerships.

Cayman Tax amended once more

5 February 2019

On 31 January 2019, the Belgian federal parliament approved a law on fiscal, anti-fraud, financial and miscellaneous provisions (“the Law”).

The Law extends the tax audit period for income tax fraud (illegal tax evasion) from 7 years to 10 years, provided such fraud involved the use of a legal arrangement (as defined under the Cayman Tax Legislation).

Court fee reform as of 1 February 2019

28 January 2019

The court fee rate is no longer linked to the dispute’s value or the type of role on which the case was registered, but to the court level.

Real subrogation: Flemish Tax Authority imposes condition

22 January 2019

Real subrogation has both civil and tax relevance, but one has to document everything properly when replacing one good with another. With this article, Greenille by Laga aims to underline the importance of providing proper documentation when claiming real subrogation, because the tax authorities do pay close attention to this.

Occupation rent in divorce cases

17 January 2019

Unfortunately, divorce cases easily end up in long-winded proceedings. Not only should child arrangements be made, but also property arrangements. The preparation of the latter, i.e. division of matrimonial property and assets, involves a lot of paperwork. With this article, Greenille by Laga aims to underline and clarify the importance of good administration and more specifically what impact this can have in terms of occupation rent.

Belgian tax on securities accounts: action required?

18 December 2018

A few appeals before the Constitutional Court were submitted against the annual tax on securities accounts. In order to safeguard your rights in light of a possible annulment by the Constitutional Court, it may be useful to submit a reasoned request for restitution. The deadline to submit this request is 31 December 2019, but the request should preferably be submitted before the Constitutional Court’s final decision (probably fall of 2019).

More EEA legal arrangements in scope of Belgian Cayman Tax

3 December 2018

On 3 December 2018 a new Royal Decree was published regarding Belgian Cayman Tax. Following this new Royal Decree more EEA legal arrangements are in scope of Belgian Cayman Tax.

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