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Tax and finance professionals are asking for a shift away from taxing pay towards taxing consumption and environmental matters

Brussels, 9 February 2015 – Deloitte’s Tax & Legal team has announced the results of the poll of 150 tax and finance professionals carried out today during their annual Tax & Legal Forum in Brussels. The participants came mainly from multinational groups, large Belgian companies or SMEs. Today’s questionnaire tested their reactions in the current tax and investment climate. In previous years, it was clearly apparent that the experts found that work-related charges were too high. This year, in their answers relating to the tax shift, it has appeared that most tax experts want a shift towards a tax on consumption and on environmental matters.

The main conclusions were:

  • In previous years, the tax and financial experts thought unanimously that a reduction of work-related charges should be the government’s number one priority. Today, the poll has related to other measures which, in addition to the reduction of work-related charges, are crucial for maintaining Belgium's attraction for foreign investors. 38% of the people polled found that a reduction of the nominal rate of corporation tax (34%) was a priority. In second place, a third of the people polled chose tax stability in ordered to strengthen Belgium’s competitive position.
  • The largest segment of the people polled (27%) advocated a shift from work-related tax charges towards an increase of green taxes. In second place (23%), the people polled chose an increase of the rate of VAT or an increase of the VAT tax base. Other alternatives which received fewer votes included an increase of the property taxes (on the basis of actual incomes/ real rental value), an effective capital gains tax on stocks and shares and a wealth tax.  A minute minority asked for an increase of investment-income tax (4%).
  • Four out of five of the people polled declared that during the last two years they were the subject of a tax inspection or received a request for information. This result confirms the upsurge of tax inspections in Belgium.
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