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FSI Tax Alerts

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Clarification of Belgian VAT regime for underwriting agents

26 September 2017

On 20 September 2017, the Belgian VAT authorities published a Circular Letter clarifying the current scope of exemption for insurance services with respect to underwriting agents. It also discusses conditions under which claims handling services performed by underwriting agents can benefit from the exemption in article 44 §3 4° Belgian VAT Code (Circular Letter 2017/C/60 dd. 20 September 2017; Dutch | French).

VAT cases in CJEU: Cost Sharing Groups red carded in banking and insurance sector

22 September 2017

The financial services industry held its breath on 21 September 2017, when the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered its judgments in the VAT cases involving DNB Banka (C-326/15), Aviva (C-605/15), and EC vs. Germany (C-616/15). The Court ruled that the VAT exemption for cost sharing groups cannot apply in the banking and insurance sector.  With this judgment, the Court goes against accepted practice in many Member States, including Belgium. Importantly, the Court clearly prohibits Member States from applying the judgment retrospectively.

Belgian VAT exemption for insurance claims handling narrowed as from 2018

13 June 2017

On 12 June 2017, the Belgian VAT administration published a circular letter narrowing the current scope of the exemption for insurance claims handling.

Ruling Commission’s Board temporarily not operational

5 May 2017

As covered by the press on the morning of 5 May 2017, the Ruling Commission’s Board is not operational until further notice.

This is due to a decision by the Council of State dd. 28 April 2017 annulling the appointment of the three French-speaking Board members, Matthieu Bataille, Serge Riga and Véronique Tai. This decision was triggered by an appeal introduced by José Vilain, a former member of the Board. This decision does not affect the appointment of the 3 Dutch-speaking Board members, Steven Vanden Berghe, Guy Giroulle and Luc Saliën.

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