Deloitte’s European Tax Survey shows that BEPS is very high on the agenda of Belgian tax directors
In order to understand the impact of economic, financial and regulatory trends on the tax department of today, as viewed by tax professionals across Europe, Deloitte has undertaken its third annual European Tax Survey.
The 2015 Deloitte European Tax Survey was conducted in Autumn 2015, and closed just before the release of the OECD/G20's final Base Erosion & Profit Shifting (BEPS) package (Deloitte commentary & analysis | OECD website). International tax reform is gathering pace, leaving tax professionals under increasing pressure to understand and comply with additional new requirements, including the need to report more information on their activities and tax profile by country.
In order to help evaluate the impact of these developments and other trends, and the potential effect on the tax department of today, as viewed by tax professionals across Europe, Deloitte has undertaken its third annual European Tax Survey, which received more than 800 responses.
The most striking findings to emerge from the survey are as follows:
- Slightly more than half of the respondents believe that the OECD action plan in relation to ‘Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ (BEPS) is ‘important’ to ‘very important’ for their company (53%). In Belgium, that percentage rises to 85% and has doubled compared with last year.
- The number of audits conducted by the Belgian tax authorities is far higher than the European average (65%). Over the past three years, virtually all of the multinationals surveyed in Belgium (97%) have had a tax audit.
- More than half of the directors respondents in Europe (54%) believe that there is a high degree of tax uncertainty in their country. In Belgium, that percentage rises to 76%, meaning that our country is perceived as one of the countries where there is no tax stability.
- The main causes of uncertainty in Belgium and other European countries are the frequent changes to legislation and a lack of clarity and unambiguity in the views taken by the tax authorities.
- 62% of the respondents in Belgium ask for a simplification of the tax system and more certainty regarding the future of the tax system in order to increase our country’s competitiveness. They also believe that a Belgium’s competitiveness would benefit from a reduction of the employment and corporate tax rate.