Monday, 1 November 2010

Belgian Corporate Tax - Just Make It Up!

I have in front of me a fascinating little booklet from the Belgian Federal Finance Office. It is all about a new and innovative tax initiative from the Belgian authorities, and it might give us an insight into why the Belgian economy is so totally screwed up.

I quote from page 4:

"... a new, innovative and powerful measure in international tax law enabling all companies subject to Belgian corporate tax to deduct from their taxable income a fictitious interest..."

The morning when I discovered this little gem was just perfect, because I later found myself seated at lunch next to a really nice chap who turned out be a big wheel in the Finance Office. I expressed my delight at the institutionalisation of the concept of entering fictitious figures on tax returns (although I myself am subject only to fixed local taxes, and am not a Belgian taxpayer myself, I hasten to add!)

It transpires, as with so many things in Belgium, that this does not actually mean what it says. It means something else a bit different, but we couldn't really get to the bottom of it.

I quite like the Belgian flag - nice bold colours - but what it is really missing is an image of Kafka in the centre!

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