Exemption from payment of the withholding tax on professional income (follow-up audit) – Cost control by the Federal State and analysis of the exemption for research and development
general assembly on December 13, 2023
In its audit of 2019, the Belgian Court of Audit had examined the extent to which the FPD Finance controlled the exemptions from payment of the withholding tax on professional income and made recommendations to improve their effectiveness and monitoring. Four years after this report was published, the Court of Audit performed a follow-up audit. It found that the twenty initial recommendations have not yet all been implemented but that the quality of the monitoring and reporting by the FPD Finance has generally improved. As for the exemption for research and development (1.33 billion euro in 2021), the problems identified in the initial audit have not been resolved and the relations between the FPD Finance and Belspo, which both manage the exemption, have deteriorated. This antagonism, partly based on a lack of clarity in the legislation, leads to legal disputes and undermines legal certainty and the Federal State’s financial interests.