Projects on behalf of governments / governmental bodies

The Antwerp Tax Academy also conducts research in commission and on behalf of several governments and governmental bodies. Below, you can find an overview of several of these projects.

Legal options to make Flemish taxation more neutral regarding forms of cohabitation

Social reality has shown a shift in cohabitation forms. Affective cohabitation forms such as marriage or the 'legal cohabitation' has been complemented by alternative, more practically induced forms of cohabitation, such as cohousing.

ATA has first identified the tax issues to which the different forms of cohabitation can lead and has looked for legal options to make the existing Flemish tax legislation more cohabitation form neutral. A distinction has been made between affective and pragmatic forms of cohabitation, since both categories meet different problems and therefore require different remedies.

Personal income taxation, as well as inheritance and registration taxes are investigated. Where issues arise, solutions are sought, but always taking into consideration the regional competences. It has been safeguarded that none of the proposals (directly) resort negative budgetary effects.

More information and the research report can be found here (Dutch).

You can also find the report here.

Insurance gift

In its opinion nr. 15133 of 12 october and 30 november 2015 the Flemish Tax Services have taken the position that even after an insurance gift, there is still talk of a clause in behalf of a third party, making inheritance taxes still collectable at the time of the original insured person's death.

Some serious arguments can be brought up against this position. These arguments are being analyzed in this report, and some possible solutions are suggested.

This research has been conducted on behalf of the Flemish 'Steunpunt Fiscaliteit en Begroting 2012-2015', by prof. dr. Bruno Peeters, prof. dr. Nicole Plets and Ms. Katleen de Troeyer.

You can find the research report here.

Proposals to reform Flemish inheritance taxation

On behalf of the "steunpunt fiscaliteit en begroting" of the Flemish government, the Antwerp Tax Academy has conducted research into possible proposals to reform the Flemish inheritance taxation.

The first part of this research paper focuses on the concept of 'partner' in matters of inheritance taxation. Sociological developments like changes in cohabitation forms and legislative initiatives at different levels of government, lead to a very different interpretation of this concept. The difference between a partner relationship and other affective cohabitation forms, becomes more difficult to make. In this research paper, we describe several parameters that could be useful within the Flemish inheritance taxation to distinguish the affective relationship from other forms of cohabitation.

Next, the current tax-exemption for the surviving partner concerning his/her own dwelling, is thoroughly investigated. 

Finally, in the third part, we investigate the possibility of replacing the current splitting of the inheritance in a movable and immovable part, with a base-exemption.

You can find the research project here (Dutch).

This research has been conducted by prof. dr. Bruno Peeters, prof. dr. Nicole Plets and Kathleen de Troeyer.

Federal public service Finance: reform of the personal income tax code

On 11 May 2013 the Minister of Finance Koen Geens, called together a working group with the purpose of formulating ideas for the reformation of the Belgian tax system.

The working group investigating the reformation of the personal income tax code was put under the presidency of prof. dr. Bruno Peeters. Its first assignment was to reach an agreement on general points of departure for such reform, within the framework of the Sixth State reform of 2014.

Further, the federal public service Finance requested from Bruno Peeters and Gerlinde Verbist to formulate more concrete ideas in line with these general points of departure, with variants, for such reformation.

These more concrete ideas concern both the tax base and the structure and calculation of the personal income tax.

Furthermore, simulations were made to calculate the budgetary consequences and redistributionary effects of the several ideas.

This research was conducted by prof. dr. Bruno Peeters, dr. Gerlinde Verbist, Leen Meeusen en Rik Smet.

You can find the research report here (Dutch).

Tax stimuli for household-integrated elderly care

On behalf of the "steunpunt fiscaliteit en begroting" of the Flemish government, the Antwerp Tax Academy has conducted research into possible tax stimuli in the personal income taxes to promote the intrahousehold care of elderly people. The goal of this project was to assess whether and if so, to what extent, the Flemish government - taking into account the division of powers as they stand since the Sixth State reform - can facilitate the intra-household care of elderly people within the personal income taxation.

This research has been conducted by prof. dr. Bruno Peeters, prof. dr. Nicole Plets and Rik Smet.

You can find the research report here (Dutch).