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European Commission - Press release

Taxation: European Commission requests Belgium to amend property transfer tax in the Brussels Capital Region

Brussels, 27 February 2012 – The European Commission has officially asked Belgium to amend its legislation on the property transfer tax in the Brussels Capital Region. The legislation at stake allows for a tax base reduction of the property transfer tax when buying a primary residence in the Brussels Capital Region on the condition of staying resident in the Region during the next 5 years.

The Commission considers that this legislation is incompatible with the Treaties as it discourages the free movement of persons, workers and self-employed persons which is guaranteed by EU rules (Articles 21, 45, 49 TFEU and 28 and 31 EEA). Taxpayers who settle in newly bought property in the Brussels Capital Region are dissuaded from leaving it for the next 5 years as otherwise they would lose the above mentioned tax advantage and would have to retroactively pay the tax to the Region.

The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion (the second stage of an infringement procedure). If the rules are not brought into compliance within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the Court of Justice of the European Union.

Background

For the press releases issued on infringement proceedings in the area of taxation or customs see:

http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/common/infringements/infringement_cases/index_en.htm

For more information on EU infringement procedures, see MEMO/12/134

For the most up-to-date general information on the infringement proceedings initiated against Member States, see:

http://ec.europa.eu/eu_law/infringements/infringements_en.htm

Contacts :

Emer Traynor (+32 2 292 15 48)

Natasja Bohez Rubiano (+32 2 296 64 70)


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