Belgium: Overview of APA system

Advance pricing agreement (APA) system in Belgium

Advance pricing agreement (APA) system in Belgium

The KPMG member firm in Belgium prepared an August 2023 report providing an overview of the advance pricing agreement (APA) system in Belgium. 

As noted in the report:

  • In Belgium, APAs can be unilateral, bilateral, or multilateral depending on the counterparties and national tax authorities involved.
  • There is no application fee charged in Belgium to apply for a ruling or APA, and APAs are available to any taxpayers doing business in the country.
  • Most unilateral tax rulings in Belgium are valid for a period of five years. However, in cases where the object of the application justifies it (such as a longer depreciation period), the APA could be valid for a longer period of time. However, APAs relating to the innovation income deduction, as well as transfer pricing rulings for which a benchmark is performed, only apply for a period of three years.
  • However, recent trends show that the Belgian tax authorities do not always refrain from starting an investigation/audit even if a taxpayer may have concluded an APA. In addition, the Belgian ruling commission have included a number of reservations/exclusions in certain ruling decisions, which may attract the attention of local tax inspectors. This has caused a growing sentiment of doubt among multinational groups operating in Belgium on the effectiveness of APAs, particularly unilateral APAs. 



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