The European Commission has officially asked Belgium to amend the rules which it applies for the annual taxation of foreign collective investment undertakings (CIUs). Belgian legislation grants a reduced rate of the annual tax only to CIUs under Belgian law. This results in less favourable treatment for similar CIUs governed by the law of other EU Member States or EEA countries.
The Commission considers that the Belgian tax rules go against the freedom of establishment and the free movement of capital provided for by the European Union Treaties (Articles 56 and 63 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). Consequently, Belgium has been invited to amend its legislation.
The CIUs concerned are CIUs governed by foreign law of which one or more sections or classes of securities are collected exclusively from institutional or professional investors acting on their own behalf and whose securities may be purchased only by these investors.
The Commission's request takes the form of a reasoned opinion. If Belgium fails to comply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice.