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2. TAXABLE INCOME

The following is deemed to be taxable income:

(a) Profits of any Industrial, Commercial or Agricultural Enterprise, including Profits from the Individual Work of Members of Commercial or Non-commercial Companies having Legal Entity. — The profits of industrial, commercial or agricultural enterprises are those resulting from any operations conducted by or through their establishments.

For purposes of professional tax, the law expressly considers as profits:

Nevertheless, tax is only imposed upon the half of profits actually employed, within the country and within twelve months of the close of the trading year, on the building of workmen’s houses or installations on behalf of the staff of the enterprise.

Taxable income further includes personal expenditure, such as the rent of premises used for living purposes, the upkeep of the taxpayer’s household, cost of education and any other expenses not necessitated by the exercise of the profession or occupation.

The income enumerated above is taxable on its net amount — that is, on the gross amount less only such professional expenses as have been incurred, during the fiscal period, for the purpose of acquiring and maintaining that income.

The following, inter alia, are regarded as professional charges:

Depreciation allowances are based upon investment value or cost price.

Nevertheless, as regards business premises and industrial, commercial or agricultural plant acquired or constituted before July 1st, 1926, depreciation allowances may be based upon a cost price re-assessed under conditions and within limits to be fixed by Royal Decree; this re-assessment must be entered in the closed accounts or balance-sheets of 1931 at the latest.1

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(b) Miscellaneous Remunerations. — The co-ordinated laws of Belgium concerning income-taxes also subject the following miscellaneous remunerations to professional tax:

Advantages in kind are added to remunerations or wages; they are computed at their actual value or are re-assessed at a flat-rate, according to circumstances.

From these remunerations it is permissible to deduct sums withheld as contributions to pensions or insurance funds, and professional expenses. In the absence of evidence — and generally there is none — these charges are fixed at one-quarter if the emoluments are less than 15,000 francs and at one-fifth if they exceed that amount (with a minimum of 3,500 francs). This fixed sum, which includes the taxes deductible as professional expense, may not exceed the amount of such taxes by more than 30,000 francs.

Taxable emoluments do not include:

(c) Profits from the Liberal Professions, etc. — Lastly, the Belgian fiscal regulations subject to professional tax the profits of any kind whatever from the liberal professions, functions and offices and any lucrative employment.

These profits consist of the difference between total receipts and expenses attaching to the exercise of the calling.

Failing proof to the contrary, these expenses are fixed at one-fifth of the said receipts, but this amount may not exceed by more than 30,000 francs the taxes deductible as professional expenses.

Persons engaged in the liberal professions or fulfilling functions or offices are required, under penalty of a fine of 500 francs for each infringement, to furnish a signed and dated receipt of their fees, commissions or other emoluments.

This receipt is taken from a book with counterfoils, the model for which is prescribed by the Minister of Finance. The latter may demand that entry be made in the counterfoils and leaves of this book only of the total amount of fees, commissions or emoluments and the name of the person from whom they were due.

Any person making a payment of this kind without demanding the receipt is liable to the fine jointly with the person concerned.

The issue of a receipt is not compulsory for professional persons if they keep a classified daily record of their professional receipts and expenses. Any omission to do this makes them liable to the fine mentioned above.

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