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B. NATIONAL ENTERPRISES

For the purpose of this study, a national enterprise is one whose domicile, in the case of an individual, or head office or principal establishment, in the case of a company or partnership, is in Belgium.

Such enterprise is taxable in Belgium, not only on all profits earned in the country, but on those earned abroad; the latter, however, are taxed at reduced rates (Article 34, paragraph 1, item 4, and article 35, paragraph 7, of co-ordinated laws) and are exempt from additional tax by provinces and communes.

Tax is assessed on the total results of the enterprise (Belgian and foreign offices), which means that profits and losses are balanced against each other, so that, if the total operations result in a deficit, no tax is payable.

To ensure the execution of these legal provisions, national enterprises have to attach to their annual declaration, not only the general accounts, but a copy of the separate balance-sheet and profit-and-loss account of the foreign establishments (Article 54, paragraph 1 (3), of the laws above-mentioned). These separate accounts include all income, of any kind whatever, derived from foreign sources.

TAXATION OF CERTAIN KINDS OF INCOME

(a) DIVIDENDS

The tax on income from personal property is levied at the rate of 6 per cent1 on foreign dividends received by the Belgian company; the tax is deducted at the source by whoever pays this income in Belgium. If it is paid directly abroad, it must be mentioned in the annual return made by the enterprise to the competent Controller of Taxes, who then collects tax at 6 per cent direct from the company.

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(b) INTEREST

Interest (on bonds, debts, deposits, loans, etc.) from a foreign source is also liable to tax on income from personal property at 6 per cent, according to the method mentioned under (a).

(c) to (h) INCOME OTHER THAN DIVIDENDS AND INTEREST

See what has been said above (pages 69 et seq.) in connection with foreign enterprises, noting, however, that the income in question is taxable at reduced rates if earned and taxed abroad.

If the national enterprise is directed by an individual, professional tax alone is due, a reduced rate being applied to that part of the tax corresponding to profits earned and taxed abroad.

In the case of partnerships, the legal entity is liable to professional tax on profits placed to reserve, income of foreign origin being taxed at a lower rate than income of Belgian origin. Active partners are liable to professional tax on the sums distributed to them, including any interest on capital they have invested in the partnership. A reduction of rate is allowed in respect of parts of these sums which represent profits taxed and earned abroad. Sleeping partners (bailleurs de fonds or commanditaires) pay tax on income from personal property, subject to the same reduction of rate on foreign income.

The same principle (reduction of rate) applies to profits placed to reserve by share companies (sociétés anonymes) and limited partnerships with share capital (sociétés en commandite par actions); in the case of distributed profits (dividends), personal tax is imposed at a reduced rate on that proportion of income from shares corresponding to profits earned and taxed abroad.

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