European Commission proposes simplified VAT regime

European Commission proposes simplified VAT regime

The European Commission on Thursday announced a series of proposals aimed at giving member States greater flexibility in setting their value-added tax (VAT) rates, with certain conditions, and making life easier for small and medium sized businesses. Rather than a system based on exceptions, the Commission wishes to move on to a system of general rules applicable throughout the European Union (EU). “Today we are taking another step towards creating a single VAT area for Europe, with simpler rules for our Member States and companies,” said Pierre Moscovici, Commissioner for…

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Prime Minister’s Office confirms energy pact for 2018

Prime Minister’s Office confirms energy pact for 2018

“There will be no postponing of arbitration in 2019,” the Office of Prime Minister Charles Michel said on Tuesday after the Standaard newspaper reported that the decision on phasing out Belgium’s nuclear plants could be postponed until after elections in 2019, as New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) leader Bart De Weever would like it to be. “The energy pact is, in fact, scheduled for 2018,” the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) said. “The discussions continue but we do not negotiate through the press. “A postponement would lead to legal insecurity…

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ECB bank-crisis management needs improvement, EU auditors find

ECB bank-crisis management needs improvement, EU auditors find

European Central Bank should upgrade procedures handling bank crises by improving response to most urgent cases and streamline coordination with eurozone bank-failure authority, says European Court of Auditors. “The ECB’s operational framework for crisis management has some flaws, and there are signs of inefficient implementation,” the ECA said in a report published on Tuesday. The EU auditors made a series of recommendations with target dates for implementation stretching into next year. The ECB has accepted most of the recommendations, the auditors said. The ECA report suggests that the ECB “refused…

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Bundesbank: China’s yuan to be included in currency reserves

Bundesbank: China’s yuan to be included in currency reserves

Germany’s central bank decides to include Chinese yuan in its own reserves in further boost to international status of currency Speaking at an event in Hong Kong on Monday, Bundesbank board member Andreas Dombret said the decision was taken last year following an investment of €500 million by the European Central Bank (ECB), of which the German authority is a part. He declined to comment on the amount that would be allocated. “The renminbi is used increasingly as part of central banks’ foreign-exchange reserves – for example, the ECB included…

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UK risks losing up to 500,000 jobs if no deal with EU on Brexit

UK risks losing up to 500,000 jobs if no deal with EU on Brexit

The United Kingdom could lose close to 500,000 jobs by 2030 if it leaves the European Union (EU) without an agreement on the modalities of the withdrawal, according to a study commissioned by London Mayor Sadiq Khan and released on Thursday. The pro-Europe mayor, who belongs to the Labour Party, warned in a press release that if the United Kingdom were to leave the EU in March 2019 without a deal on the single market, customs union or transitional arrangements, that could cause the loss of up to 482,000 jobs….

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Belgians regulate €590 million in “black money” in 2017

Belgians regulate €590 million in “black money” in 2017

In December 2017, the service responsible for correcting tax irregularities has received further demands from reformed fraudsters, than during all of 2016. This is reported on Tuesday in both De Tijd and L’Echo. This is on the basis of figures from the Finance Minister, Johan Van Overtveldt (New Flemish Alliance). This end-of-year rush has led to a record in the sphere, forced by the increase on January 1st, 2018, of the applicable rate for correcting irregularities of prescribed capital (from 37 to 38%) and that of the fine for non-prescribed…

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Bitcoin, Etherium and SALT are the most popular cryptos among the Belgian traders

Bitcoin, Etherium and SALT are the most popular cryptos among the Belgian traders

We’ve made a quick and dirty preliminary poll among the online crypto traders in Belgium. We’ve tried to establish the most popular digital trading and investment assets in Belgium. We’ve polled 248 anonymous traders and holders. While highest place of the Bitcoin and the second one of Ethereum were easely predicted the third one – SALT – has been kind of surprise. More common assets like Ripple or Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash are highly popular among traders outside of Belgium. SALT and somewhat around 20 others so-called “altcoins” from the top-100…

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Knee replacements cost Social Security a lot of money and they should be limited, according to an N-VA MP

Knee replacements cost Social Security a lot of money and they should be limited, according to an N-VA MP

Knee replacements cost Social Security a lot of money. Their use in people aged 95 and over should be limited and they should not be given to those with Dementia at all, says Federal N-VA MP Yoleen Van Camp. According to figures provided by Health Minister Maggie De Block (Open Vld), around 20,000 Belgians have knee replacements every year. Mrs Van Camp says this costs 200 million euros a year. She is now calling for patients over 95 not to be given this operation. She also thinks those in a…

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High bank savings in Belgium despite low interest rates

High bank savings in Belgium despite low interest rates

Belgians continued to save their money during 2017 despite the current low interest rates according to an overview of different banking institutions. In search of better returns, however, bank customers are also turning towards investment products. At BNP Paribas Fortis, the market leader, total assets in saving accounts amounted to 58.45 billion euros at the end of 2017, a slight decrease compared to 2016. This, according to the bank, can be explained by the conversion last year to regulated saving accounts for individuals with non-regulated accounts. At KBC, savings amounted…

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Almost €26 million raised for performing arts through tax shelter mechanism

Almost €26 million raised for performing arts through tax shelter mechanism

L’Echo is reporting on Tuesday that, according to FPS Finance, nearly €26 million euros have already been raised for performing arts through the tax shelter mechanism. This tax incentive system was extended to performing arts last February. The daily publication says it has been hughly successful. L’Echo has learned from the FPS Finance that 1,061 such tax framework agreements have been notified to the Tax Shelter unit. The total funds raised in 2017 for performing arts in Belgium reached €25.96 million (the figure was current on December 22nd). Three quarters…

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