Circular letter concerning
family enterprises in Flanders

The Flemish Government has published
 the 23th August 2012 a circular letter (1) on
the transfer of family enterprises.

This circular letter interprets the tax treatment of transfers to another generation of family businesses in Flanders, as inserted by section 17 of the Decree of 23 December 2011 (2).

In a previous newsletter, we have already mentioned tax incentives regarding family businesses applicable in the Flemish Region as of 1 January 2012. We have also announced the application form to be filed in order to enjoy the exemption of the donation tax or the reduced rate of inheritance tax in case of a gift or inheritance of a family business.

These measures relate specifically to the exemption in case of donations and reduced rates in case of inheritance of family businesses and family firms in Flanders in order to saveguard their continuity.

They are established to encourage business leaders to organize their succession while still alive, which will enhance the transfer of knowledge and experience to the next generation.

It is clear that this is even more important in these times of economic crisis.

The following items were dealt with by the circular letter :

The conditions for obtaining an exemption or reduced rates;

The treatment of holding structures;

The treatment of reorganizations within the period of 3 years before or after the gift or death;

The conditions for the conservation of the exemption or reduced rates;

The treatment of a donation subject to a condition precedent;

The fact that only donation by authentic deed is covered by the new regulations;

The suspect period of donation which was extended from 3 to 7 years.

You can read the present circular letter by clicking here.

(1)    Circular FB/2012/1 of July 20, 2012 - Interpretation of regulations concerning transfers of family businesses and family firms as inserted by section 17 of the Decree of 23 December 2011, B.G. 23 August 2012.
(2)    Article 140a a.s. Vl.W.Reg. and 60/1 a.s. Vl.W.Succ. inserted by Article 73 till Article 84 of Decree 2011 of 23 december 2011 containing various measures accompanying the 2012 budget, B.G. 30 December 2011.

31 August 2012

Leo Peeters - leo.peeters@peeters-law.be

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