Ruling Office - Handling of decisions related to advance tax rulings and permanent tax adjustments

general assembly on February 13, 2013

In its report to the federal Parliament, the Court of Audit has examined the operation of the Ruling Office. The Ruling Office is an autonomous office that has been set up within the Finance FPS to process the applications for rulings and tax adjustments. The Court considers that the Ruling Office is working correctly, although the procedures for handling ruling requests as well as the relationships with the other Belgian tax services could be improved. The “prefiling”, i.e. the optional informal stage preceding the ruling application, deserves to be refocused and limited. Moreover, apart from the Ruling Office, the taxpayer can also have recourse to the traditional authorities to get preliminary fiscal agreements or lodge spontaneous declarations aimed at regularizing some incomes. The Court of Audit recommends that the circumstances under which the traditional authorities are allowed to intervene in these matters be clearly delineated.