Full text: Taxation of foundations in Europe

The distribution of assets to the donors results in no taxes levied; it is merely a form of own-
ership transfer subject to a general fee of EUR 25. If the foundation is subject to corporate 
tax, a tax of 10% will be levied on reserves paid out to donors upon dissolution. 
3.3. International Context 
The Belgian International Private Law is based on the company seat theory, which means 
that the legal capacity of a foundation is judged in accordance with the law of the country in 
which the registered office is located. In determining which domestic law is applicable, not 
the registered seat set out in the statutes is relevant, but the place where the business activ-
ity is actually performed. A foundation relocated from abroad to Belgium is strictly subject to 
Belgian law. 
In Belgium, abroad-based foundations are subject to the same reporting regulations and su-
pervision as foundations established under Belgian law20. Tax advantages are listed in Arti-
cle 104, which apply under the following conditions: 
The beneficiary must have legal capacity under Belgian law. 
The foundation may not be aimed at profit-making (neither for the benefit of the founder nor 
for that of its members). 
The foundation must engage in special activities: scientific, cultural, environmental activities 
or activities for the benefit of developing countries, disabled, elderly or needy people or vic-
tims of natural disasters. 
The general management costs or administrative costs may not exceed 20% of the total 
foundation resources. Public approval is granted for 3 years at a time. 
3.4. Conclusion 
Generally, it can be said that the private foundation in Belgium is not yet developed very far. 
The statutory regulations in the Association and Foundation Act are not always precise and 
clear.21 (For Kocks&Partners2006, it was not possible to comprehensively evaluate the actual 
importance of private foundations). 
? Given to the strict reporting and supervisory regulations and the right of third parties to 
inspect the files of foundations, Belgian foundation law does not offer the same global 
conditions as Liechtenstein. Private foundations primarily serve the certification of securi-
20 Cf. ibid, p. 694. 
21 Cf. Theisinger (2006), p. 19.

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