Full text: Taxation of foundations in Europe

18 ? In the event of a transferral of assets to a foundation, a creditor may engage in oblique or indirect action (action oblique / indirekte vordering), which allows a creditor to exert, in the name of its debtor, the rights of the debtor if the debtor refuses to exert them. ? In general no major tax advantages for establishing a foundation exist. ? While earnings realised by public foundations are tax-exempt, capital income and gains from the disposal of companies or shareholdings are subject to taxation. ? Individual donors may deduct their contributions up to a maximum of 10% of their total net income or, in absolute terms, up to a maximum of EUR 250,000. Corporate donors may deduct a maximum of 5% of their gross income but may not exceed the maximum limit of EUR 500,000. ? Limitations and requirements/preconditions According to applicable law, the government must supervise all public utility foundations with assets exceeding EUR 10,000. A draft law suggests that this amount be increased to EUR 100,000. The government supervision includes: ? Approval of statutes ? Annual financial statements and budgets must be published (in the Belgian State Gazette) ? Endowments exceeding EUR 10,000 are subject to approval by the government ? The government has the right to determine whether a foundation still fulfils its purpose ? The Belgian Ministries of Finance and Justice control and/or supervise the foundations and may apply sanctions (including their liquidation). In Belgium, there is a strong protection of creditors and heirs in connection with the transfer of the donor’s assets to a foundation. There are no mixed foundations (foundations pursuing a purpose other than a public utility purpose to an extent of more than 50%).

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