Belgium – Tax authorities defer DAC6 reporting deadlines due to COVID-19

By Brent Springael

06-2020

The DAC6 reporting would normally have kicked in as of 1 July 2020 with, amongst others, a reporting by 31 August 2020 of the arrangements advised on or implemented in the transition period between 25 June 2018 and 30 June 2020 (the so-called backfill). However, the Covid-19 pandemic posed a challenge to meet those deadlines, not the least for Member States themselves to implement a reporting platform.

In light of these challenges, the European Commission had issued a proposal for a new Council Directive on 8 May 2020 to defer certain deadlines for filing and exchanging information on cross-border arrangements.

According to several sources, including the Belgian tax authorities, the draft Directive of 28 May 2020 to defer the reporting deadlines has gone slightly beyond the Commission's proposal.

On 3 June 2020, with reference to this political agreement at EU level to allow member states to grant an optional deferral, the Belgian tax administration formally announced an administrative tolerance rule (NL / FR) for deferred deadlines in line with the current draft Directive:

- Backfill reporting of historical cross-border arrangements (25 June 2018 - 30 June 2020): 28 February 2021 (instead of 31 August 2020);

- Recurring reporting: within 30 days, BUT only as of 1 January 2021 (including the "COVID-19" arrangements from 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2020);

- First periodic report for marketable arrangements: at the latest by 30 April 2021.

In line with the Commission's proposal, the draft amending directive says the deadline deferral could be extended another three months by a unanimous council vote on a commission proposal, which should be held one month before the relevant reporting deadlines expire.

At date of publication, only Luxembourg and the UK have stated their intention to grant extensions for reporting, or to not impose penalties on late filing due to the Covid-19 pandemic.