Belgium claims 72 million euros in avoided taxes from Randstad
The Belgian Special Tax Inspectorate (BBI) is targeting the Belgian companies of the Dutch employment agency Randstad. According to the BBI, an artificial construction was set up to channel the profits of Randstad's Belgian companies to Switzerland, De Tijd writes.
Thanks to a favourable deal with the Swiss tax authorities, Randstad appears to pay hardly any tax on the money that flows from Belgium to Switzerland. The BBI has already filed tax claims totalling 72.68 million euros against several Randstad companies involved in the construction.
The Belgian Randstad companies took out loans from Randstad's Swiss branch and paid the interest with income earned in Belgium. Randstad pays only 1.87 per cent tax on the interest earned in Switzerland. In Belgium, the Randstad companies do not pay tax on these amounts because they are already taxed in Switzerland.
The BBI accuses Randstad of tax abuse. The Belgian companies do not need these loans from Switzerland and the construction was mainly set up to avoid paying taxes here, it says.
The Dutch-speaking court of first instance in Brussels ruled in favour of BBI earlier this year. Randstad will appeal the rulings and has asked for consultations between the Swiss and Belgian tax authorities. The Belgian Randstad companies have already provisionally paid a large part of the more than 72 million euros in disputed tax assessments.
© BELGA PHOTO BENOIT DOPPAGNE