Ghelamco made a deal with the taxman at one tenth of the price
Real estate developer Ghelamco has reached an agreement of some 10 million euros with the Belgian tax authorities. If the court approves the deal, Ghelamco will pay less than a tenth of what the taxman first claimed.
At the end of 2016, Ghelamco received a dividend of 430 million euros from its Cypriot subsidiary Granbero Holding, which also manages its Polish projects. The group paid no taxes on this in Belgium. According to Ghelamco, taxes on the dividends were indeed paid in Cyprus, a European member state with a tax-friendly regime. But the Belgian tax authorities did not agree and claimed 153 million euros. According to the tax authorities, the company had wrongly applied the deduction for "definitively taxed income" to the amount of 430 million euros.
Under Granbero Holdings, Ghelamco manages its Polish projects, such as the Spire, a 220-meter office tower. Ghelamco has been able to sell many of its Polish projects at a handsome profit in recent years.
On Monday, the Court of First Instance of West Flanders will rule on one of the tax disputes between Ghelamco Group and the Special Tax Inspectorate (BBI) of Ghent. But outside the courtroom, Ghelamco negotiated the claim with the tax inspectorate and that led to an agreement, De Tijd learned. Of the original claim of 153 million euros, 9.2 million would remain in the agreement reached with the tax authorities, to be increased by late payment interest. The court in Bruges is expected to give its blessing on Monday. The lawyers of Ghelamco and the tax authorities will not comment.
© BELGA / JASPER JACOBS - Princess Astrid of Belgium, Ghelamco CEO Paul Gheysens and Ghelamco UK Manager Marie-Julie Gheysens pictured during a visit to the Ghelamco offices with panel discussion 'Ghelamco X The Future Laboratory Sustainability Futures', on day one of the economic trade mission to the United Kingdom, in London, Monday 09 May 2022.