Belgium: Constitutional Court on the New General Anti-Abuse Rule

In relation to the constitutional legality principle the Constitutional Court confirms that the proof of abuse of a tax law is only possible when the objectives of the tax law can be clearly identified from the text of the law or, if this text is not clear, from the parliamentary documents. It also adds that the tax authorities must take into consideration the general context of the relevant tax provision, the general practices at the time of its entry into application and the existence of potentially relevant specific anti-abuse provisions. The Constitutional Court concludes that the GAAR is not incompatible with the legality principle.

Finally, the GAAR is also compatible with the constitutional principle of non-discrimination since it applies equally to all taxpayers. The Constitutional Court does not deem the possibility that the GAAR would be applied differently in specific cases a result of the provision in general and, thus, does not rule on its concrete application.

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