The platform for Belgium's international community

Search form

menu menu

Trouble with the tax office

Question

Hi all,

I'm a freelancer and moved apartment earlier this year. I informed my accountant, the guichet d'entreprise (which charged me €70 to change my address!) and my mutuelle.

In June, it seems the tax office sent a bill to my old address. I never received this but have now received a registered letter (to my new address!) telling me I am being charged additional penalties.

Much worse than that, they have written to all of my clients informing them that I am in arrears. This could destroy my business reputation.

My French isn't great so I'm not even 100% sure what the 20 pages of correspondence from the Service Public Federal Finances means. The title of the letter is 'Denonciation de Saisie - Arret - Execution'.

Has anyone any experience of this? I've tried to call the tax office but the phone just rang out. And, of course, the office is only open in the morning before noon so I'll have to wait until tomorrow to try again.

In the meantime, interest penalties continue to mount and my business is being undermined. I'm upset about it because I want to pay my taxes, I just need to know how much to pay and where to transfer the money. I can't believe they were so quick to act on this without giving me any warning.

To be honest, most independent consultants I know who live here base their business in the UK and pay taxes there. I'm trying to go by the book and pay Belgium's high taxes but it ain't easy!

me in belgium

actually it is a lot more serious than that.  In Belgium your accounts are closely monitored during the first 3 years of activity to try to identify unviable businesses.  The document you have recieved is to indicate that according to official accounts your business is in serious financial difficulties.  They will have based this conclusion on figures over the last 6 months.  You will be called up to the tribunal de commerce to be given advice on what to do and to discuss whether or not you can turn your business around.  This is done to try to cut down on the number of bankrupcies in Belgium and the loss of income not only to the State but to all your creditors.  Be careful if you indépendant en nom propre so not a company all your assets can be taken.   

The best thing you can do is contact the Tribunal du Commerce asap.  if you can prove that your business is viable there is no reason to worry.

Oct 5, 2011 12:49