To The Point
FAQ: You ask, we answer | February 2023
You ask, we answer Based on five specific questions, we are bringing the same number of different themes to your attention. Not randomly, but based on the questions that we have recently received from our clients. Many Belgians have a second residence or property that they rent out as an investment. At present, the tax treatment of this property is quite advantageous. But we expect the imminent tax reform to change that. The blueprint that was put [...]
Diverse + inclusive + innovative = resistant
Diverse + inclusive + innovative = resistant Werner Lapage, Partner BDO Belgium and Chairman of the Editorial Board Are we plunging into a recession? Not yet if we stick to the narrow definition of such an economic downturn - negative GDP growth for two or more consecutive quarters. But on the other hand, when we look at all those economic indicators lighting up red: inflation fever, the extra cost for resources over and above wage indexation, the [...]
Risk management: to a broader and higher level
“Risk management: to a broader and higher level” Chapelle Consulting becomes BDO Chapelle The internationally acclaimed Chapelle Consulting, the company built around the Belgian Ariane Chapelle, an authority on risk management, is joining forces with BDO Belgium, and vice versa. The aim? To prepare companies even better for today’s and tomorrow’s risks and to train and upskill current and future risk managers. The COVID-19 pandemic is barely even over or the war in Ukraine, rising energy [...]
Dragons’ Den gives BDO wings
Dragons’ Den gives BDO wings “If you want to innovate, there is no such thing as a bad idea” The name Dragons’ Den is a reference to the British series of the same name and the Flemish television programme ‘Leeuwenkuil’, where up-and-coming entrepreneurial talents pitch their business idea before seasoned top entrepreneurs who are looking for a golden idea. “In essence, at BDO we follow the same concept,” explains Patrick Kestens. He is the former inspirational force [...]
How different are family businesses from corporates?
How different are family businesses from corporates? Experts Hans Wilmots and Pursey Heugens share their insights Are family businesses less formally organised than the so-called corporates? What can corporates learn from entrepreneurial families? And are family businesses more resistant to crises? Jan Oosterlinck, Partner Family Business Advisory at BDO Belgium, asked Professor Pursey Heugens (Rotterdam School of Management) and Drs. Hans Wilmots (UHasselt, former CEO of BDO Belgium and CEO of BioRICS). Jan: [...]
When two ‘guides in growth’ meet
When two ‘guides in growth’ meet BDO doubles its strength in Limburg Twenty years ago, BDO Hasselt was born. Today, the growth is being accelerated thanks to the strategic acquisition of Cynex. The team and local client base are growing by 50%. And the financial and tax-legal expertise in Limburg is being strengthened. In addition, the merger of the two ‘guides in growth’ offers both clients and employees additional opportunities to develop further. “Cynex is a [...]
Smart Business Solutions
Smart Business Solutions “Profitable growth does not happen by itself” Do you also sometimes feel that everyone in your company is working all-out, but that the results are not there accordingly? Or that your control over a process or technology could be better whereby there is a risk that you miss out on opportunities? Don’t worry, all entrepreneurs struggle with such issues on occasion. These are characteristic of companies in growth mode. However… you can do something [...]
BDO and the path to inclusive and diverse leadership
BDO and the path to inclusive and diverse leadership “In our differences lies our Treasure” Write an article about reverse mentoring. That was the task. But once you talk to Tessy Martens, Inclusive Diversity Manager and Sustainability Services Lead at BDO Belgium, the story got a much broader perspective: how do you create inclusive and diverse leadership? Awareness first! How many people are aware that their behaviour is driven by unconscious prejudices or biases? This [...]
Hope Springs Eternal for Entrepreneurship
Hope Springs Eternal for Entrepreneurship “Smart companies are prepared for lean years” Despite all the human and social suffering, the economic malaise - strictly speaking no recession for the time being - has the merit of daring us to question a number of “too big to fail” certainties. It has convinced us that companies, and by extension our country, must defend themselves more than ever against increasingly unpredictable shocks from outside. Where do you start? We [...]
Shock-resistant handling of scarcity
Shock-resistant handling of scarcity Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium After a long period without real scarcity, our economy is struggling today. But it actually has been struggling since the COVID-19 pandemic, with shortages that we have not seen since the 70s. Fifty years ago, it was thought that technology and science could prevent scarcity. As a technology optimist, I want to continue to believe in this. But there are also elements that, despite a lot of [...]
Lifelong knowledge sharing
Lifelong knowledge sharing Werner Lapage, Partner BDO Belgium As a Chinese proverb says: “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” Being proactive and integrating sustainability into your business model increases your resilience against drivers of change, creates new business opportunities, leads to better results, and ultimately increases the value of your business. Preparing your company or organisation for the future to be relevant tomorrow is only possible [...]
You ask, we answer
You ask, we answer Simple yet essential insights The attentive To the Point reader has already noticed. Our FAQ section has introduced a new concept. Instead of sorting out one theme based on ten specific questions, we are now bringing different themes to your attention based on one question. Not randomly, but based on the questions that we have recently received from our customers. Teleworking or working from home became the ‘new normal’. During the COVID-19 [...]
Ins and outs of the CSRD
Ins and outs of the CSRD ESG reporting to soon become mandatory for all companies Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium The results of our recent poll speak for themselves: the majority of companies (+70%) consider the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) to be a driver for change. The impact, risks and opportunities of this mandatory transparency reporting directive should not be underestimated. Even though unlisted SMEs are not required to submit a [...]
“Learning from each other, for each other, worldwide!”
“Learning from each other, for each other, worldwide!” BDO Global Sustainability Center of Excellence Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium Sustainability is a very complex and broad story. Which makes it difficult for companies to know what steps to take first, at the right time, with the right focus, in the right direction. To ultimately have maximum valuable impact and to support our clients with their needs within their specific context and ambition, it [...]
“All shareholders now clearly know the objectives.”
“All shareholders now clearly know the objectives.” Lighthouse Invest supports generational change with family charter Lion De Clerck, Copywriter Marketing & Communication BDO Belgium For four generations now, entrepreneurship has been in the blood of the De Jonckheere family. What started out as a grocery shop in the early 1930s has in 2022 developed into a thriving real estate and hospitality business on the coastline of Nieuwpoort-Bad. Today, the family business is on the verge of [...]
Sustainable pumpkin-growing Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium Do you suffer from “not invented here” syndrome? What you haven’t invented yourself is by definition less good. But things don’t work that way anymore in the 21st century. The world - including the world of business - has become so complex and is changing so quickly that cooperation is necessary to create real added value. I once read how a cooperative innovation model of this kind could be [...]
Good governance is no longer an option
Good governance is no longer an option BDO and GUBERNA join forces for SMEs Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium Good governance as a strong incentive for sustainable growth and entrepreneurship. That sounds obvious, but quite a few SMEs suffer from procrastination. After all, the operational business keeps going on. Understandable, but do not underestimate the importance of good governance. To give your board of directors an extra boost, GUBERNA and BDO are combining [...]
BDO InnovationLab@Living Tomorrow
BDO InnovationLab@Living Tomorrow How prepared are you for the future? Koen Claessens, Partner BDO Advisory Nobody can predict the future. However, we all know your organisation or company will need to prepare if it wants to stay relevant in the future; in other words, to survive. The question is, what are the best ways for your company to do so? During a two-day InnovationLab workshop, together with experts from BDO and TomorrowLab, you develop strategic goals and then shape [...]
AI-GUST – Everything for and by the accountant
AI-GUST - Everything for and by the accountant BDO launches its own fintech Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium Still too often, accountants have to focus on ensuring that clients have processed their figures correctly. In doing so, they lose lots of valuable time that could otherwise be used for providing sound advice that draws on this huge source of client data. With the pace of digitisation accelerating and technological development making it possible [...]
Proximity takes precedence
Proximity takes precedence BDO opens NWoW office in the heart of Brussels Lion De Clerck, Copywriter BDO Marketing & Communication At the beginning of July, we opened a new office on Stassartstraat in the centre of Brussels. Not just an office, but a pleasant place to work and meet, easily accessible by public transport, stylishly decorated with attention to the new way of working (NWoW) and the well-being of our employees and clients. ‘Stassart’ – as people like to call [...]
“Customs oils the wheels of our economy”
“Customs oils the wheels of our economy” Ziegler Group as gatekeeper between freight forwarder and customs Luc Sambre, Partner BDO Tax, Customs & Excise Solutions Companies active in international trade are confronted with complex customs regulations that entail numerous compliance risks and efficiency issues. The new trade agreement between Europe and the United Kingdom, for instance, has clearly highlighted the need for fast, efficient and pragmatic training. Without a thorough grounding in the facts, any business, [...]
Know your customer!
Know your customer! Young BDO makes some instructive client visits Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium The young professionals at BDO are keen to encourage a sense of connection between colleagues. But practical experience has taught them that their initiatives become even more valuable when they also involve clients. Through this cross-fertilisation, Young BDO gains a better feel for the client’s business, and the client in turn gets to know the person behind the [...]
Roadmap towards a sustainable fleet
Roadmap towards a sustainable fleet Tools and best practices Sylvia Van Den Broeck - HR Operations & Reward Manager BDO Belgium Delphine Vanassche - Senior Manager BDO Tax Leslie De Buyser – Manager BDO Legal Christophe Charbel - Local Office & Facilities Supervisor Brussels & Wallonia Stephan Vandewiele - Operations Director BDO Belgium Climate change is no longer just a matter for the environment and the planet. It has penetrated every link in every business chain. [...]
Sustainable (green) mobility
Sustainable (green) mobility Tax alternatives to the company car In 2022, the company car is more popular than ever. Nevertheless, the ‘greening of the fleet’ is currently high on the agenda of many employers and employees. This is partly due to the change in the taxation of company cars, which affects both employers and employees. But the evolution towards sustainable business is also playing a major role. We explore two tax alternatives to the oh-so-popular company car. [...]
Plastiflex: aspiring to circular production
Plastiflex: aspiring to circular production Plastiflex Group is setting the bar high. In the near future, the producer of flexible plastic hoses wants to operate completely circularly. Together with BDO’s sustainability experts, the company translated this ambition into a genuine Sustainability Transition Programme. Plastic hasn’t really enjoyed a good reputation over the last decade. Nevertheless, Piet Gruwez, CEO at Plastiflex, believes that plastic is not a bad product in itself: “The pressure to [...]
From ego to eco mode
From ego to eco mode The path to a sustainable business model Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium Short-term financial performance is no longer the only driver of corporate value creation. Companies have more responsibility than ever to create this value with and for all stakeholders. They also face global challenges: climate change, raw material depletion, growing inequalities, etc. At BDO, we want to set an example, be a source of inspiration and act [...]
Mission to a sustainable planet
Mission to a sustainable planet Werner Lapage, Partner BDO Belgium While entrepreneur in heart and soul Jürgen Ingels takes us on his mission to Mars - and allows us to experience how important technology really is in our daily lives - BDO Belgium’s more than 850 employees are working day-in and day-out to make our way of doing business more sustainable. The cover page is too small to accommodate all our sustainability pioneers, but they open this [...]
War for wellbeing
War for wellbeing Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium Doing business sustainably is a very popular theme at the moment. By which I don’t mean trendy or ‘hot’. Instead, sustainable entrepreneurship is fundamentally necessary - and even critical - to the relevance and long-term success of any company or organisation. There is no alibi that exonerates us as human beings from the negative environmental or climate impact that we ourselves are causing. There is only one [...]
Sopadis: “Sustainable mobility is not a clear-cut issue.”
Sopadis: “Sustainable mobility is not a clear-cut issue.” Our federal government is clear: Belgians must drive ‘greener’. And business mobility - and therefore the company car as well - is an important tool for achieving this goal. Dealer network Sopadis’ market research also confirms this. Sopadis is part of car importer D’Ieteren and exclusively distributes all brands of the Volkswagen Group on the Antwerp-Mechelen-Brussels axis. “The average Belgian is holding firm to his or her car as the [...]
Would you leave your home’s back door open?
Would you leave your home’s back door open? Security boost to the websites of businesses and governments fails to materialise Koen Claessens, Partner BDO Risk Advisory Whereas cyber criminals are working on professionalising their ‘business’, and cyber-attacks have increased almost exponentially, the cyber security efforts of the majority of Belgian companies and governments seem to have stalled. That is the remarkable conclusion of our large-scale analysis of over 15,000 Belgian websites. One in 3 websites still [...]
Aerospace, a source of inspiration for BDO
Aerospace, a source of inspiration for BDO The astronaut in business angel Jürgen Ingels Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium Seasoned entrepreneur Jürgen Ingels (51) has been collecting space-themed covers and artefacts since childhood. A fascination that he inherited from his equally space-mad father. Last year, he gave in to the temptation to buy some 40 replicas from the NASA collection. Now you can share his passion and go on your own space exploration [...]
Cash flow management
Cash flow management Simple yet essential insights Dirk Vandendaele, Partner BDO Accountancy Jan Vermeersch, Manager BDO Digital You can’t run a business without sufficient cash reserves. Well, you can, but you wouldn’t be running an efficient business. Avoid unpleasant surprises by keeping an overview of all incoming and outgoing payments. So how do you successfully manage your cash flow? And what information do you need for this? Find the answers in this FAQ. Cash flow [...]
Tax Assurance and Risk Management
Tax Assurance and Risk Management Towards a culture with no surprises Werner Lapage, Partner BDO Tax We all like surprises! Except from the tax authorities. Every organisation has to pay taxes, but no company wants an unexpected tax bill in its letterbox. Moreover, tax errors and alleged unethical conduct keep everyone wary of taxes. Yet, despite the potential negative consequences, companies are often unaware that they are not complying with their tax obligations. The cause is [...]
New special tax regime for expatriates
New special tax regime for expatriates The deadline of 31/07/2022 is approaching Nicolas Stockmans, Partner BDO Tax Up until the end of last year, around 20,000 executives and researchers were benefitting from a special tax regime for expatriates. A new regime has been in force since 1 January. It has a significant impact on the taxation of foreign employees and on the employer's HR policy. Here’s a summary of key changes. The federal parliament has [...]
What, exactly, are net assets?
What, exactly, are net assets? ‘Alarm bell’ procedures in critical situations Christèle Parmentier, Partner BDO Accountancy A company’s board of directors is responsible for its financial situation. Among other things, this means that, should there be a critical decrease in the company’s net assets, the board must follow an ‘alarm bell’ procedure. But what, exactly, is meant by net assets? The Belgian Accounting Standards Commission (CNC-CBN) provides clarity in its opinion. In the event [...]
Helping to drive your future
Helping to drive your future Partnership with innovation campus Living Tomorrow Gert Maris, Sales Director BDO Belgium Keeping tabs on our rapidly changing world. Looking ahead. Daring to question and rethink your company or organisation, wanting to be surprised, exploring things… Essentially, that is what a strong, successful entrepreneur does every day. Discovering opportunities for growth for the business and uniting customers, employees and stakeholders. But, more than anything else, this kind of entrepreneur feeds his [...]
Promoting well-being together
Promoting well-being together Well-being management platform keeps its finger on the pulse of employees’ well-being Mieke Loncke, Marketing & Communication Director BDO Belgium Happy employees who feel good about themselves give their best. This is positive for the employee, the team, the organisation and the customer. But how do you recognise, achieve or promote this feel-good feeling? Everything relies on correct, real-time data about the well-being of your employees and providing the right incentives and solutions. [...]
People helping people
People helping people Peter Van Laer, CEO BDO Belgium Like so many others, I too could hardly believe my eyes when I watched the disconcerting television images of the floods in our country. You don’t expect something like that, not so close to home anyway. You want to help, but you cannot control the floods. You feel for the victims, as a human being, as a compatriot, as a neighbour. As an entrepreneur, you want to [...]
The future belongs to the young
The future belongs to the young Young BDO unites young talent within BDO Belgium Laurien Van Nieuwenhove, Content Officer BDO Marketing & Communication Our future lies in the hands of the younger generations. However, with the corona pandemic and the fierce ‘war for talent’, it has not been easy for them in the business world. Young BDO offers solace in the form of a new platform where young professionals in BDO Belgium can make their voices [...]
Step into the future today
Step into the future today BDO partners with the Living Tomorrow innovation campus Laurien Van Nieuwenhove, Content Officer BDO Marketing & Communication BDO Belgium has connected with the Living Tomorrow innovation campus as an exclusive partner for the coming 5 years. With this partnership, we are highlighting our growing and future-oriented advisory services. And we want to attract the coveted talent so that we can build a more innovative, sustainable and inclusive future together. [...]
BDO Advisory Multidisciplinary expertise for all your business challenges Koen Claessens, Partner BDO Advisory The challenges facing companies today are as diverse as they are numerous. So, if you want to tackle them effectively, you need a wide range of knowledge and expertise. The BDO Advisory team comprises approximately 200 experts, ready to provide you with multidisciplinary support in the areas of technology, organisation, people, risk management and finance. After more than [...]
Green mobility: what changes in terms of tax?
Green mobility: what changes in terms of tax? Sien Vandezande, Consultant, Melissa Claessens, Manager BDO Tax, International Mobility Services UPDATE: 17/01/2023 By the end of 2021, the Belgian legislator has been focusing on the greening of the vehicle fleet. The outlines of the law are clear: only the costs for zero emission cars will still be tax deductible. Furthermore, the installation of charging stations provides the right to an investment deduction or tax reduction. Tax [...]
Split purchase of real estate
Split purchase of real estate Current situation in the 3 regions Sam De Neve, Consultant, Sarah van Bree, Junior Manager BDO Tax, Estate Planning Last year, in Flanders alone, 5,383 deeds were registered in which the usufruct and bare ownership of an item of real estate were purchased simultaneously by several natural persons. This shows that the split purchase is still a popular technique in estate planning. But make sure you are well-informed beforehand. The wrong [...]
‘No plan is a plan to fail’
‘No plan is a plan to fail’ 9 steps to a solid business plan Philip Lodewyckx, Partner BDO Accountancy Did you know that companies that make a business plan grow up to 30% faster than companies that do not? That you have twice as much chance of getting the necessary financing with a well-thought-out business plan? 9 steps are enough. The added value follows. What is a business plan? A business [...]
Waiving commercial rent
Waiving commercial rent After fiscal clarity, now also accounting clarity Dirk Vandendaele, Partner BDO Accountancy The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to close their doors partially or completely. Liquidity problems and difficulties in paying the commercial rent soon followed. The temporary waiving of the rent brought some relief. In a recent opinion, the Belgian Accounting Standards Commission (CBN) explains how you can process the waiving in your accounts. Waiving is not [...]
Local presence is key
Local presence is key BDO partners with fiduciary Dekegeleer in Hainaut Fabrice Grognard, Partner BDO Tax, Alexandre Streel, Partner BDO Financial Advisory Since September, BDO has had a foothold in all of Belgium’s provinces. Until the partnership with fiduciary Dekegeleer from Mouscron, Hainaut was still a blind spot in the network. The future-oriented cooperation with Dekegeleer fits within the development of a finely-meshed, flexible network and with BDO’s growth strategy and proximity vision. [...]
Teleworking from abroad
Teleworking from abroad Tax and legal consequences and risks Charlotte Van Braeckel, Senior Consultant BDO Legal, Nancy Slegers, Partner BDO Tax Teleworking from abroad is becoming more and more common. However, you should ask yourself what the rules are. Can it be regulated, and what are the risks for both the employer and the employee from a tax, legal and social law perspective? In our globalised world, ever more employees are working [...]
Data analysis and management: friend or foe?
Data analysis and management: friend or foe? Tim Bottelbergs, Partner BDO Digital Steven Cauwenberghs, Partner BDO Risk Advisory Walter Vanherle, Partner BDO Digital Every organisation produces data. But not everyone actually does something with them. Yet this goldmine of information can be the compass your organisation needs to navigate the increasingly digital corporate landscape. Good data analyses and management are indispensable in this regard. How? Asking the question is answering it… You don’t have to open [...]
Retain talent in your company!
Retain talent in your company! With stock options or other employee participations Anne-Charlotte Lelièvre, Senior Manager BDO Legal Nicolas Thémelin, Senior Manager BDO Tax The COVID-19 crisis has profoundly changed the way we work, but also the way in which employees look at that ‘new way of working’. It is now up to companies to keep their available talent motivated and on board. All means are welcome in this regard. Stock options, for example, are clearly [...]
The reconstruction reserve
The reconstruction reserve Is your company eligible? Bart De Neve, Senior Consultant, Bart Janssens, Senior Manager BDO Tax The government has already introduced a lot of measures to help curb the severe economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the fiscal side, for example, there is the reconstruction reserve – a measure to support not only small but also large companies in restoring their solvency position. Is your company eligible for this support measure? Companies [...]
‘Employee engagement’: a fine example of pure craftsmanship
‘Employee engagement’: a fine example of pure craftsmanship Turn your employer brand into a unique asset Laurien Van Nieuwenhove, Content Officer BDO Marketing & Communication No less than 87% of employees don’t feel engaged when it comes to their employer, even though employee engagement is fundamental to a company’s success. In other words: high time for action! Marketing experts Inge van Belle and Klaus Lommatzsch have used their extensive experience to write ‘Employee engagement, what else?’, [...]
Step into the sustainable future today
Step into the sustainable future today Werner Lapage, Partner BDO Belgium Is sustainability the new Holy Grail? That’s how it seems. In the broadest sense of the word, that is. Sustainability goes far beyond environmentally-friendly business and is a story of values and norms. It offers “a format for a prosperous and resilient economy with long-term perspectives,” writes Peter Van Laer in his opinion piece. Companies without a vision that embraces sustainability will eventually put themselves out [...]
What you need to know about the innovation income deduction
Since 1 July 2016, companies with innovative ideas have been able to make use of the innovation income deduction when developing their services, goods or software, in addition to many other support measures to significantly reduce their average tax rate. Unlike its predecessor, the patent income deduction, the innovation income deduction has a broader scope. Let’s discuss the measure in more detail.
The tax credit or investment deduction for investments in R&D
When an SME or large company invests in research and development (R&D) of new products or services, the government offers all kinds of advantages, including an additional deduction or a tax credit on these investments.
Building a sustainable future together!
Building a sustainable future together! On 24 May 2019, millions of young and not-so-young people in 1,600 cities and 125 countries took to the streets in support of the climate. With their protests, they drew attention to the urgency of environmental action and demanded that governments comply with the Paris climate agreement. And they asked for the support of businesses, because climate change is affecting the entire economic world. BDO is already setting the example. Its brand-new multidisciplinary Sustainability team has published the first CSR Report.
“Entrepreneurship comes down to: those who don’t dare, don’t win.”
“Entrepreneurship comes down to: those who don’t dare, don’t win.” From local parties to national events, such as SuperNova and The Big Score. From a lucrative business selling notes and exam questions to setting up international companies, such as Clear2Pay and SmartFin. Top entrepreneur Jürgen Ingels’ journey has been pretty impressive. He has now bundled these experiences in a book with 50 tips for entrepreneurs. About his Swedish chocolate adventure, Pampers, a Porsche, the turkey syndrome, invoices and wine.
“You create the perfect job yourself!”
You create the perfect job yourself! Contrary to popular belief, building a successful career does not mean accumulating promotions and getting to the top as quickly as possible. In “Making your way: The (wobbly) road to success and happiness in life and work”, Marion Debruyne, Dean at Vlerick Business School, and Katleen De Stobbeleir, Full Professor at the same institution, unravel fifteen 15 myths about career success and happiness in life.
New annual tax on securities accounts
New annual tax on securities accounts. Since 26 February 2021, the new annual tax on securities accounts (TACT/JTER) has been applicable. The new tax is derived from the previous 2018 tax on securities that was overturned by the Constitutional Court not so long ago. What exactly is changing?
Lifelong learning with BDO Academy
In this rapidly changing society, lifelong learning has become the new normal. Not only for employees who want to maintain their ‘job security’ and market value, but also for companies and organisations who want to bring the skills and competences of their employees in line with their strategic objectives. BDO Academy helps and facilitates companies develop their employees’ personal growth paths. It also offers a wide range of customised training and education programmes.
Belgian foundations on the rise
Belgian foundations on the rise. New rules make the legal form more attractive. With the new Companies and Associations Code, Belgians are much less inclined to resort to the Dutch foundation to transfer or anchor their family business. In 2020, over 50% more Belgian private foundations were established in Belgium than the previous year. The number used as an administration office increased almost threefold. In this article, we examine what is driving this sudden increase.
Real-time accounting, the digital link between manager and accountant. Even though the digital transition of companies is in full swing, directors and managers often wait for weeks to get access to their financial data. That problem weakens competitiveness. Real-time accounting brings relief.
Are you ready for the post-Brexit era?
Are you ready for the post-Brexit era? VAT, customs, GDPR and mobility of workers. Since 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European internal market. The long Brexit negotiations led at the last minute to a new trade agreement between the European Union and the UK. This agreement regulates relations in all their dimensions, from trade and customs formalities, to the protection of personal data and to the organisation of international employment. We answer the most frequently asked questions.
Municipal mergers – do they make sense?
Municipal mergers - do they make sense or not? BDO’s benchmark study confirms merger opportunities. Flanders has 300 municipalities and more and more of them are toying with the idea of merging – to strengthen their financial base, and because scale is important. The larger a municipality, the more power it has to serve its citizens. But a merger is not something you rush into. Our experts have developed a step-by-step plan to assist local authorities during the merger process.
New social measures in the Programme Law
The federal government approved the Programme Law on 20 December 2020 – and, at the same time, new social measures in 7 domains. The measures entered into force on 1 January 2021. This article examines the 7 measures in more detail.
Programme Law contains 7 new tax measures
The federal government approved the Programme Law on 20 December 2020 – and, at the same time, 7 new tax measures. The measures entered into force on 1 January 2021. Some of them already had an effect in 2020. This article examines the 7 measures in more detail.
Ready for the whistleblowers?
Ready for the whistleblowers? At the end of 2021, Belgium must transpose the European Directive on whistleblowers into national law. The directive regulates how companies and public authorities can report violations of certain EU regulations and how they can protect the reporter or whistleblower. The related reporting system must meet specific conditions and takes a considerable amount of time to set up.
Pay less tax on French dividends
Pay less tax on French dividends! Until recently, French dividends were taxed twice. The Minister of Finance recently put an end to the legal saga. Thanks to the so-called ‘Foreign Tax Credit’ (FTC), the French levy is offset against the Belgian tax. And your dividend is taxed less.
How to value a company in uncertain times?
How to value a company in uncertain times? What is a company worth? That’s never a simple question, certainly not in times of great uncertainty. Let alone during a crisis such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Greater challenges, different pitfalls, creative solutions!
House of HR: “It has been a tough but amazing year!”
House of HR: “It has been a tough but amazing year!” COVID-19 chipped away at the business of the European HR service provider ‘House of HR’ – but thanks to the resilience, creativity and perseverance of all employees in all countries, the damage in 2020 was limited to 1% (!) loss in profitability. CEO Rika Coppens: “In fact, our purpose and values not only held firm, they also confirmed how fundamental and intrinsic they are to the well-being and strength of our people, and therefore to our group.”
Cofinpar: “Fear is a bad counsellor.”
A crisis must not prevent innovation, looking to the future, or wanting to stay ahead of the competition. Thanks to the resilience of the teams and the digitisation of processes, the 2020 results of the Cofinpar group, active in the automotive and real estate sectors, increased for the 5th year running.
How healthy will your company emerge from the COVID-19 crisis?
How healthy will your company emerge from the COVID-19 crisis? Check your health with our 7P Diagnostic Tool. Despite the health crisis, some companies are more confident about their growth opportunities than others. Research by BDO Global revealed the reasons. We combined our findings into a 7P model to give you insight into these more successful companies’ priorities and actions. Better yet, our experts have developed a 7P Diagnostic Tool so that you can check your own company’s health and measure it against the market. Go for it!
Beyers Koffie: “No people, no cup of coffee!”
Beyers Koffie: no people, no cup of coffee! During the COVID-19 crisis, the health and safety of its employees was always the greatest concern of coffee roaster Beyers Koffie. After all, no people means no production. “Therefore, the task was to ensure that everyone stayed motivated and productive despite the strict health measures,” explains CEO Marco Ciaramelli.
Astra Sweets: “Switching in the short-term with a view to the long-term strategy.”
You can sit in a corner and cry or make the best of it with all your might. Astra Sweets resolutely chose the latter. The sweets producer did not panic because of the crisis, but it did bring about a shift in some accents in the short-term. Managing Director Ronald Luyckx: “We tried to identify and capitalise on those opportunities that yield short-term results in order to offset the negative impact of the coronavirus crisis on certain market segments as much as possible. That’s in keeping with our no-nonsense culture.” In parallel, Astra Sweets continued to work on long-term strategic projects.
With the ‘P’ of Performance
With the ‘P’ of Performance. Despite the health crisis, some companies are more confident about their growth opportunities than others. BDO experts have developed a 7P Diagnostic Tool so that you can check the health/success of your company or organisation and benchmark it against the market. Withdrawing into a corner is certainly not the right answer, as Jürgen Ingels and Marion Debruyne testify. In any case, BDO Belgium is not giving up. Proof of this is its latest acquisition: the Antwerp-based firm ‘Beirens & Wellens’. Even in the new normal, fiscal, social, and political movements continue to drive business and entrepreneurship. This issue of ‘To The Point’ homes in on the impact of the Programme Law, the new law on whistleblowers, the adapted rules for Belgian foundations, the consequences of Brexit on VAT, customs, GDPR and employee mobility, the importance of real-time accounting, and the new tax on securities accounts. Also covered: the BDO Academy, the CSR report, the tax on French dividends, and the sense and nonsense of municipal mergers.
The future is today
The future is today. At the beginning of April 2021, BDO and the Antwerp accountancy firm ‘Beirens & Wellens’ joined forces. A very conscious and strategically complementary choice. The customers and employees of both players benefit, continuity is assured, the pool of experience and multidisciplinary expertise expands, and penetration in – and proximity to – the Belgian market is strengthened.
Impact of teleworking on international mobility of workers: employment right aspects
Impact of teleworking on international mobility of workers: employment right aspects Authors: Charline Leflot, Advisor BDO Legal, and Lola Degrez, Senior BDO Legal To avoid the spread of coronavirus, a large number of employers around the world have been forced to move their employees to teleworking. This mandatory remote working may impact the situation of certain internationally-mobile workers who now find themselves teleworking on Belgian territory. Let’s address certain employment aspects that may arise due [...]
Working from home: what tax-exempted options does an employer have with respect to reimbursing costs and providing supplies for home offices as from 1 March 2021?
Working from home: what tax-exempted options does an employer have with respect to reimbursing costs and providing supplies for home offices as from 1 March 2021? Author: Melissa Claessens, Supervisor BDO Tax As from 1 March 2021, the new tax circular (Circular 2021/C/20), created in consultation with the National Social Security Office, comes into force for situations of working from home that have occurred since 1 January 2020. On the basis of this circular, the employer [...]
How do you coach employees and managers in a hybrid way of working?
How do you coach employees and managers in a hybrid way of working? Author: Geert Volders, Partner BDO Strategy & Transformation Coaching and leadership is not an easy given in an environment where all employees work at the exact same time and location, let alone in a situation where the entire team switches to a hybrid working mode, adding an extra layer of complexity. Our Strategy & Transformation experts share their vision on successfully managing [...]
Teleworking and the implications for taxation in the context of company tax
Teleworking and the implications for taxation in the context of company tax How does remote working influence the place where the company’s profits will be taxed? Author: Olivier Michiels, Partner BDO Tax The OECD states that a company is taxable in the country where it is a tax resident unless it has a taxable permanent establishment in another treaty country. The location of the company’s directors/senior management/employees is a crucial element for determining a [...]
Teleworking impact on employees and company directors benefitting from the special tax regime for foreign executives and specialists
Teleworking impact on employees and company directors benefitting from the special tax regime for foreign executives and specialists Authors: Yana Slachmuylders, Senior, Nicolas Stockmans, Partner BDO Tax The corona crisis has impacted our lives in an unprecedented way. Not only did we have to adjust personally and socially, our professional lives also significantly changed with organisations and its employees being obliged to reorganise their way of working in the blink of an eye. It’s likely that [...]
Cross-border workers, COVID-19 and teleworking
Cross-border workers, COVID-19 and teleworking What are the tax and social security implications for cross-border employment? Authors: Françoise Verreux, Supervisor, Isabelle Schunck, Senior Manager BDO Tax COVID-19 has been affecting our daily lives and disrupting our living habits for a year now. To prevent its spread, unprecedented measures have been taken all over the world such as a ban on “non-essential” travel, mandatory quarantine when returning from abroad, and of course teleworking. Many people [...]
The future begins today
How is it possible that a microscopic organism has caused the whole world to reset? The health crisis caused by COVID-19 has hit our well-being hard with an unprecedented socio-economic and social impact. Never before has the economy had to downscale itself so drastically without an economic reason to do so. As a result, this year, the Belgian economy is heading for the biggest economic contraction in its post-war history. The question is whether we – as [...]
BDO integrates Sustainable Development Goals
BDO integrates Sustainable Development Goals As a consultancy firm with over 700 employees, we are more conscious than ever of our responsibility towards our employees, customers and stakeholders. ‘People helping people’ expresses our purpose and is completely in line with our DNA: BDO is committed, pragmatic, personal and respectful. Author: Michaël Van Cutsem, Partner BDO Public Sector Image: https://sdgs.un.org/goals Based on this vision, our strategy has integrated the Sustainable Development Goals [...]
How do you budget in times of corona?
How do you budget in times of corona? For many companies, it’s time to get to work on the annual budget. However, the economic impact of the COVID-19 health crisis is not making it any easier to define plans and budget for the coming year. After all, companies must anticipate various scenarios and take into account specific risks and opportunities within the business environment. But because lack of certainty is a poor advisor, we will attempt to answer [...]
All about the ‘carry back scheme’
All about the ‘carry back scheme’ Tax support promotes solvency during the COVID-19 crisis For many entrepreneurs, the coronavirus crisis is having a significant impact on their financial forecast for the current financial year. To avoid needlessly increasing costs, the government has launched the so-called carry back scheme. This is an early loss deduction for corporate, personal tax and non-resident income tax (companies/natural persons). Let us explain. Authors: Amber Van Landeghem, Advisor, Liesbeth Debusschere, Manager BDO [...]
How is Belgium interpreting the European DAC6 directive?
How is Belgium interpreting the European DAC6 directive? BDO develops DAC6 reporting tool in a previous edition of To The Point (03/2019), we took a closer look at the reasoning behind, and implications of, the new DAC6 tax reporting obligation as set out in the European Directive 2018/822. Belgium transposed this directive into Belgian legislation in the nick of time. The tax administration subsequently published a list of Frequently Asked Questions to further clarify the reporting obligation. [...]
Do’s and don’ts of the group contribution scheme, or tax consolidation
Do's and don’ts of the group contribution scheme, or tax consolidation The so-called Summer Agreement of 2017 on corporate tax reform introduced the group contribution scheme. Belgian legislation hereby gained a tax consolidation system, albeit in limited form. Author: Mady Francken, Senior Advisor BDO Tax Profit transfers The group contribution scheme centres on the idea of a profitable company within a corporate group transferring all or some of its profits to an affiliated company that [...]
‘My accountant powered by BDO’ – The Aion story
“My accountant powered by BDO” – The Aion story Polish ‘banking Netflix’ links accountancy to banking Accountancy goes far beyond simply dealing with your VAT administration and drawing up a balance sheet. Our experts apply much of their time and know-how to making customers’ administrative processes optimal, automated and ‘dummy-proof’, and this also applies to our customers’ customers. Polish fintech firm Vodeno and its digital bank Aion offer SMEs a single integrated online platform for accounting and [...]
Searching for the X factor in tomorrow’s leadership
Searching for the X factor in tomorrow’s leadership In a world of exponential change, accelerating digital transformation and the COVID-19 crisis, human connections are an increasingly essential part of leadership. However, many managers struggle to connect deeply with their people and what motivates them. Jan De Schepper, executive director at BDO Digital, and Paul Van Den Bosch, coach to elite athletes, recently co-authored a book that explains how to do things better. Author: Laurien Van Nieuwenhove, Content [...]
Resumption of social elections process
Resumption of social elections process Due to the COVID-19 crisis, few or no employees have been physically present in the workplace, which has severely disrupted normal operations at many companies. As implementing the usual social election process was no longer feasible, the Group of Ten (the top employer and trade union negotiators) collectively decided to suspend the process. What happens now? Authors: Charlotte Van Braeckel, Junior Consultant, Johannes Pannus, Advisor BDO Social Legal On 17 March [...]
Teleworking from a legal, tax and ‘change’ perspective
Teleworking from a legal, tax and ‘change’ perspective With working from home mandatory or recommended during the Covid-19 pandemic, companies are considering how to reorganise their work so as to structurally incorporate teleworking in the future. A survey by BDO reveals that, since the lockdown, 9 out of 10 Belgian employees and managers would like to work from home between one and three days a week. Do you want to embed teleworking in your organisation? If so, [...]
BDO launches the ‘Office of the CFO’
BDO launches the ‘Office of the CFO’ Is your finance department ‘fit for the purpose’ and ‘fit for the future’? The coronavirus crisis is exerting great pressure on CFOs and, at the same time, it’s exposing a number of bottlenecks. For example, the question arises whether your finance department has enough leeway and the right resources to meet current and future expectations. What is the degree of performance (including digital), relevance and accuracy of the available data, [...]
How to enhance your company’s value?
How to enhance your company’s value? “Value enhancement offers tangible results.” The COVID-19 crisis is hitting our economy hard, threatening the survival of many SMEs in particular. Making it through the current phase of the crisis will depend on cost reduction, improved productivity, product adaptation and business optimisation. These serve not only to increase a company’s profitability, but also its value. BDO has developed a hands-on Value Enhancement method to sustainably enhance companies’ value. Authors: Maxime [...]
Revised Companies and Associations Code
Revised Companies and Associations Code It is common knowledge that, on 1 January 2020, the Belgian Companies and Associations Code (CAC) went into effect for all Belgian legal entities. Before the Code had even entered into force, the Chamber had already received a proposal for the revision of various provisions. That proposal has now been accepted. So, what are the most relevant corrections? Author: Ruben Ruysbergh, Senior Consultant BDO Legal The proposed revisions were already submitted [...]
The CFO’s future starts today
The CFO’s future starts today BDO partners with Vlerick Business School On 7 October, Vlerick Business School launched its ‘Centre for Financial Leadership & Digital Transformation’. BDO Belgium and BDO Global will serve as primary knowledge partners and experience experts. The aim? ‘To take the finance department to the next level through digital transformation.’ Additionally, the Centre is intended to be a community with a strong focus on practical applications for everyone who wants to advance digitally [...]
“Buzzwords don’t grow the business”
“Buzzwords don’t grow the business” BDO Global’s European Survey assesses growth ambitions and obstacles Today, European businesses find themselves facing a growing number of challenges. So how do they intend to maintain their growth and market position in today’s fast-changing political, economic and social world? BDO Global conducted a Europe-wide survey among more than 200 business leaders, focusing on their 5-year strategy. We asked Trond-Morten Lindberg, CEO EMEA at BDO Global, to comment on the survey results. [...]
CCA establishes new rules for payments and annual accounts
CCA establishes new rules for payments and annual accounts Since 1 January 2020, the new Belgian Code of Companies and Associations (CCA) also applies to existing legal entities. This law establishes several new mandatory provisions and overhauls others. There are new rules relating to payments, for example. Furthermore, a new annual accounts model is now in effect. We will use several frequently asked questions to explore the most relevant aspects of these new rules in greater detail. [...]