The European Commission has requested that Belgium make a change to the rules on inheritance tax in the region of Wallonia to bring them into line with the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), reports Tax News.
The Inheritance Tax Code applicable to the Walloon Region provides for an exemption from inheritance tax when the deceased individual was residing in Belgium. However, according to the Commission, such exemption is not granted where the deceased person was living in another country within the European Economic Area.
The Commission considers that the absence of an exemption for inheritance tax on immovable property located in Belgium and passed on by a deceased person who did not live there is contrary to Articles 45, 49 and 63 TFEU, given that such an exemption exists for a resident of Belgium.
The request was sent in the form of a letter of formal notice, a preliminary stage of infringement proceedings against an EU member state. At this stage of the proceedings, Belgium has up to two months to respond to the Commission's concerns.
If the Commission is not satisfied with Belgium's response, it may issue a reasoned opinion, which represents the first official stage of infringement proceedings.