ADVOCACY - MONITORING - INSTITUTIONAL MISSIONS
- Monitoring of recent legislative developments:
- Cross-border legacies: consistency national legislation/EU law (the "Walloon case")
L&TM pointed out that the Walloon part of the Belgian inheritance tax legislation on legacies to charities - as modified in 2003 - was still in breach with the EU rules. Francis Houben published articles on this topic and lodged a complaint with the European Commission (DG Taxud), which initiated an infringement procedure against Belgium. A decision of the European Court of Justice (in the "Missionswerk Heuckelbach case") confirmed subsequently the E.C's reasoned opinion. As a consequence, Wallonia modified its legislation by suppressing the conditions that were in conflict with the Treaty of Rome.
- Non discrimination: equivalency test
Since it appears that, despite the introduction of the equal treatment principle in the national legislations of EU countries, charities receiving cross-border gifts, still face difficulties in for obtaining tax relief, Francis Houben is currently participating to a European think tank examining the most practical ways to organize equivalency tests that would concentrate only on points considered as essential.
- Evaluation of Belgium by the FATF (Financial Action Task Force) in the framework of a mutual review by the FATF members.
In the framework of the evaluation of Belgium in 2014-2015 by the fatf gafi (Financial Action Task Force against money laundering and financing of terrorism), Francis Houben has joined as an expert a team of representatives of the Belgian non-profit sector, which assisted the Belgian Ministry of Justice for preparing the answers to the evaluators for the concerned sector and took part to the meeting with FATF representatives in Brussels.