The Special Tax Inspectorate (ISI) has just suffered a legal defeat which will cost more than 100 million euros to the coffers of the Belgian State. According to our colleagues from Tijd, after a long procedure of several years, the ISI has decided not to appeal the judgment rendered in the context of a case opposing it to the Finnish energy group Fortum. The ISI accused him of having set up a “paper structure” in 2008 with a Belgian company to benefit from the notional interest deduction. From 2011, the Belgian tax authorities therefore sent tax complaints to Fortum. The company made the payments but challenged them in court.
In June 2020, Fortum applied to the Antwerp Court of First Instance to challenge the claims related to the tax years 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013. The court ruled in favor of the Finnish group, indicating that there was indeed a reason economic and financial justification for setting up such a legal structure. The tax authorities later announced that they would not appeal the decision.
Direct consequence: the Belgian State will have to reimburse Fortum 77.6 million euros unfairly collected. A sum to which are added 26.6 million euros in default interest. The reimbursement envelope could still swell given that a judgment concerning the 2009 tax year must still be rendered by the Court of Cassation.