147 Belgians to pay dearly after setting up official residence in Monaco

The Belgian taxman is claiming 99.6 million euros in compensation from 147 Belgians who claimed they were living in the French Principality of Monaco, also known as a tax haven. The news was reported by De Tijd and was confirmed to our news desk. 

Most cases concern wealthy Belgians pretending to live in Monaco to enjoy the tax benefits there. You are exempt from personal income tax and inheritance tax, or when you want to make a donation to a friend or family. 

To enjoy these tax benefits as a Belgian, you not only need a residence there, you also need to live there in real life. If not, you are evading taxes and actually committing fraud. The Belgian tax unit BBI decided to open an investigation into dozens of cases in 2017, most of them about wealthy Belgians pretending to have taken up residence in Monaco.

This was not an easy task, says Francis Adyns, spokesman of the federal Finance Department. "We mostly have to deal with rich people, who have the means to create this fiction and to maintain it. It also requires the cooperation of the local authorities."

Last year, 98 cases were eventually opened, worth 66.4 million in arrears, fines and extra taxes. This year, the BBI opened another 49 cases worth 33.2 million. Because this type of fraud is difficult to prove, Adyns calls this a success.    

It is not easy to prove this type of fraud